“If music be the food of love, play on!” So wrote William Shakespeare in the play Twelfth Night. We aren’t 100% sure what he meant by that, but one thing is for sure: music is the food we love, and we want to play on! But learning music isn’t always easy, and finding the means of learning music is no walk in the park either. If you’re looking for a solution to this dilemma, you may consider the benefits of online music lessons.
With all the mixed messages we get about the virtual age, it’s easy to be skeptical about taking lessons online rather than in person, but there are plenty of reasons to give it a try.
One of the biggest obstacles to taking music lessons is time. There’s packing up the car, battling traffic, and then not being able to leave the area of the music school until your child’s lesson is over. Online lessons circumnavigate all of this. There’s no commute, no traffic, and the grown-ups are free to do anything they need around the house while their future Chopin or Jimi Hendrix learns the ropes. Plus, you never need to worry about forgetting your sheet music, your rosin, or your lucky guitar pick at home again.
For some people, time is the issue, but for others, the biggest obstacle keeping them from music lessons is the idea of standing in a strange room performing for an unfamiliar person. For those who struggle with performance anxiety, one of the greatest benefits of online lessons is the way it eases you into the idea of lessons. You can learn surrounded by familiar things, and you don’t have a physical person standing over you. (Though the teachers at our Portland music school are the opposite of intimidating, regardless.)
Maybe for you, the issue isn’t the medium of the lesson. Maybe you just aren’t sure whether music is worth the time for you or your child. But there are so many other benefits to music beyond it being a fun afterschool activity.
When we say learning music can help kids with school, we aren’t just talking about the Mozart effect. The math involved in counting out rhythms and noticing patterns in musical repetition help to improve students’ ability to perform mathematical equations. Music’s emphasis on pitch, rhythm, and stress also makes it well-suited to help with phonemic awareness, which helps with literacy skills. This is saying nothing of music’s positive impact on memory or its cultural significance, which boosts social studies skills.
Your ability to play an instrument or sing isn’t the only skill you’re building during lessons. It builds self-esteem as students refine their skills and learn new ways to express themselves. Music also improves students’ capacity for self-discipline and patience. Plus, music can nurture a child’s social skills, even in private lessons, since it develops their sense of empathy and confidence. So what are you waiting for? Play on!