When it comes to learning violin there are several different options. While in-person lessons are great for some, have you considered learning violin online? From violin tutorials to online lessons, Naomi Cherie S. breaks down 10 reasons you may want to learn violin online…
A lot of non-musicians are surprised when I tell them that I offer violin classes online via video chat. At first, they don’t know what to make of it, but when I explain that violin lessons online offer all the basics and benefits of in-person lessons, they understand that online lessons are a fantastic, convenient teaching method.
With modern technology and a good internet connection, I can connect with my students at the click of a button. I can have them position their camera so that I can see their technique and form, and I can listen for out-of-tune notes and imperfections, just like I can in person. With our fast-paced society and rapidly changing times, it’s no wonder so many students are learning violin online.
Here are 10 reasons why you should take violin lessons online!
1. You Can Learn in Your PJ’s
This is everyone’s favorite work-from-home perk! When you choose to learn violin online, you can take lessons from the comfort of your home, and maybe even in your pajamas (if you so choose).
I encourage students to set up a little corner in their home as their practice zone. Whether it’s a corner of your bedroom, or your living room or study, pick an area where you feel relaxed and can concentrate.
In your practice space, you should always have your violin out and ready to go, a chair (perhaps with a comfy cushion), a music stand, and all of your music books and accessories (metronome, pencil, tuner, etc.)
Make sure your area is well lit, quiet, and distraction free, and consider adding things that make you happy, like artwork, plants, and inspiration.
2. Distance is Not an Obstacle
There are two main ways you can use the Internet to learn violin online. Some prefer to learn through articles, videos, and tutorials, while others work better with an instructor and choose to sign up for lessons. Having a qualified violin instructor can accelerate your progress by leaps and bounds.
One of the biggest advantages of taking violin classes online is that distance is not an obstacle. If you find a teacher you’d like to work with who doesn’t live in your area, you can still work with this teacher through online lessons. Thanks to the internet, you can learn from someone in New York, Los Angeles, or Kalamazoo!
3. Make Your Own Schedule
One of the biggest challenges I face with my in-person students is scheduling. I find that it’s especially hard for my adult students who have full-time careers and families, or my high school students with lots extracurricular activities to consistently make it to their lessons. Learning violin online gives you the freedom to fit music lessons into your busy lifestyle.
Whether it’s squeezing in an online violin lesson on your lunch break or fitting in some late-night tutorials and practice, learning violin online lets you fit lessons around your schedule.
4. Skip Traffic
If you live in a big city like LA or Houston, you know how annoying it can be to sit in traffic for an hour or more after work. Since lessons generally take place after work or school, there’s a good chance you’ll get stuck in traffic on the way to or from your lesson.
Save your time, frustration, and gas money! Use the time you would have spent sitting in traffic to practice and perfect your evolving violin skills!
5. Learn on a Budget
I’ve heard it many times over the years: “I can’t take lessons anymore because I can’t afford it right now.” Whether you’re in-between jobs, are a struggling student, or have a family to take care of, it’s an unfortunate reality that many of us put our passions, hobbies, and dreams aside due to lack of money. I have worked with many students who have put off learning violin since they were children because they’ve simply never been in the financial position to find a teacher.
If you’re passionate about music and have a strong desire to learn an instrument, don’t let not having a teacher stop you. In the age of the internet, there are countless resources for musicians! With a quick search, you can find online violin tutorials, charts, exercises, and more. With lots of practice, motivation, and guidance from these tutorials, you can learn on your own, or at least give yourself a head start until you’re in the position to hire a teacher.
6. Embrace Technology
A few decades ago, learning an instrument online may have been a challenge, but with today’s technology, this type of learning is very accessible.
If you want to learn violin online, you’ll need a violin and a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. If you don’t have these tools at home, check your local library for some resources, or check a used electronics shop or eBay where you can find deals on refurbished computers.
