Two Crucial Benefits of Online Lessons
I’ve been teaching online voice lessons via Skype and FaceTime for a year now. Before I started, I had the same questions anyone else would have: How does this work? Will my students get as much out of these lessons as they do at in-person lessons?
I’m here to tell you that online lessons work beautifully and absolutely YES – students get every bit as much out of online lessons that they do traditional lessons…if not even more!
First of all, let’s talk convenience. We’re all super busy these days. Always on the go, and somewhat overscheduled! With online voice lessons, my students are able to sing with me anywhere there is a good Internet connection, including hotel rooms when they are traveling. Even if my student is more local, sometimes they just don’t feel like dealing with traffic, parking, weather, or even leaving their comfortable pajamas. And I don’t have to worry about making sure my bathroom is sparkling clean!
Online voice lessons have allowed me to teach students from all over the world. Internationally, I’ve taught students in India, Italy, Mexico, and the Philippines. I’m in the Bay Area of California, but my time zone has allowed me to teach lessons to students all over the United States as well, including as far away as Maryland, Texas, and Illinois.
With the improvements that have been made in the quality of Skype and FaceTime and other platforms, it really does feel like you are in the same room together. I am able to detect tension, strain, breathiness, etc. every bit as effectively as I am with students taking in-person singing lessons. If a student is using an especially high-quality microphone, I can detect even more issues that need to be addressed. Technology is really something!
What Do I Need for Online Voice Lessons?
In addition to a reliable Internet connection and a microphone, all you need is a Skype or FaceTime account, depending on what your teacher uses). Skype is completely free. Lately, more and more teachers have been using Google Helpouts, as well (also free). When it’s time to sing, the student is the one who brings up the mp3 or YouTube video to sing along with on their end, as this is the way to avoid lag and both parties can hear it more effectively this way.
There are so many other bells and whistles I am excited to try out. Screen sharing, for one. And who knows what other improvements will be made in the near future, or what other platforms will be introduced that allow music instructors to reach out to students from all over?
Which Is Right for Me?
There really is no right or wrong as to which medium a student chooses for their voice lessons. It’s entirely a matter of personal preference. Some really value the personal feel of in-person lessons, but I can’t stress enough how it really does feel like both student and teacher are right there together. My online students have had the opportunity to meet my teaching assistants (my sassy cats!), too . And I get to meet more of their family (human and four-legged) when lessons are online.
So, what are you waiting for? Try an online voice lesson out and you’ll see just how convenient, effective, and fun they are.
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!
Photo by familymwr