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Online Music Lessons: Growth Potential in a Causal Setting


Just Picture it! Having a music lesson from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to worry about the time it takes to drive to the lessons, snow days, minor illness, or getting out of your comfy clothes. Heck, sometimes I am wearing my slippers teaching. You can still learn just as well as in-person lessons and might gain even better practicing habits because of it.


I have been teaching online lessons through Skype for over 4 years. I have noticed students are more self-disciplined and develop better practice skills in online lessons. They learn to take notes for themselves better and how to think critically about what they are learning.


So, here I am writing about online music lessons. You may have heard about it before and thought that is odd. In-person is still better. I say, “Not always true. Both have their place.” I am a firm believer that some students work better in different atmospheres. It all depends on the student and having a teacher that is willing to fit to the student and not the other way around.


Sometimes, when a teacher is writing down the assignments or putting notes on the page it can hinder a student’s growth. Don’t get me wrong, some students do great this way. However, some grow more when given this chance to take an even more active role in their learning. As a piano and voice teacher for over 14 years, I have seen this. I am guilty of taking this chance away from students in the past, but have learned to push for student note taking now. As a teacher we can’t be there all the time, but I can set my students up for success. This is what I strive for.


Here is an example:

I have a piano student that started with me doing in-person lessons and now does online with me. At the beginning they would just get the basics of the piece and think, “okay, I got it. We can go on right?” I would have to remind them of little things like dynamics, tempo, and rhythm. Now, I have noticed that the student has become stronger with the details since the switch to online because they are now in-charge of writing out their assignments or notes to help them remember what they need to work on. I do make sure they know what their assignments are, but this student has improved because of the change.


You might think well great a piano student can see what they have to do, but a voice student can’t get what they need from online. Voice students can learn a great deal. They, just like a piano student, must listen and take good notes. Again, this helps them think more critically about what they are doing. The voice student, however, must not only listen to the teacher, but listen to themselves. They must do this anyway. Weather, in-person or online though. They will learn to do this quicker sometimes then in an in-person lesson based on what the student needs to succeed. It takes them out of their comfort zone and sometimes that alone is what produces growth. Like I said, I can’t be their all the time, but try might best to give them the tools they need to succeed.


Okay, you want to know what tools I provide for students.


Here is a list of a few:

-recordings (warm-ups, melodies, personal demonstrations)

-resources / research (extra print outs, suggested apps, YouTube videos)

-Personalized help (There is no one way or method to help a student learn. I strive to find what works.)

-Will be honest (Honesty is the best policy. I will do so, in a professional manner.)


It doesn’t matter whether your lessons are at a studio, in-home, or online. A lesson can be done in any format. Which is right for you,, is what you should be asking yourself. If you would like help figuring this out, please contact me at: musiclessonsforlife@gmail.com I would love to help you get started on your musical journey.

Sincerely,

Michelle Jacobi

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