If you plan on doing lessons online, you’ll need a computer with a webcam that can render decent quality images (most webcams made within the last five years should do the trick) since your violin teacher will need to get a clear look at the way your fingers are going down on the strings, and your posture, bow hold, and overall form.
Set up for your lessons in a well-lit area where you have a stand or a table where you can position your device so that your teacher can give you the best feedback. Your teacher will most likely ask you to sign up for a free chat site such as Skype or Google Hangouts. Sites like these make it super easy to set up your account, and you can get online and chatting with your teacher within a few minutes.
7. Learn at Your Own Pace
Another advantage to learning through online tutorials, videos, and articles is that you can learn at your own pace. Everyone, whether old or young, learns at a different pace. Some people pick up certain concepts quickly, while others take a little more time.
As you get older, you’re more aware of which learning style suits you. As a result, you may want to learn on your own, online, so you can work at your own pace. Maybe you’re busy with work and don’t have much time to practice, but you still want to learn violin on the side. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the pressure of having to report back to a teacher with a new song or concept each week because you simply don’t have the time to practice consistently.
Don’t get me wrong, as a teacher, I always encourage my students to practice as often as they can, and I always stress that consistency is a major factor in learning, but I know it’s not realistic for everyone. Although it takes some self-discipline, learning online gives you the freedom to learn what you want, when you want.
8. Access at Your Fingertips
Maybe you stayed up too late last night, had a rough day at school or work, or you just aren’t feeling it. Let’s face it, music is a feeling and you’re not always in the mood. Just because your lesson is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday doesn’t always mean your brain is on board every single week.
In music, off days or “bad playing days” happen, and just like “bad hair days,” they’re often inexplicable and unavoidable. When you learn violin online, access is key. Maybe you were having one of those “in one ear, out the other ear” moments with your teacher this week. Lucky for you, with the click of a button, you can look up some online tutorials with charts and visuals.
Curious about how your bow hold should look? Click over to another tab and open a separate tutorial. While most lessons take place once a week, the internet is there for you 24-7 and is great tool to help you access information quickly.
9. You’re in Control
(Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind!)
I’m not going to lie to you: learning a musical instrument can be difficult, and I’ve been told by many that they consider the violin one of the harder instruments to master. Without any buttons, keys, or frets to tell you where to put your fingers, you’re relying solely on muscle memory and your ears to get the notes in tune.
It can take a lot of time and finesse to get a stringed/bowed instrument to make sounds that are pleasing to the ears. Sometimes it requires learning a technique or concept several times before it sticks. Often when you’re working with a teacher, there’s a lot of new information to take in, and unless you have a great memory, you may not remember everything you learned that day (or two or three days later when you finally get around to practicing).
Learning online or using online resources as supplemental tools allows you to fast forward and rewind (for those of us who grew up in the VHS/cassette tape era).
“You can replay the lesson over and over,” says Beth Blackerby from violinlab.com. “You can catch all kinds of information you missed the first time around.” You can go over a specific part in a tutorial video 20 times if you need to, and you can read and reference an article again and again until the concepts make sense.
10. Avoid Bad Weather
(and Other Unforeseen Circumstances)
If you live in Seattle where it’s rainy all the time, or get snowed-in on the mountains of Colorado and don’t want to venture out into the cold, online lessons are the perfect alternative. Online lessons are also ideal for people like me who live in very hot states (Texas) and don’t want to trek across town in the hot, humid weather.
Online lessons aren’t just more convenient during times of inclement weather, they’re very beneficial in a lot of different situations. Violin lessons online help those with limited transportation, those that live in rural areas, and families with multiple kids with various extracurricular activities.
I hope this list gets you excited about learning violin online! Music is a life force for many and can inspire and motivate you in ways you never thought possible. Don’t ever let the flame of your musical passion go out, and don’t let a blizzard, rain storm, lack of time, money, or transportation stand in the way of your goals. Best of luck on your musical journey!
Interested in taking violin lessons online? Find a teacher, today!
Photo by losgofres