Online Music Lessons Are The Future. Here’s Why.

online lessons Apr 06, 2020

If you were offering online music lessons 10-15 years ago, people would’ve thought you were crazy. They would’ve said “There’s no way you can teach music the way it should be through a video.” And they’re right. There’s no way it could’ve been done at that time.

But with the current situation of COVID-19, music teachers around the world have been relying on online music lessons. Chances are you're currently teaching music online as well. You might even consider continuing online lessons in your studio.

While some hate it, others love it. The world will certainly not be the same after this crisis. People will have to pivot and adapt their business models in order to survive. And after society settles down, we will be seeing more music studios offering online lessons. 

However, one secret has emerged from this. Online music lessons are the future.

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Why Online Lessons Didn't Work In The Past

There are some obvious reasons why it was virtually impossible to teach online music lessons back in the day. You had to buy a webcam for your computer, the video quality on phones were extremely pixelated, or most video calling apps weren't even supported on these devices.

For example, if you wanted to teach an online student 10 years ago, there were little ways to have a live video call. And if there was a way, you would be plagued with huge latency and audio quality issues. 

The main reason why online music lessons weren’t a viable option was simply because the technology and internet wasn’t at the level it needed to be. 

But that’s all changing as we speak. And it has been for many years. 

What's Changing?

Every year, innovations in technology get better and better. There’s no doubt that we’ve rapidly adapted to this sudden change in the world.  

The reality is that the information in the internet is constantly changing.

According to, “90% of the world’s data has been created in the last couple years.”

In other words, what we know today could be old news as early as tomorrow. 

In recent years, online learning has been successful and implemented in thousands of schools around the world. Online learning allows for the student to be flexible with their schedule and save time traveling. 

Here's a video about how online learning has changed over the years.

These recent changes have made it possible to give quality instruction over the internet. As we look forward to the end of our quarantine, you may want to consider continuing with online lessons. 

Here are four reasons why online music lessons are the new future.

Reason #1: Technology Is Still Getting Better

The first reason is the obvious one. Technology for teaching online is getting better.  

With video calling software, such as Skype, Zoom and Facetime, in our reach, it’s possible to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Along with that, as the demand for online communication continues to increase, the need for major improvements in factors such as the quality of video, audio, and user interface, needs to advance as well.  

For example, I can set up a Zoom call with my student and deliver quality one-on-one instruction through my laptop. I can trust that we will hear each other well and all it requires is more communication from both ends.

In my opinion, I like to use my iPad to display music over Zoom. I use the app, ForScore, to store my digital copies of my scores and use my Apple pencil to annotate during my lessons. I can also send copies of the music to my students in an instant. 

You see, all of these technologies work together to have a smooth and seamless music lesson. If I can do all of these things virtually now, the possibilities are endless in the future.

Some video calling applications include:

video calling

Image Credit

Reason #2: Costs Are Minimal

With online lessons, you can teach or learn from the comfort of your own home, resulting in minimal costs overall. How exactly? Well, this means a lesser need for traditional costs, such as a commercial space, correlated travel costs, or time wasted between lessons. 

There are several benefits to working at home. A big part that is overlooked is cutting the travel costs of driving to your studio. By teaching online lessons, you're saving gas, potential car maintenance, and, most importantly, time.

Research shows that people who work at home save more than $4,500 a year on travel costs.

As you can see, the potential amount of money you can save can have a profound effect on not only your business, but your personal life as well. You're probably thinking, "Well, how do I start?" or "How much will it cost?"

To get started with online lessons, most of the costs include:

  • Any device, such as a laptop, tablet, or phone
  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Device stand
  • High speed internet

Depending on what you already own, you might not even have to buy those in order to get started right now. Chances are you already have a compatible device and internet if you’re reading this blog right now. The remaining items can be purchased with less than $100

Some of my favorite items to use include:

  • Laptop - I use a MacBook Pro, but nowadays any laptop will suffice. 
  • iPad Pro - The 12.9-inch display is a perfect for reading music. I honestly use it more than physical sheet music.
  • Apple Pencil - This makes it way more convenient to write if you’re constantly annotating your music, like me.
  • Clip-on microphone - A cheap microphone like this has great audio quality and value for the price. You don’t need to splurge on a fancy one unless you want to.
  • Gooseneck mount - I use this for a birds-eye view of the piano keys. It makes it really easy for my students to see my hand position and fingerings.
  • Earbuds - Earbuds are a must in order to avoid feedback coming from your computer speakers and into your microphone. You don’t need an expensive pair of earbuds to get great quality as well.

