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.