Listening to music is uplifting, but there’s something so special when you’re the one creating it. Playing an instrument is therapeutic and can be an escape from the realities of everyday life.
If you don’t know how to play an instrument, try learning how to play at least one. Playing an instrument is an enjoyable hobby, and in some cases, it can lead to a fulfilling side gig or even a full-time career.
While some prefer the age-old method of being self-taught, there are so many opportunities through new technology to learn the craft of playing an instrument – you would be foolish to ignore them all. With smartphones and the Internet, learning has never been more accessible. A simple search can get you access to tutorials, applications, video tutorials, and sheet music. You can learn how to remember notes on a staff, strum guitar chords, or piano notes.
Can You Really Learn to Play an Instrument Online?
Yes, it is possible to learn how to play an instrument online. However, formal instruction is the way to go for some, especially those looking to be professional players. But if you’re looking to learn how to play casually, online learning is a great option.
With the advent of technology, many resources are available online for learning how to play an instrument. Websites, apps, and online courses offer instruction on playing various instruments, including guitar, piano, violin, drums, and more. Here are your options for playing an instrument online:
YouTube is still the leading video-sharing site, and it can quickly become the best friend of any aspiring musician. YouTube offers a vast library of videos and lessons for everything – from different instruments to specific topics like how to remember piano notes on a bass clef or how to tune a guitar using a tuner.
The wide variety of media and tutorials on YouTube means you can find the best style that fits your learning preferences.
Games and Apps
Another amazingly convenient way to learn music is through mobile and online apps that can make learning more fun and dynamic. Memorizing chords and scales might be a little fun thing to practice, but many fantastic apps can make games to memorize musical notes, ways to remember piano keys and train your ears to recognize tones and scales.
Besides apps, there are also great websites full of information for new musicians. Lots of blogs are dedicated to teaching how to play instruments, plus there are many forums so you can also discuss or ask other people about anything.
Online Music Lessons
You can also enroll in online music lessons conducted through video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. It works much the same way as in-person lessons do – there is a curriculum and a structured approach to build your foundation, and then learn new lessons to build on those. Lessons come in easy-to-digest segments to help you expand your knowledge gradually.
With online music lessons, the teacher can interact with the student in real time, provide feedback and answer questions. Some online lessons may be pre-recorded videos, which can be accessed at any time, allowing the student to learn at their own pace and review the material as often as they need.
An excellent online music lesson includes written instructions, audio examples, and something for you to write or play on your own. Some also offer one-on-one video chat sessions. Every lesson is fine-tuned to the objective of the lesson.
While online music lessons may not provide the same level of personal interaction as in-person lessons, they can be a great way to learn an instrument, especially for those who have a busy schedule or don’t have access to a local music school or teacher. With dedication and practice, it is possible to make significant progress and achieve a high level of proficiency in playing an instrument with online lessons.
Benefits of Learning to Play an Instrument Online
Learning to play an instrument online can offer you several benefits, including:
The main benefit of learning to play music online is that you can go at your own pace. If you want to learn through YouTube, apps, or websites, you can learn music on your own time, without outside constraints. You check in and practice when you have the time, do your lessons at your own pace, and move on when you’re ready. It takes the stress out of learning music, making it easy for people of all levels to pick up where they left off. This is an excellent advantage for those with busy schedules who find it hard to work in consistent time for lessons every week.
However, if you enroll in online music lessons, not all will be self-paced. Many of them are like online meetings where you are required to log in at a specific time, listen to a lecture, and be given an assignment. If you want music lessons that let you go at your own pace, check out the music school’s details first.
Online music lessons allow you to learn from the comfort of your own home at a time that works for you. You don’t have to worry about commuting to a music school or finding a teacher that’s available at a convenient time. You don’t have to lug around a guitar, violin, or any other instrument to a class. How cool it is that you get to learn and grow as a musician from the comfort of your own home.
Online music lessons are often more flexible than in-person lessons. You can choose the length and frequency of your lessons and take a break or pause your lessons if you need to. Instead of scheduling a classroom trip, you can fire up your computer or mobile device and access your lesson anytime and anywhere.
