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  • Melissa Gilmer Yancey

Studying Voice or Piano Lessons online

Why would you, or would you not want to take voice or piano lessons online?

The first most obvious is, you don't have to go anywhere to have a lesson online! You don't need to get in your car and drive. No fighting traffic, no wasting of your time driving to and from your teacher. You will actually save a bit of money, as you will not need to fill your car's gas tank and no wear and tear on your vehicle.You don't need to worry about driving in that snow or rain storm to get to your lesson. You get to stay in the comfort of your own home. No dragging your books with you. If you or one of your children is feeling under the weather, you don't have to cancel the lesson. If you play piano, you get to use your own instrument that you are familiar with how it feels. Yes, every piano has a little different feel or touch to it. If your child is taking lessons, once they are a bit established or if a little older, parents can go about their business of doing things around the house or just relaxing. Parents should always be near by to supervise and assist when necessary. Studying music online helps students to become more independent and become a thinking student. The teacher is no longer right beside the student, pointing, writing down notes or making marks in their music. These are things that the student must now take control of.

What kind of equipment do I need? You do need a fast internet connection. You will need some kind of device that has a camera. You can use a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. A printer with a scanner may be of help. You can use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to the router when using a laptop to help have a better connection. You will need to download software on the device such as Skype or Zoom. Sure, you can get fancy and invest in a webcam and microphone if you wish. Lighting is important. You need enough light in the room that the camera can produce a clear image. Watch windows. Depending on where a window is, particularly if it is behind you, it may make it very difficult for the person on the other end to see you. Noise. You will want to keep the room where you are having the lesson quiet. No extra noises such as the TV or other siblings, which can be a distraction and make it difficult to hear. For piano lessons you will need to position your device with the camera in a way that the teacher will be able to have a view of the keyboard and the student's hands. For voice, the focus of the camera needs to be on the student's face and body.

Of course nothing beats having your lessons in person. The microphones in our devices can't do as good of a job as our ears being in the same room. The teacher can't move around to get a better angle to see what the student is doing. The teacher cannot physically be there to help manipulate the students hands or body positioning. But does all this mean that you cannot have a good experience with music lessons online? Does it hinder the lesson to the point the student can't progress? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The way a teacher conducts an online lesson, versus an in person lesson, will be different. There is more preparation for the lesson, especially for the teacher. In an online lesson, the teacher must be able to verbally explain rather than be more physical as for an in person lesson. As an example, instead of showing a student a hand position, or helping to move their hand into a correct position, the teacher must now describe it. Learning to play an instrument or sing online is a very viable way to learn and excel, especially when there are challenges of getting physically to a teacher's music studio. There is only one way to find out if piano or voice lessons online are for you. Give it a try, you just might be surprised!

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