Online guitar lessons Vs In-person guitar lessons (8 metrics explored)

May 2, 2023 | Learning Guitar, Online Guitar Lessons | 0 comments

How do online guitar lessons compare with face to face ones?

The burning question for many learners, and for good reason…

I hear a real split of opinion from people in terms of their preconceptions that online lessons wouldn’t be as effective as sitting in a room with a teacher. I also know there are plenty of people who would think nothing of learning something they loved online. I have taught many effective lessons through Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype. It’s a fantastic resource that we have to hand now.

Here I explore 8 ways we can compare these 2 styles of lessons…

Online Vs In-person

1. Location/Geography:

A huge pro for online lessons. We can have a lesson with our chosen teacher over the other side of the country at the tap of a screen. We don’t have to drive for hours to get there as it can be done in the comfort of our own home. I’ve had a few students now who felt I was the right teacher for them/their child and have only ever had online lessons as they live in different cities. It really is a great option in many cases.

2. Time (travel and waiting):

Time. People are busy. Another pro for online lessons. For those living in the same city as a teacher people often have really busy lives and multiple children. Online lessons means parents don’t have to drive to or wait around during their child’s lesson. Likewise for adults who are working. Taking the pressure off having to drive out somewhere else after work maximises the likelihood of the lessons actually happening.

The other bonus being that if something unexpected crops up one evening in the past it would’ve meant cancelling the lesson. Whereas, now it often means doing an online lesson that week instead.

3. Equipment:

The equipment needed for online lesson needs to be good enough for the student to see and hear what is being explained and demonstrated. The wi-fi signal needs to be strong enough to not break up and disrupt the lesson. This can be a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or a phone. As long as the above is available and working online lessons are an option. If not, face to face is the best option.

4. Human interaction:

The argument for human interaction is strong. Some people really need a change of scenery, a place dedicated to learning. To be able to go somewhere and sit with someone whilst watching and learning can often be more effective and preferable for some people. I wouldn’t rule out online lessons if you think that’s you but it may be beneficial to build up some time in person before trying online lessons. It can be easier once a professional relationship is already established to then transition onto online lessons.

Another perspective is that some people have social anxiety to the extent that online lessons are the only way they would ever want to learn. Having had experience with some students like this I have found online lessons to be very effective.

5. Environment:

Environment is everything to effective learning. It really can be make or break. For those who have a noisy or turbulent home environment it is usually better to go somewhere else to learn. Often this means going for face to face lessons. This will minimise distractions and maximise learning effectiveness. In this situation it would also be possible to do online lessons also but maybe at a friend or relatives house.

6. Technical competence:

Knowing how to use the equipment and apps needed for online lessons is mandatory (or having someone nearby who can). Without this face to face lessons would be the only option.

7. Lessons effectiveness and clarity:

Whether lessons are in-person or online this really comes down to the teacher, mostly. Lessons are effective when the teacher is prepared, professional and competent. This translate across the board. The other side of this is that the student needs to care and practice. If both of these things are in place the lessons will be the best they can be whether online for face to face.

8. Value for money:
Lessons in person and online are of the same value. If the teacher and student are doing their job properly then the lessons will be worth it either way.

Really in my experience it boils down to ‘horses for courses’. Whether lessons are online or in-person It will be right for some people and not for others. If the teacher is prepared, professional and competent and the student can operate the technology required for the lesson then online lessons will be incredibly effective. I’d urge people to try it out. I’ve had a few students in the past who questioned whether it would work but here we are years later still having online lessons weekly. On the flip side, lessons in person are the only thing that make sense to some learners.
Ether way, have fun and remember to practise!

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