The Pros and Cons of Learning to Play Piano Online
If you or your child are excited about learning to play the piano, then you have important decisions to make. The first of these relates to the format that your piano lessons will take.
Thanks to technological advances, you have several choices when it comes to learning the piano. You may choose to learn in-person with an instructor, but this is not the only option.
Today, it’s also possible to learn how to play the piano by following along with recorded lessons, using apps or learning from an instructor with whom you interact online.
Which one is the right choice for you? It can be difficult to say. Some of the factors that may affect your decision include:
-The location of the teacher of your choice
-The cost of the lessons
-Your comfort level with technology
These factors and others all may influence your decision. Let’s take a closer look at each type of lesson to help you decide.
In-Person Piano Lessons
In this format, the student travels to the teacher. This can be time-consuming, and some people simply don’t live close to a qualified instructor. However, in-person lessons can be valuable because you get immediate, in-person feedback with regard to your performance. This means that you don’t waste valuable time practicing mistakes.
Nonetheless, some students feel put on-the-spot or are made uncomfortable by having a teacher observe their mistakes, especially when those mistakes are really hard to correct. In-person lessons also may be more expensive than those that are available online. Accordingly, some people are drawn to the idea of online piano lessons.
Learning from an App
Many people, especially those who enjoy using technology, have a wonderful time learning to play the piano through apps. Dozens of such apps are available, with some of them focusing on theory and note reading while others delve right into how to play the piano.
Students who learn via an app typically have a high affinity for technology. They appreciate that their piano lessons are completely portable and can be followed along with on any mobile device or computer. This also can be an inexpensive way to learn, as some apps are at least initially free. Of course, as the student progresses, it may become necessary to upgrade to paid versions of apps, and this may include monthly fees. Before upgrading, it’s critical to decide how much you’re getting out of the app. Is the cost worth it?
While many people love learning the piano on an app, it’s not for everyone. The lack of personal interaction bothers some students, and there is the risk that your piano education won’t be as thorough as it would be under the watchful eyes of an experienced teacher.
Watching Recorded Lessons Online
Although these lessons do not include one-on-one interaction between teacher and students, they can provide a marvelous, low-cost introduction to playing the piano. It’s wonderful that each recorded lesson can be repeated, paused and started whenever the student prefers. This makes it easier for the student to work at their own pace.
Some lessons may be available for free on forums like YouTube, but there also are teachers who sell such recorded lessons. Your choice between free or paid lessons depends upon your level of dedication and how much you enjoy the approach of a certain teacher. For example, if you find that a particular instructor really appeals to you, then it may be worth paying for the recorded lessons.
Perhaps the biggest downside to recorded online lessons is that you can’t ask questions or get feedback from the teacher. This means that you may repeatedly make mistakes that never get corrected. If you’re just playing for your own entertainment, this probably doesn’t matter. However, if you or your child is serious about playing the piano and wants to see where your efforts can take you academically or professionally, then it makes sense to work under the guidance of a qualified instructor.
Online Piano Lessons with a Live Teacher
Alternatively, many piano teachers are now offering lessons via Zoom, Skype and other electronic means. Through these forums, students and teachers are able to attend synchronous sessions in which exercises can be given by the instructor and played by the student for immediate feedback.
It’s a great deal like attending in-person lessons, except that there’s no need for the student to travel to the teacher’s home or studio. Feedback on exercises is immediate to ensure that students don’t practice inappropriate techniques, and there’s no need for the student to be limited to teachers who are only in their geographic area.
A potential downside to live online lessons with a teacher is that it’s necessary for both parties to have a strong Internet connection and a good familiarity with the needed technology. If those things are absent, then online lessons would be difficult if not impossible.
The Pros and Cons of Online Piano Lessons
Now that we have a basic idea of what each type of lessons entails, it’s time to take a closer look at the pros and cons. By looking at this list, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which type of lessons may be right for you.
Pro No. 1: There’s No Commute
Online piano lessons can take place in the comfort and privacy of your own home. It’s never necessary to drive across town, which just wastes time, gas and energy.
Pro No. 2: Geographic Location Is No Consideration
If you don’t live anywhere near a piano teacher, that doesn’t have to be a problem with online piano lessons. It’s possible that you could be located on the other side of the planet from your teacher, and you can still get to your lesson on time. This also gives you the opportunity to work with a preferred teacher who’s located far away from you.
Pro No. 3: You Can Go at Your Own Pace
When you’re learning from an app or a recorded lesson, you are totally in charge. You have the freedom to start, stop and repeat to your heart’s content. This means that when you hit a challenging exercise or technique, you can take your time, repeating that section of the lesson as many times as you need to. It’s even possible to repeat an entire lesson several times if you need to review.
Pro No. 4: Many Resources Available
The Internet is a vast place, and you’ll find more online resources for learning the piano than you could ever imagine. With e-books, tutorials, videos, apps, lessons, articles and discussion forums, you’ll have plenty of places to glean information.
Pro No. 5: Total Flexibility
Unless you are attending synchronous lessons with a teacher, online piano lessons can happen anytime, anywhere. If you want to spend the hour before bed taking piano lessons or get up at 5:00 am to study, it’s totally up to you. Moreover, you can take your lessons wherever you like, which can be especially helpful if you have a portable keyboard.
Pro No. 6: It’s Affordable
Some apps and recorded lessons can be accessed for free, which is certainly a very good price. Other apps and recorded lessons are available for a fee, which may be only nominal in nature. Some teachers also may offer slightly less expensive lessons online than they do in person.
Con No. 1: Technology Can Get in the Way
As fabulous as it is to be able to take piano lessons with a teacher who doesn’t live close to you, technology can sometimes be a stumbling block. That’s true for people who are made uneasy by using technology. It’s also true if you have to buy any specialized equipment to make those online lessons possible. If either you or your teacher have an uncertain Internet connection, this can be a huge inconvenience.
Con No. 2: Getting Camera Angles Right
In the course of piano lessons, it’s necessary to see the teachers hands, and the teacher also will want to be able to see the student’s hands. This may necessitate the use of multiple cameras or the constant shifting of a single camera. Clearly, this can be an annoyance.
Con No. 3: Lack of Interaction
If you’re using apps or recorded lessons, then your progress may suffer from a lack of interaction with a teacher. This may mean that your technique won’t be as polished as it would otherwise be.
Let Prodigies Music Help
Online piano lessons can be rewarding as they have advantages such as:
-Being incredibly flexible
The same is true of the fun and engaging lessons that you’ll find at the Prodigies Music website. Your little ones will love the opportunity to begin learning to read music while also having the chance to make their own music.