Who doesn’t?! One thing that has made our new reality of online learning exciting is our options have exploded! Fun has become a new component and students of all ages are interested in learning new skills but also need help discovering what they want to do and how they feel most comfortable learning it.
First, each student must decide why:
Would you like to perform, make music for yourself, or play with others in a band? All of these are possible, and while you might not know exactly why you want to be able to play well, you probably know how what you are willing to put in to get there. Whether this is 15 minutes or 2 hours every day, this much is important: your desire to play is valid and your goals are attainable.
Second: how and when?
Right now, online is safest for everyone, but that may change at any time. Starting online for now, you can either learn with a live teacher or through a pre-recorded video session. You still want to identify a teacher you like and ask important questions like does your music teach offer pre-recorded videos or work with you directly over live video on Zoom, Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp?
When are you available, and do you have a tough schedule? Teachers are flexible and making themselves available to work with you when you have the time, but teachers like a regular lesson time. If you cannot set aside a regular time, then maybe starting with pre-recorded music lessons is the best option for you right now. Some teachers have more experience than others both in teaching online and in performance, but what is most important is that your teacher has a background and teaching ideals that make you feel comfortable and motivated to learn.
Third: do you need to find an instrument?
You can get started by ordering online and having your instrument delivered to your home! If you start with a digital instrument you can certainly find a reliable company that makes quality keyboards or guitars and have your instrument shipped to your door within a week or two. With a stringed instrument such as guitar you’ll be buying a very unique instrument, so you may still want to arrange a visit to your local music store and try some out in person. This way, you can feel how it plays, sounds, and responds to you and hear the sound quality of the strings, and they will deliver to your home as well. Your teacher can help you make the right choice so that you get a quality instrument you can enjoy learning with at a reasonable price.
Fourth: validate yourself.
Matching with the right teacher is the most important step you can take, so know that it’s okay (even good!) to interview your teachers and keep looking until you find the right one. Your goals are very important and do not have to match anyone else’s, so find a teacher that will support your favorite type of music and play what motivates you. Some people thrive with a high-powered, demanding performance teacher. Some students want a more nurturing approach with lots of patience and support. Ask yourself: do you want a jazz teacher, or a teacher who specializes in country music, or maybe all types of music? And always remember: you are important, your goals matter, and you can do this!