When I saw an email from Lee Jin Rui about writing a guest blog for SHAR, I almost deleted it. “Is this spam?” I thought. But after navigating to Jin’s violin lessons website, I thought, “Hey, online lessons are something our customers might want to think about. It’s a part of the educational landscape now.” So I invited Jin to write an honest pros and cons article about online lessons. Below you’ll find Jin’s take on the advantages and disadvantages of remote learning.
Technology has affected all aspects our lives, and music is no exception. While some may bemoan the loss of a more personal (and analog) world, there are some changes that students can benefit from. It used to be that those living in a remote area had to drive areas for violin lessons—but now, with online teaching, this is no longer the case. A broadband connection is especially helpful in this regard, as it provides people with an opportunity to get over the limitations set by their geographical locations.
Today, anyone can learn how to play the violin, as long as he or she has a reliable and fast Internet connection. However, there is no denying the fact that studying music in person has numerous advantages. Both online and traditional classes can be most beneficial to a student. This means that you need to consider all the pros and cons of every method when you choose the type of violin lesson you want to take.
Pros of Online Violin Lessons:
- Available regardless of the location.
Many children from rural regions don’t have the chance to learn the violin because there are no good violin teachers in their area. However, with online classes, this matter becomes irrelevant. This allows for more people to master the incredible art of playing the violin.
- Wider selection of instructors.
In music, a good understanding and relationship between the student and teacher is essential for success. Online violin lessons provide students with an opportunity to find a perfect match among violin teachers. This way, you also have a chance to learn from a truly exceptional professional.
- No need to commute.
When neither the student nor the teacher needs to commute to class, the cost will be lower since there are no transportation expenses. This system also helps prevent children from missing classes. A teacher might give a courtesy call if the student doesn’t get online on time or if the child has simply forgotten; the lesson can take place immediately after this.
- The cost per class is lower.
Apart from the lack of transportation expenses, the cost of online classes gets cut down because teachers can manage their time more efficiently and give more lessons per day.
(Please note that in order to take a violin class online, you will need to purchase a high quality webcam and microphone. This means that this project will require a significant investment at beginning.)
- The lessons can be recorded.
Students can benefit from re-watching the lessons to understand them better.
- Benefits for students with disabilities.
People with certain disabilities may have serious problems in a traditional class. However, you can find many violin teachers today who develop specialized programs for students who need special attention. Online classes might be your only chance to work with this kind of professional.
Cons of Online Violin Lessons:
- Adjustment of posture and grip is limited.
The biggest disadvantage of this kind of class is the fact that a teacher cannot fix the student’s grip or posture personally. This can be a serious setback in some cases. However, good communication between the teacher and student can often overcome the fact that the teacher can’t, for example, physically readjust a bow hold.
- Internet connection problems.
There is always some lag with online lessons, so you will not be able to synch up your playing with the teacher. The quality of the connection is essential in this type of class, and even the best networks experience periodical issues that will interfere with your lessons.
- Low quality of sound.
If you use top of the line equipment and your Internet connection is fast and stable, this issue can be overcome.
- The teacher cannot mark your music along the way.
Any changes in the music must be done manually, scanned, and then emailed to the student. This will take time and can prevent you from completing some pieces during a class.
- Inability to understand the teacher’s instructions.
Especially if you’re taking beginner violin lessons online, it might be challenging to understand the teacher. This is something that the student and parent will need to decide together: is the student far enough along to try an online class?
Many students can be more distracted when learning from home. A teacher is better able to limit distractions and control the environment in person.