You can learn so many different skills on the internet. No matter what you want to learn, cooking, drawing, woodworking, ballroom dance, knitting, even playing the piano, you can find an online tutorial for it.
At Hoffman Academy, we think private, in person piano lessons are great. In fact, Mr. Hoffman runs a music academy in Portland, Oregon with eleven teachers and over 300 students. While personal instruction has its benefits, there are some huge advantages to learning piano online.
1. Teacher Quality and Selection
If you’re lucky enough to have a top-quality piano teacher in your neighborhood, that’s wonderful! Unfortunately, many people don’t. That used to mean that you were stuck. The quality of your music education depended on whether or not there was a good teacher in your area.
In this new world of internet learning, you can take lessons from some of the best, most talented piano teachers on the planet, no matter where you live. You can look online and find dozens of options, from live video conferencing with expert teachers to random YouTube tutorials that will teach you to play just about any song you want to learn. While there are plenty of online lessons that will teach you to play a particular song, or maybe a new technique, only a few offer a complete curriculum. Make sure the online piano lessons you choose fit with your personal piano learning goals.
2. Flexible Schedule
When you study with a private music instructor, you schedule a time to meet with your teacher every week. This time slot has to work with your schedule and your teacher’s schedule. If you’re a parent trying to fit piano lessons for multiple children into your family’s weekly routine, this makes scheduling even harder. Add to this the fact that, unless your piano teacher comes to your home, you’re going to have to factor in driving time to every lesson.
With online lessons, you pick the time that works for you. It could even be a different time every week. Lessons happen when you want them and where you want them.
Private piano lessons cost a lot of money. Lessons from a reasonably qualified teacher tend to be between $100 and $200 per month. Some online lessons will cost about the same if your teacher is video conferencing with you. This is because you’re still paying for individual attention. On the other hand, if your teacher records the lessons the cost can be much less, because one lesson can be used to teach as many students as want to watch it. Video lessons allow students to access incredible online learning at a fraction of the cost of traditional lessons, sometimes even for free!
4. Keep Learning Seven Days a Week
With traditional private lessons, when the lesson is over you don’t get to interact with your teacher again until next week. If you get stuck on something you have to wait until the next lesson to ask about it. If you finish your assignment early and want to move ahead, you won’t get any additional guidance until your next lesson. Even worse, if you’re practicing something incorrectly, you can go for a whole week without realizing it.
Online lessons allow you you to move at your own pace and keep learning all week long. If you don’t understand something, you can watch the lesson as many times as you want – your teacher won’t mind! If you master a lesson quickly, there’s another lesson ready to be watched. You can also compare your own playing to the lesson video any time, and correct any mistakes yourself.
5. More than Just Lessons
Learning online opens up a whole world of interactive potential. Beyond instructional videos, some programs, like Hoffman Academy Premium, include online games that help students practice note reading, listening, and rhythm skills. You may also find lessons that come with carefully designed practice instructions to help students balance their practice time between working on new songs, reviewing old songs, and developing skills like technique, improvisation, and transposition. When comparing online teachers, take a few minutes to see what additional materials are available to you.
The Proof Is In the Playing
To be honest, even Mr. Hoffman was skeptical about online piano lessons at first. Then he saw how well his online students were playing. They were doing at least as well as his in person students, and in some cases even better. You can see for yourself right here. Online piano lessons really work. I’ll talk more about this in our next post.
Wondering if online lessons are a good fit for you or a piano student in your life? Check out Hoffman Academy Lesson One.