Is online learning effective?

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

If a teacher can't be in the same room, can learning still be as effective? Although I've been virtually teaching music to students all over the world for about 2 years now, it only now seems to be becoming more and more popular with the current COVID restrictions. There are some obvious benefits but is it really effective? I plan on discussing this exact topic, so keep reading!

Benefits of Online Learning

So there are two methods that I would consider online learning. Either a pre-paid course that you work through at your own pace or a one-on-one meeting with someone virtually in real time. Personally, I like the combination of the two so that you have the resources to remind yourself what to do but also that human contact to explain things, look at your practice and help you identify how to fix things! I absolutely love the freedom that working and learning from anywhere provides!

  • So some of the benefits of online learning include having the ability to learn anywhere you are. This is particularly beneficial for families that regularly move, retirees who travel a lot and even young adults who are constantly on the move!

  • There is also a lot more flexibility about when you learn. If you're working through a workbook or program, you can do this at any time of day or night while face-to-face virtual lessons have more flexibility as there are no travel requirements!

  • By working through a program, you can go back and redo the course as many times as you please and both forms of online lessons allow you can work at your own pace - no need to keep up with a class.

  • The learning environment is also more comfortable as you get to choose this.

  • Costs can be significantly reduced in regard to travel and even the learning resources.

  • There are obvious health benefits at the moment as well! Being in the safety of your own home, you aren't sharing germs. This is not only beneficial during COVID but also a huge advantage and enabler for those who are immunocompromised.

Difficulties with Online Learning

There can be some negatives with online learning and I'd like to touch on these as well so that you can make an informed decision! Online learning is an awesome enabler however it's not for everyone.

  • If you struggle with motivation and accountability, then doing a course without human contact can be a huge challenge. To overcome this, I'd highly recommend having virtual lessons with a teacher to help keep you on track.

  • Technology can be a stressor for those who don't use it often and you will need a laptop, phone or iPad with a microphone and camera (often built into these devices). If you have a desktop computer however, you may need to invest in some additional equipment.

  • Some people need that human contact and believe that the only way to achieve this is through face-to-face interaction. This can be somewhat overcome with live virtual lessons however just working through online resources can be isolating. Another way to overcome this is to connect with some online communities! These can often be found on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

  • If you choose the online resources and coursework, there are limitations. If pre-recorded videos were truly effective, everyone would be a master at everything! Therefore, you do need to connect with a teacher at some point to ensure you learn the right things and don't develop any bad habits. This can't be done without another human however, it can be achieved through virtual lessons.

Final Thoughts

So what are your thoughts on online lessons and resources? Is this something you would try? I believe a live teacher cannot be replaced, however, you don't need to be in the same room, town or even country to connect! There are other options out there and great possibilities, benefits and flexibility with learning music.

If you have any questions about online lessons or would like to do your first trial lesson, get in contact with me today!

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