Whether we like it or not, most of us are suddenly having to adapt to doing all the things we are used to doing face to face using online platforms. Going from face to face music lessons to online can be a bit of a jump for some, so here are a few teacher approved tips for making the most out of your online music lessons: 1. Be Prepared
We like to hope all music students come to their lessons prepared and practiced each week, but when your lessons are online, being prepared ahead of the lesson becomes that little bit more important. Making sure that any audio files such as backing tracks or exercises are downloaded and ready to play, any sheet music or resources are printed and that your instrument is set up and ready to go before your lesson will help make sure your lesson runs as smoothly as possible and you can power through everything your teacher has planned for you! It’ll also mean when it comes time to practice, you already have everything ready to go.
2. Set Up Your Home Space A few small tweaks to your home practice space will help you get the most out of doing online lessons by making it way easier for your teacher to see and hear you. A few easy things you can do is set up your device on a stand or tripod where your whole body and instrument is visible. For guitarists this might mean from the front, for pianists, on the side may be better. The larger your device screen, the better as it means you can be further away from your device and see it clearly. Headphones and external microphones or running your instrument directly into your computer through an audio interface will also help your teacher hear you crystal clearly!
It also helps to pay attention to the environment you’re in – if you can be set up somewhere quiet that is free from distractions it will make it easier for you and your teacher. Try to do your online lessons in a way that resembles your face to face lessons. That means if you are a singer, make sure you’re standing up! I know it can be tempting to do everything from your bed but trust me, you’ll be better focused and get a better sound if you’re standing.
And remember – a simple set up done well will get better results than thousands of dollars of the best tech equipment that you don’t know how to use properly, and no amount of expensive gear will be able practice for you! 3. Practice Again, this one should go without saying for all lessons, but the easiest way to get bang for your buck when it comes to music lessons is to practice regularly! If you want to find out the best way to practice efficiently, check out my teacher tips “Hack your practice” blog.
4. Communicate with your teacher during the week
One of the best things about online lessons from the point of view of a teacher is it means I get an insight into the practice environment students have at home, such as what instruments they have, how much room they have and where they do most of their practicing. However it still doesn’t show me what goes on between lessons, so a great way to get the most out of your online lessons is to send your teacher practice clips throughout the week that they can give you feedback on or use to direct your next lesson. Apps like Seesaw and Tonara are useful for this, but it can be as simple as sending an email to a google drive or dropbox file. 5. Play for fun!
Being cooped up all day can leave you feeling “bored in the house and in the house bored”, as a wise tik tok user once put it. Make sure you always make time to play your instrument or sing, jam with family members, share music online, write songs, compose or improvise, and evening making time to listen to music and stay connected to your favourite artists through live streams. Remember music should first and foremost be a source of joy and excitement, and now more than ever we need to do things that make us feel connected and passionate!