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Online Music Lessons - A Good Way To Learn?

Aug 17, 2007
There are many musical instruments to choose from, depending on budget and personal preference. There are also various ways to learn. The traditional way is to learn your instrument on a one to one basis with a teacher. You could also learn from a book, a CD or DVD, or online. The problem with learning from a book is that you cannot hear how the notes are supposed to sound and compare yours to them. This is especially true if you want to learn to sing. Reading about how to sing and actually hearing the notes are totally different.

Learning online, even though you might not have considered it before, has some great benefits. First of all, online learning provides a complete audio visual experience. You can see how to position your fingers on your instrument and also hear the exact note you should be aiming for. Online learning can be either free or very cheap, unlike a tutor, and you can begin your lesson whenever is convenient for you, rather than make an appointment with a tutor and have to travel to his or her house or studio.

If you are a slow learner, you can repeat the online lesson. A personal tutor normally charges an hourly rate. Some people simply cannot afford to attend lessons or travel back and forth to them, especially after paying the cost of a guitar, piano or other costly instrument. Without online lessons, they might not be able to learn at all.

Learning to play a musical instrument online might not be right for you, however. For one thing, when you have a tutor and make a mistake, your tutor will correct you. The tutor will be watching your fingering and the way you handle your instrument. He or she will also be listening to your music and you will get feedback. The online learning process is one way. If you are making a mistake, nobody is going to tell you and you might learn bad playing habits which are difficult to get rid of later.

If you decide to learn an instrument online, there are a few things you ought to know before starting. First of all, there are literally hundreds of online courses so it will be confusing to find the right one. The prices range from nothing to the price of a private tutor, but pricing is not the only consideration. The quality of the online lessons is as important as the cost, if not more so, so you should check several out before committing yourself.

A good course will include audio, video and perhaps animations too. Some also include email consultation or software to help you with your learning.

A sensible thing to do is to check out forums for your preferred instrument. For example, if you wish to learn the guitar, you can read reviews in guitar forums. Somebody might have learned online and rave about a particular course. It is handy to see what other people thought of the course you are considering and find out whether it sounds suitable for you.

Many courses also offer a money-back guarantee after 30 or 60 days, which is reassuring. This means that the course creators are very confident that you will be able to learn your instrument and they have faith in their online lessons. A course with a guarantee is preferable to one without.

You can choose from beginner or advanced lessons. Did you learn to play your instrument in school many years ago and are looking for a refresher course, or are you totally new to the world of music? This can affect which online course would suit you best.

Some people can learn with a tutor and find it hard to discipline themselves to learn online when there is not another person physically present. It depends on your individual learning style. Other people would feel more comfortable and relaxed learning from the comfort of their own house. It depends what would work for you. Perhaps you tried using a private tutor and it did not work out.

Whatever your musical preferences and style, there should be a good online course for you. Take a look at what is available and you will be surprised how many online lessons actually exist. Learning online means you can learn quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home, for a fraction of the cost you would pay a private tutor.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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