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Why Online Music Lessons are more effective than you think

Online learning had become the new normal literally overnight - but does it work for music lessons?

First, let's consider the five essential things we need for effective learning as mentioned in our previous post:

1. New information - new information for the student to learn presented by the teacher. 2. Practise - the deliberate repetition of new information with conscious effort over time.

3. Application - the practical application of newly learned information practised over time.

4. Feedback - objective and constructive third party assessment of practise and application of new information.

5. Accountability - regular check - in on progress, challenges and target setting with the student to keep them on track. These things do not require the physical presence of a teacher. Many believe that having the teacher present in the room will also allow them to physically correct a young student's hand position on the keyboard, or adjust their fingers on the guitar. This is not the case - as child protection guidelines state that no physical contact should be made with the student. If a teacher must correct a student's technique, it must be done through concise instruction and clear demonstration, rather than though physical touch.

This means that if the teacher is conducting lessons appropriately by following child protection guidelines, eliminating physical contact with the student while at the same time implementing an effective learning process that includes the five points outlined above - then teacher's physical presence in the room becomes nonessential. Learning Tools Platforms such as Skype and Zoom are equipped with features which can enhance and aid the learning process. For example, each lesson or segment of a lesson can be recorded with a click of a button and saved onto the students device, allowing them to review the material until they've truly mastered it. The teacher can record "play along" videos that can aid the student in practice and record themselves explaining new concepts and ideas to be reviewed as many times as needed before next lesson. The teachers screen can be turned into an interactive whiteboard children have already become familiar with at schools using the screen share feature, allowing the teacher to share and annotate sheet music and other documents in front of the student in real time. Zoom even has a whiteboard feature that can be used to sketch and illustrate ideas. Students can type lesson notes in the chat log or on another document and save them on their device to refer to later. Audio files and documents can be shared and received instantly by both teacher and student.

Convenience It is undeniably more convenient to log on to your laptop or tablet than to navigate rush hour traffic to take your child to the local music school or music teacher's home, before sitting 30 mins to an hour in the car as they have their lesson. "My child is enrolled in lessons at school so there's no logistical issues and travel isn't a problem" This is true, however if lessons are during school hours (they usually are) the child is pulled out of lessons only to be returned 20-30 mins later and be faced with the daunting task of completing their maths sums when the rest of their peers have already moved on to something new. The other alternative is that they're called up for their music lesson during lunchtime and instead will miss out on socialising with their friends and getting fresh air.

Cost There is far less cost involved in delivering online lessons than face to face lessons, as there are little to no overheads and no travel included by the teacher. You can be sure to benefit from expert instruction for far less outlay and with far more convenience. Private Music Lessons will also set you up with your own student online account with scheduled lessons, practice tasks, materials, lesson reminders and more to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Safety As a parent, you will be able to monitor the lessons at all times as they take place in the comfort and safety of your home with no physical presence of the teacher. It's unfortunate that many parents who's children are enrolled in music lessons with peripatetic teachers at school are unlikely to have any correspondence with the teacher at all, let alone have the opportunity to meet them and get to know the person their child is spending time with. With online lessons, you will know exactly who your child is spending time with and be assured of their safety. The teacher can provide you with progress reports and updates over the call at any time. Online lessons by default, adhere to social distancing measures and eliminate all risk of catching and spreading COVID - 19 in the lessons, so you and your family are guaranteed safety in these unprecedented times. Still sceptical about online lessons? Try a free session on us with our Virtual Teacher service and see for yourself!

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