Continuing Your Music Education: Making Virtual Learning Work for You
In an effort to find some normalcy, many of us are turning to virtual platforms to maintain our routines. As our work, school, and community events move into the digital realm, so are our special interests and hobbies. Online learning is a great way to continue your music education, and the process can be just as successful as meeting with your teacher in-person.
Lessons When They Work Best for You
As our obligations move into the digital realm, it can feel like we are always “on-call.” Having school and work schedules in a state of flux also challenges how we approach extracurricular activities. Even though our in-home lessons never involved student travel, virtual options eliminate the need for our teachers to travel between students. This opens up more time for instructors to work around your schedule, giving you more options to take lessons at your convenience. Virtual lessons increase your flexibility to schedule lessons when they work best for you.
Maintaining Your Skills
When you are learning an instrument, it is helpful to have someone to guide you through the process. You might be hesitant to start working with a teacher virtually, unsure of what your progress will look like when no one is in the room with you. Much of the learning process is exactly the same; however, the primary difference is working with your instructor remotely.
One notable benefit of taking virtual music lessons is the development and strengthening of your aural skills (aka “ear training”). The removal of visual cues can help you more readily develop your ear, quickly enhancing your understanding of music fundamentals: scales, chords and interval qualities, etc. Musicians with a strong aural skills have an easier time making connections to important concepts. Virtual learning forces the student to rely on their ears which will only magnify overall progress as they continue their studies.
Music: The Stress Reliever
Art is a great pacifier. It’s no wonder that during times of stress and anxiety, people dust off old hobbies, or willingly take up new ones. Studies have shown that listening to and playing music can reduce anxiety and stress as well as lower levels of depression. Pursuing music lessons virtually is a fantastic way to cultivate a practice that is both educational as well as therapeutic, especially when it might be difficult to process all of the things going on around us. Learning an instrument virtually is an amazing way to combat stress as well as build your mental resilience to its effects.
The Creative Outlet
While many of us are finding ourselves at home for extended periods of time, we are also trying to find ways to stay productive and combat boredom. Pursuing music lessons virtually offers a fantastic creative outlet, and it’s a great way to enhance your daily activities. Beyond enhancing your routine, studying music is great for neuroplasticity and improving your memory. This is largely due to the fact that music engages the left and right hemispheres of the brain simultaneously. Ultimately, learning music can improve your overall school and work performance, strengthening your ability to focus and concentrate as well as memory retention.
A Sense of Community
Our lives are becoming more insular, and we are having to find new ways to maintain our social networks. Studies show that social isolation is a leading cause of major health issues. It impacts our mental and physical health, and increases risk for premature mortality. Virtual lessons are a fantastic way to provide human contact and interaction, while eliminating the risk of exposure.
Working closely with a private music teacher is just one way to encourage social engagement. Music teachers often take on the role of mentor as well, adding perspective beyond music. In mentorship there is a camaraderie forged between teacher and student that diverges from the traditional teacher/student relationship. The bond that students share with their music instructor can be incredibly powerful and transformative, whether maintained in-person or through a virtual medium.
Another great way to explore your musical community is to take part in the Forbes Music Company Virtual Spring Recital. We are taking video submissions from June 10 through 14. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your skills, as well as a way to connect with other musicians across the country.
Taking virtual music lessons is a great way to continue your music education, and our teachers are actively searching for ways to continue giving you the same level of education that you received in person. Contact the office at [email protected] to set up a virtual lesson with your favorite teacher.