Articles

Op-Ed

The Beat Goes on for Music Lessons in Quarantine

By Jake Douglass
May 15, 2020

When it comes to online education, people seldom associate the concept with music training. We all typically assume that the best way to learn music is through the private lesson experience.

But in recent times, few start-ups have made significant strides in providing music education online that emulates private lesson experience. The delivery model for music education is changing, and students can gain from it, especially when they are forced to stay at home due to Coronavirus induced lockdown.

Video Tutorials Are Ideal For Music Training

Historically, the private tutor method is considered the best for learning an instrument. If we look deeper, we’d realize that it’s the one-to-one feedback, which is at the core of this perception.

Whether you’re learning piano, guitar, or any other musical instrument, people think that a private tutor will be able to give better and more specific feedback if he’s training only one student than if he teaches a class of let’s say 50.

However, the latest innovations in assessment technology have made it possible for tutors to give feedback to students even in an online music class. Few start-ups in this space have also started licensing the technology to do so in a professional manner.

Another benefit of video tutorials is that it makes the location irrelevant. Let’s take the case of a student who’s living in a small town in the US. Without online tools, he will be able to go to only those music trainers, who are based out of his town.

But, online music training can help him access the best talent not just in his country but in the whole world so that location will never be a limitation.

Music Lessons Help Students Perform Better In Other Subjects

The University of British Columbia in Canada conducted an extensive study that showed that students who had taken music lessons in high school performed better in other subjects like Science, Math, and English.

Let’s try to understand the significance of this finding. Typically, parents and governments are willing to cut the budget for the music education of students to focus on other subjects. When schools have to make budget cuts, music programs are often the first thing they sacrifice.

But this study showed that their approach is deeply flawed because music education can help students in performing better in other subjects, which are traditionally seen as more important.

The study also revealed that students who learned an instrument did better in other subjects than students who sang. Researchers attributed this to the intense sense of involvement that is required to learn how to play an instrument.

It further underlines the importance of learning musical instruments for students. At a time when parents world-over are worried that Coronavirus-led lockdown can hinder their children’s growth, online music training has emerged as a solution to that very problem.

Without Online Tools, It’s Tough To Increase Access To Music

A worrying trend had emerged when a national education assessment revealed that the score of Grade 8 students on the count of access to music had declined between 2008 and 2016. The students were asked to identify and explain musical notation, evaluate musical performances, and identify the music’s region of origin.

With several budgetary constraints at school and government levels, it is tough to improve access to music with traditional ways. It is here that online tools for music training can play a huge role because they are often more affordable than offline tools.

In the last few years, online music education has developed a lot. Several online programs are using the lockdown as an opportunity to reach out to more and more people. Chances are very high that the lockdown will make a lot of people realize the inherent strengths of the online model of delivering music education.

Author Bio: Jake Douglass is a teacher and educator with a background in music, psychology, neuroscience, and yoga. He’s also the CEO of Practicing Musician.

Featured Image: freestocks, Unsplash.

10 Comments

  1. […] “We’re going to see a rise in the digital divide, because the individuals who are operating without technology are going to fall further behind than they were before” Dr. Rogers said. “The individuals who have had the opportunity to adjust for the last two semesters are going to continue to progress. So for education in 2021 and beyond, we’re really going to see a divide along socio-economic lines and a divide along racialized lines. […]

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