We all learned things from the madness that was 2020—mostly how many Netflix episodes we could binge in a day or how many times we could wear the same sweatpants before they got gross. But if there’s one thing we all learned, it was how to meet up online effectively. That included music teachers and students.
As we transition back to normal, it pays to carry those lessons with us. That includes knowing how to make the most of your online music lessons.
Set Goals and Adjust Expectations
We all have different goals as musicians. Some of us want to get a scholarship to a good music school someday. Some of us just want enough skill to entertain the family at parties. If you decide what you want to get out of your lessons at the start, it’ll be much easier to work toward that goal.
But sometimes, the loftier the goal, the more pressure we can put on ourselves and our teachers, and that can make lessons far more stressful than they need to be. Keep an open mind and know that lessons are hard work and progress is the goal, not perfection.
Do Your Prep Work
When you’re in the traditional in-person lesson setting, there isn’t much you have to do to get ready for lessons. As long as you remember to bring your instrument, sheet music, and a can-do attitude, you’re good to go. Online lessons take a little more work on your part. Before your lesson time, make sure you’ve:
- Set up your internet connection
- Plugged in your device
- Downloaded files your teacher has sent you
- Set up your camera angle so the teacher can see you.
- Removed any distractions from the space
Online lessons are awesome because you don’t have to commute to the school, so use the time you would have spent commuting to set up for your lesson beforehand.
Some people think as a music student, you should be a factory machine—the teacher dumps information in, and you spit music out. But the best way to get the most out of your online music lessons is to communicate with your teacher.
In other words: if you have questions, ask. If there is a skill that’s extra tough to master, tell them. Since your teacher isn’t right next to you, it’s not as easy for them to see what’s going on. So, advocating for yourself as a student is essential.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The most important parts of music lessons aren’t the lessons themselves—it’s what you do to get ready for them. Music lessons give you the tools you need to become a better musician. Your practice time is when you hone those skills, and it’s hard to learn new skills when you haven’t mastered the old ones. And between you and me, music teachers’ superpower is knowing when you haven’t practiced.
As much as we all want to expunge 2020 from our memories, online lessons are one good thing from it that we can hold on to. That’s why here at Eliason, we offer online private music lessons in everything from voice to cello.