The history of piano dates back to the 18th century and so does the history of teaching piano lessons. What started off as a status symbol for the wealthy to show off their wealth is now thankfully accessible to the masses. With the progress of technology, it is now even easier to get lessons but what about giving those lessons? Is going the online route the one for you, or is the traditional method of going to the students’ house to teach them in person the best way? This article explores the pros and cons of giving online classes to better help you decide what the best choice for your person will be.
Pros of Teaching Online
Teaching piano online can have advantages for both the students and the teachers. These are all the pros that piano teachers give when asked why they give online classes and not classes in person.
1. You Make Your Own Schedule
A teacher spoke about his experience of having a brilliant student that he was unable to give enough time to due to time constraints and commitments he had made to other students before he started teaching this particular student. He lost time during driving back and forth from one student’s house to another leaving him not enough time to teach his favourite student. When he started giving piano lessons online he could equally divide time between all his students according to his schedule. Schedule flexibility is one of the main reasons most teachers and students opt for online classes these days.
2. Your Students Can Go Back and Watch Repeatedly for Practice
The pre-recorded classes can be a godsend for most students. A teacher cannot be present at all times when a student practices. The student can go back and study the necessary parts instead of waiting for the next practice session. The recorded classes can be good for the teachers as well, as they can send their students those videos to learn from if they cannot be present.
It is a cost-effective way of teaching music lessons. Going from place to place is not cheap especially if you are driving. The fuel cost racks up pretty quickly. Teaching online from the comfort of your home or studio proves more cost-effective.
Driving back and forth from one home to another takes up a lot of time. On the other side, those that use public transport will have to comply with the schedule of the mode of transport again costing them the precious time they could spend instead on the students.
5. Teaching Students All Over the Country
Giving classes in person will limit you to only the students in your area. Through online platforms, you can teach students all across the country or even the world diversifying your experience as well.
6. Easy to Share Sheet Music
It is extremely easy to share the sheet music through any social media platform or email. Having one electronic copy will allow you to share it with all your students without any restrictions.
7. Less Distracting for the Students
Children and teenagers these days are more used to paying attention to a screen than they are to their surroundings. Online classes make the student focus on the task and the teacher only. While for in-person classes they might feel distracted with other things. Most music teachers that give both in-house classes and online classes state that students pay more attention to them in online classes instead of the in-person classes.
Cons of Teaching Online
While there are many advantages to giving classes online, it comes with its share of issues that might be the deal-breaker for some.
1. Sound Quality Issues
One issue that is a common complaint amongst those teaching music online is that the sound quality might not be as desired due to internet connectivity problems or just the slow internet can delay sound i.e. sound reaches after the video and movements shown by the teacher. It can be solved by making certain that you are not having connectivity problems before starting the class.
2. No Physical Presence Results in the Inability to Physically Adjust the Students
It is more of a con for a student following pre-recorded classes. If the position and movement of the student are not right or what they are playing is not up to par, then the teacher is responsible to demonstrate how to correct it. Following a pre-recording or even when giving online classes a teacher is unable to demonstrate to his students how to change the position correctly and needs to settle for describing it.
3. Changes to Sheet Music are Not Easy
Sheet music is essential for teaching piano lessons. Providing the students with sheet music and making changes in it as required is the responsibility of the teacher. Teachers have to provide sheet music before the class and it is difficult once sent to make changes to the sheet music or point at certain areas during the tutoring.
4. Investment Cost for the Equipment can be a Bit Much
Most online music tutors with time find the need to get better and bigger equipment when they expand their tutoring circle. Good quality cameras and sound systems i.e. mics can be costly. If you are not sure of whether or not you will continue to teach online over giving classes in person in the future it can be a costly investment to make. The online pros always advise starting with a regular camera and a tripod until you are assured of your commitment to teaching online.
Giving online classes for the piano might be the way to go for some. It depends on the person whether the merits are worth more than the demerits that will usually arise. As you can see from the article there are not many cons of teaching piano through skype or other similar apps but may prove the determining element if they want to teach music through an online platform.