Oct 08

Online Music Lessons: Helpful or Hurtful?

We live in an interesting age, musically speaking.  Through the avenue of the internet, so much is available to us in the way of recordings, videos, articles, pictures, etc, etc.  From this sea of information, any aspiring musician with a computer can find tools and resources for online music lessons and often times for free.

Learning music online is vastly different than what teachers and players have been used to in generations before the world wide web making some wonder if online lessons are truly beneficial for budding musicians or if they just cause confusion and poor technique.  Before investing any serious time in front of a computer screen, there are a few things to consider when it comes to music lessons.

When it comes to learning anything, I think the most important thing to consider is how you or your student learns.  For instance, I am a kinesthetic learner.  I learn best by doing or using my hands.  Sitting around watching videos online, does help me as much a having a teacher guide me during a lesson and then practicing it on my own for several hours.  Yet, I have a student who is a very visual learner and online videos are a great reference for the days in-between lessons.  Likewise, I have a family member that can read a car manual and just build an engine in a weekend.  I’m sure that if he wanted to, he could play the violin after a day of reading “How-To” blogs online.

If you decide that using online music lessons are something that would be helpful for you, the next thing you need to consider is where the information is coming from.  The good news is that there are hundreds of thousands of videos, articles, and blogs to choose from.  The bad news is that pretty much anyone with a computer and 5 minutes of free time can post something.  When searching for music lessons, it’s best to use media produced by a professional or teacher with years of experience.  Generally, they will have tried and true methods to share that won’t lead you or your student astray.  If you are unsure about the validity of something you found online, it’s best to double check with your teacher.  Send them a link and have them check it out.  If you are teaching yourself how to play, you can always check with other members in the music community.  Contacting a local music store to see if they have come across something useful is a great place to find sound advice.  You can also check with other players through online forums like Violinist.com or Fiddle Hangout.

If you aren’t sure where to start looking online, a great place to start is our blog.  We are all professionals and teachers here, and we work hard to provide our readers with quality and useful educational articles that anyone can access.  We also have a Video Library on our website.  You can check it out here.


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  1. Paul Cohello

    Can you recommend a good violin shoulder pad? I’m getting these weird cramps where my instrument rubs against my shoulder. Thanks.

    1. Rachel Davis

      Before looking at a different shoulder pad or rest, double check with your teacher or a mentor to make sure that it’s not a technique issue. If your technique is alright, then you need to determine why the cramps are happening. The Bon Musica shoulder rest is great for players with longer necks, the Comford Shoulder Cradle is good for those with less space between their chin and neck, and a cotton cloth can protect your skin from excessive rubbing from the instrument.

  2. online lessons for piano

    This blog is great i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, a lot of people are hunting around for this info, you could help them greatly.

  3. Marta

    As far as I am concerned, I think online music lessons very helpful. Since the beginning of July this year I have been using it. The subject of this lessons is singing . My coach, is retired opera singer and singing teacher. She shows me vast range of techniques aimed at achieving my dream, that is singing well and in healthy way.
    Obviously, I have to practice on my own 15-20 min at least three times at week every second day.
    In my position the most important issue in my learning is my voice. In my opinion, it’s very low impact of quality my singing the fact hearing my voice and commenting it via Internet. If you have good microphone, speed Internet, and other elements of equipment , you will succeed regardless it is online lesson or lesson face to face.
    But in the other hand, online music lessons might be hurtful in case of people, who want to became instrumentalists. Inadequate posture, bad position of instrument, and lack of hints may lead to ilnesses, to giving up playing instrument because of not enough teacher control.

    1. Liz Lambson

      Thanks for your your comment! I agree that online lessons have a lot of potential, especially with advances in modern technology. And as you mentioned, one of the most important elements that makes taking lessons (in any form) worthwhile is practicing on your own. I hope your progress gives you a great sense of accomplishment and that you keep developing your talents!

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