At one point, the idea of online singing lessons was almost unthinkable to many voice teachers. The conventional wisdom was that teachers and students had to be in the same room and that only a hands-on approach would be effective.As technology has advanced, students and teachers alike have discovered previously unexpected benefits to online voice lessons. While it has required music school teachers and students to modify their techniques, learning to sing online can be just as effective as in-person instruction. There are challenges involved in online singing lessons, but many can be overcome.
What Are the Benefits of Online Singing Lessons?
As a student, taking voice lessons online can offer many significant benefits.
Finding the Right Instructor for Online Singing Lessons
In the past, geography could create a barrier toward finding the right singing instructor. You would either have to travel long distances to take lessons or settle for a teacher you didn’t entirely connect with who was in closer proximity. When you take voice lessons online, you are no longer limited by distances. Theoretically, you could take lessons from an instructor anywhere in the world. Not all voice teachers offer online instruction, but it is entirely possible to take lessons remotely from an instructor in another state or even another country.
Saving Time and Money on Commuting
When you have to travel to your lessons, the costs involved include transportation, e.g., fuel for your car or fare to ride the bus. These expenses can add up quickly. In addition to the convenience of learning to sing in your own home, you also save on transportation expenses.
Taking online singing lessons also saves you the time that you would have to spend en route to and from your lessons. You can put this time into more constructive pursuits, such as practicing your singing.
While it can be beneficial for voice teachers and students to be in the same room and breathe the same air, it can also be risky. In-person instruction puts both teachers and students at risk of infection with airborne pathogens. With online singing lessons, there is no risk of contracting illness from your instructor or vice versa.
Using Time During Online Singing Lessons More Efficiently
When you take singing lessons in person, you typically need to take time to warm up your voice before you begin. Though important for the health of your voice, it takes away time from your instruction. When you take online singing lessons, you can warm up your voice ahead of time, meaning that you can use your limited time with the voice teacher more efficiently by focusing solely on your instruction, allowing you to get more out of every lesson.
Some voice students who commute to their lessons use the time in transit to warm up their voices, but this may pose a potentially dangerous distraction if you are driving yourself. If you are concentrating on your vocal warmups, you may not be paying adequate attention to the road. Therefore, removing the need for a long commute also helps enhance safety.
Learning To Sing in the Same Environment Where You Practice
Studies show that your ability to retain information increases when you apply the information in the same place where you learn it. As you learn new information, your brain connects it to the environment around you. Therefore, if you apply the information in the same place where you learned it, your brain takes cues from the environment that help with recall.
For example, if you were to take a big test in school, you may perform better if you study in the same location where you will take the exam. The same holds true with voice lessons. If you receive your instruction in the place where you practice, it helps you to remember what you learned while you are applying it.
Another advantage of online singing lessons is that your instructor has the opportunity to see your practice space and can help you set it up to be more effective at helping you learn to sing.
You may feel self-conscious singing in an unfamiliar place, especially at the beginning when you are still learning. Taking remote lessons from home may help you to feel more comfortable. Learning to relax is an important skill for singing, and as you gain confidence, you may start to feel more comfortable singing in other places.
Receiving Access to Your Instructor
You may have a question or problem while you are practicing. It should be an easy matter to call, text, or email your instructor, who may then be able to arrange a special session if necessary.
What Are the Challenges Involved With Online Singing Lessons?
For all the benefits that online singing lessons can offer, there are also several challenges involved. Online lessons are limiting by their very nature. The challenges shouldn’t prevent you from taking online voice lessons if you think you could benefit from them. Anticipating challenges can help both you and your instructor to find ways to overcome them by making alterations to your methods of teaching and learning.
While you may be more comfortable singing from home, you may also have difficulty concentrating if a lot is going on around you. When you take voice lessons in person, you have access to a focused learning environment that does away with any distractions.
Nevertheless, you can still create a focused learning environment at home by dedicating a particular space for voice lessons and practicing. Preferably, this should be a room with a door that closes so that you can shut out distractions.
Nothing is more frustrating than to be all ready for your voice lesson only to find that you and your instructor cannot connect because of an internet outage or other technical difficulty. In some cases, there is nothing you can do but wait until the internet service provider fixes the problem.
While you may not be able to avoid technical difficulties completely, you can take steps to reduce their likelihood. Invest in high-quality equipment, such as a camera, microphone, speakers, and a computer with a good sound card. Shop around for different internet service providers until you find one that is reliable. If possible, connect your computer directly to your modem rather than relying on Wi-Fi.
Technical difficulties are frequent enough that your instructor should have a policy that applies in that event. Ask about what happens in the event of an outage or technical difficulty outside the control of either you or your instructor before the circumstance arises.
Lack of Physical Contact
Singing correctly depends on maintaining the proper posture. With in-person instruction, your teacher can determine what you are doing wrong and attempt to physically correct it. This is not possible with online instruction, and it can be frustrating for both you and your teacher when it appears that you are doing everything correctly and yet your voice still doesn’t sound right.
A lack of physical contact may not be a complete negative. You may not feel comfortable having your instructor touch you and prefer online instruction for precisely that reason. Nevertheless, it can be more difficult to form a personal connection with your instructor when you are not in the same room when working together.
It may be possible to overcome the challenge of a lack of physical contact during online singing lessons. It is primarily the responsibility of your teacher to find ways to modify his or her teaching technique to communicate instructions verbally in a way that you understand. You can also help on your end by setting up your camera to show as much of your body as possible so your teacher can identify areas of tension or problems with posture. Because this typically requires you to stand as far away from the camera as possible, you may want to invest in a large computer monitor so you can still see your instructor while singing and receiving instruction.
Impossibility of Singing Together
Most of the videoconferencing apps used for online singing lessons make it impossible, or at least very difficult, for you and your instructor to sing at the same time. There may be a slight time delay that keeps you from singing in unison, or the software may mute one of the parties to prevent the audio from becoming confused.
Unlike many of the other challenges involved in online singing lessons, there is little that either you or your instructor can do about this one unless you are lucky enough to find a program that allows for simultaneous audio.
Choose the Voice Lessons That Work Best for You
Lone Star School of Music offers instruction in singing as well as many other musical instruments. You can choose between in-person and online lessons. Our music school offers instruction for all ages and experience levels. Learn more about group, individual, and online options for voice lessons, or contact us for more information.
The Benefits and Challenges of Online Singing Lessons | Lone Star School of Music – Austin, TX