Many aspiring musicians don’t have access to a reliable music teacher in their area that caters to their interests. If you want to study classical harp, but the well-reviewed music school near you only caters to typical band instruments like guitar, drums, and keyboard – it might be hard for you to find one you can learn effectively from. Taking online lessons means you can find a teacher who will work for you, even if they live miles away.
The Internet offers countless lessons, troves of videos, and tutorials on how to play any instrument you like.
Besides giving you access to countless lessons, online learning can help people who are rather shy and would feel uncomfortable in a classroom setting. Online classes help people get their music eductions in the comfort of their own homes, free from anxiety.
In a class, there are fast learners and those who get left behind – and it’s hard to be the one belonging to the latter in front of people. If, in the process, you find out that it’s too hard for you and decide that you don’t want to continue anymore, you can do so without shame or pressure as you see your classmates excel.
Online music lessons can be more cost-effective than in-person lessons, as you don’t have to pay for the teacher’s travel time or the cost of renting a physical space. If you want to learn a new instrument but are unwilling to shell out big amounts of money, online lessons are a worthwhile option.
If you DIY your way to learning and depend on YouTube and apps, then it would be more cost-effective as it is free.
Access to a wider range of teachers
With online music lessons, you can learn from teachers worldwide, not just those in your local area. This gives you access to a wider range of teaching styles and expertise. Nowadays, you can gain access to high-quality music teachers that would typically be out of your reach.
While the Internet offers many options and information, having a live teacher for online music lessons can provide you with personalized instruction. They can customize their lessons to your personal skill level, goals, and understanding. Enrolling in their class online allows you to tap into their expertise and learn from them without needing to meet them, especially if they live in a different state or country. Some educational sites or platforms offer one-on-one online lessons to provide you with an opportunity to choose from several quality instructors.
Access to recordings
Online music lessons are often recorded, which means you can review them at any time to refresh your memory or practice specific techniques. In a live music school, you may not be able to record your teacher’s lessons. So if you don’t get something right away, you can pause and rewind as much as you want.
Keeps brain sharp
Learning music will also engage you mentally. Performing and composing music involves creativity and the use of problem-solving skills, keeping your mind sharp. When learning or composing, you have to come up with efficient and logical solutions – a practice that you can also apply, whether on the job or at school.
Drawbacks to Online Music Lessons
While learning to play an instrument online has a lot of benefits, there are a few challenges and drawbacks associated with it, such as:
The biggest drawback to pursuing online music education is the lack of motivation. If you’re doing it without a dedicated teacher, it can require a certain level of self-motivation so you can keep up and eventually succeed. There’s no one to be accountable to besides yourself. While some students thrive this way, it can be hard to maintain focus and discipline in the longer term unless you’re a highly motivated person. But if you’re not and are still considering learning online, it’s best to book private lessons with a teacher, so you will be more likely to show up during the class time.
When you have a set place and time where you can sing, play guitar or the piano, you will have a stronger motivation to come there. It’s not as easy to blow off, unlike a DIY learning route. On the other hand, if you have an online course available anytime, you will need to organize your time and motivate yourself to exercise.
No physical guidance
Beginners who are getting the hang of playing an instrument will often have the wrong form, or they may handle the instrument ineffectively. While it’s easy for a teacher to correct the technique or posture issues in person manually, it’s much more challenging when they can’t demonstrate what you need to change. This becomes truer when the student is forgoing an instructor.
Harder to find valuable information
Since there is countless information available on the Internet for music, information for its own sake isn’t always a good thing. It can be hard to parse through websites, videos, and classes and grasp what’s truly important and what’s helpful to what you want to achieve.
Some learning apps or teachers may not be able to explain concepts accurately or clearly, and some may present irrelevant information to you and what you want, but you may not have the background knowledge to understand that.
On the other hand, working with a teacher face to face can help you ensure that you get information that is presented in a clear and useful way.