Reason #3: Teach Anyone Anywhere

In the past, your potential students were most likely confined to the area in which you lived in. It wasn’t the most ideal to teach a student if you lived in another city. What If you wanted to travel or move? Chances are you probably had to lose plenty of students and start all over.  

As of right now, in 2020, over 40% of the world is connected through the internet. 

People have been communicating with each other across the globe in the past 20 years. There’s no excuse to say you can’t find anyone to teach anymore. 

Now, you can teach someone in a different city, state, or country. You are no longer stuck with only marketing to your local community. Your group of potential students just went from the thousands to billions.

Here's a picture on technology facts and statistics in 2020:


Image Credit

Reason #4: You Have The World's Resources In Your Hand

One of the main reasons why online music lessons are such a daunting task is the lack of knowledge we have about the internet. Many things in our lives that seem difficult or impossible to understand can seem feasible with just a little bit of research. 

You have all the information in the world right in your hands. We’re fortunate enough to live in a time where you can get an answer for your question in a matter of seconds. 

This ability allows us to think creatively in the way we teach. There are thousands of websites, apps, and resources to teach technique, theory, and lessons. Allow your students to spark their creativity and help them figure out a way to perform their music or learn a new concept.

Watch this video to discover more websites and apps for learning music theory:

Things That Still Need To Be Solved

Although technology improves every year, there are still some limitations that stop online lessons from being good to great. There are reasons why not as many students and parents look for online lessons. Many teachers still have problems and have yet to learn all the pros and cons that come with virtual instruction.  

Physical Limitations

Music is a very interactive activity. Playing and teaching music requires a level of human interaction, especially in a group. In my opinion, one of the greatest things about music is not just the music I hear, but the opportunity to share and experience an art form that we can create.

Without people in the same room, it is still very difficult to coordinate a live lesson with two or more people playing at the same time. This can make teaching group lessons or any ensemble hard to run. As a result, there have been many music programs that have temporarily shut down because of this crisis.

For example, if I wanted to teach my group piano lessons in an online setting, there's no way every student is going to play the exact rhythms at the same time in the same video call. This inevitably causes a feedback loop of the students taking time to respond to the teacher and the teacher responding with the students. The delay of sound seems to be a problem that stops musicians from playing together.

However, there are several companies working towards solutions to this problem. For example, softwares, such as JamKazam or Jammr, make it possible to play or rehearse together through a virtual platform in real time. These examples show that we are one step closer to breaking the boundaries of how we perform music today.

Limitations Of Current Technology

Internet, software, and hardware technologies are not always reliable. People make mistakes and technology is not always perfect. We have all gone through the hassle of figuring out why something suddenly won't work, even though it was perfectly fine yesterday.

It only takes a bad connection from the student or teacher to ruin a lesson. Let’s face it, problems can occur often when it comes to technology. With online lessons, problems may include:

  • The software you’re using not running smoothly with your device or internet connection. 
  • The video quality of your camera may not be clear enough to demonstrate anything to your student
  • The audio quality of your microphone or headphones could make it more difficult to give instruction clearly.

These issues could stem from your hardware device, such as your laptop or phone, or internet connection as well. It's important to narrow down the source of the problem if you're having any technical difficulties. If you ever need any help, always check the help or support section of the technology you're using.

All of these problems, and more, may happen at some point. However, it’s just a matter of time before internet connections become stronger, bugs are patched, and hardware quality becomes nearly perfect. 

A Glimpse Into The Future 

If you ever feel like teaching music can’t be done through a video screen, just remember that plenty of music teachers have been teaching online for years. Many make a living just teaching online lessons. It’s certainly not a new concept, but the awareness of the potential is widespread. 

With advancements in technology, being cost effective, and adding a new level of convenience, it’s no question that we’ll see more online music lessons in the future. With our current situation, music teachers around the world are forced to make online lessons work. And after trying it, people are seeing how viable they are and how effective they can be.

Although online lessons will probably never replace in-person lessons, more music studios and music schools will integrate it within their programs. If you want to start your music teaching business, this is a great way to get your first students. After seeing the ease of it and learning more about how to adapt online instruction to music, I hope you can see it as a viable and smart alternative for your business.

If you would like to learn more about building and growing your music teaching business, especially in our world's current situation, watch this free case study and schedule a call with me. I would be more than happy to help and chat with you!

Cheers to your success

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