When was the last time you asked a computer a question? If you have, either you’re an early adopter of some fancy A.I. technology or it might have been Siri. Do you remember the answer you got? Pretty predictable, eh? Want to learn the truth behind online music lessons? You’ve come to the right place.
We live in a world of instant gratification and what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. It’s no surprise that DIY has become a new buzzword for retailers and marketers worldwide. If you find something you like and it comes with a hefty price tag, why not do it yourself or find prepackaged solutions to keep some more green in your wallet? Seems logical. It’s a win for the busy I-don’t-have-much-timers and also for the innovators out there looking to disrupt the old way of doing things with fresh and effective approaches.
The truth is, in many cases it’s hard to argue against that wisdom. Music does offer a rather distinctly different point of view, however. Music possesses some unique nuances to it that can (or should) be relevant to how you perceive your learning methodology. It’s like a language – that by itself creates an inherent obstacle to non-interpersonal learning methods, since of course, we use language to communicate to other people. Second, it requires some physical proficiency on an instrument of language delivery. Think of it like what to say and how to say it, in terms of both articulation and diction, but also the process through which you reverberate your vocal chords in order to produce sound. Sound like something you can get from a 2-minute YouTube video?
Coloring books vs. Canvas art
We’ve all probably heard or seen language learning videos or apps. Repeat after me. Again. Rinse and repeat. Super, now you can go to that country and regurgitate that sentence in order to achieve the desired result. Screw it up and you might be finding a banjo instead of a bathroom with no way to fix it. Pre-prescribed learning methods or videos have value to them. But there is a caveat. You’re simply filling in the colors in coloring book as opposed to creating actual art. Stay in the lines or it’s going to get ugly. Learning a language is creating your own art on a blank canvas. This is how you say what you want to say the way you want to say it, without worrying about making sure you use the color green in space #42.
There is some brilliant technology available to aid in our music learning process and there are some very helpful videos that can guide us in our path to mastery. There is absolutely no data to suggest there is any DIY method better, more advantageous, or faster than private, in-person instruction. Be wary of those that claim there is and make sure you understand fully what they are comparing themselves to. That said, here are a list of some mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when starting your online music lessons.
Don’t Fall Victim To Any Of These Online Music Lessons Mistakes!
“Techniques” are inherently not music per-se. They’re techniques. Be wary of instructors that preach rudiments for extended periods before moving on to real pieces of music. Techniques are great. But they came after the piece was written, not before. Children learn to speak before they actually learn sentence structure in school and there is a reason for that. In classical times, beautiful, melodic music pieces were specifically written for learning techniques. They are called etudes, which literally translates to “study”. They had the right idea, learn techniques through playing musical pieces.
Beware the shortcut. Often you’ll find online teachers play a song one way, and then show you an easier version since perhaps they don’t believe their audience can achieve the level of difficulty. Maybe or maybe not. I always hear folks lament the fact that they tried to learn a song online only to find that when they play, they don’t sound right or like the original. What’s important to know is that in all styles of western music, we use the same 12 notes. What separates the songs from each other is the rhythm and performance, feel, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, meter, and pulse. So if you’re being shown an easier version, you’re being shown a different piece of music. Period. So either accept that you’re learning something different, or start with a simpler piece.
Take into account who is teaching [at] you. Remember, there is no barrier to entry to create online music teaching videos. You may be learning from someone who picked up their instrument yesterday, yet is charismatic enough to charm you into thinking they have some level of expertise. This is tricky, especially because you can not ask questions.
Being a great performer does not make you a great teacher. Sometimes it’s actually the opposite. Does this require an explanation?
Our path to learning is not one-size-fits all. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We learn at our own pace. We have different interests, preferences, and tastes. If you would never consider buying a one-size-fits-all education, then why purchase a multi-lesson package online? An instructor you have never met does not know what is best for you, and you certainly will not likely be able to choose the best path for yourself.
If you’re as confused as when you started, I would not expect it to get better. Time to pick up the phone and call Forbes Music Company for some helpful guidance.