When it comes to learning anything these days, for most of us our first instinct is to search for it online. It would be naive to underestimate the vast knowledge and resources available at our very fingertips. Exploring new ideas or enriching our existing knowledge is now synonymous with the phrase “Google It”. Likewise, you can also learn to play instruments online: piano, guitar, drums, flute, etc., without someone physically there to teach you.
With tablets and mobile phones, piano apps have changed the traditional way of learning with the added benefit of flexible learning using portable gadgets. There are many people who wonder whether this practice is good or bad and whether it is better to learn to play this magnificent instrument in a classic way or through the internet. In order to determine which option suits you best, you should first understand the pros and cons of each method.
Many people are often left wondering if online piano learning could be good or bad practice. Everything is accessible within the comfort of your home but there are still some pros and cons in the process that one must evaluate in order to maximize learning. We will evaluate the pros and cons of the two styles so that you can better understand whether learning the piano in a classic way proves more suitable to you or whether you would opt for learning piano the modern online way instead.
Why traditional piano learning scares some people
“Piano lessons” is a phrase that probably has negative connotations for a lot of people, bringing back memories of sitting down on a hard piano bench at a stranger’s house to stumble over boring sheet music and scales. If you were a kid that went through the process of getting piano lessons forced upon you by your parents, you might also recall trudging through your required thirty minutes a day of practicing so you’d be allowed to play with your friends.
These methods, while they may have worked to teach kids technical piano skills, weren’t particularly helpful in inspiring creativity or getting people to take a personal interest in the creative process of learning a new instrument. Luckily, books of sheet music full of tired old classics (“Camptown Races”, “Happy Birthday”, “Greensleeves”, “Hot Cross Buns”…) are a thing of the past, and you don’t have to rely on someone else’s teaching methods to learn how to play the piano. With online piano apps, you can learn how to play on your own time, and the songs to choose from are popular songs of today (by artists like Adele, John Legend, Coldplay, and more) which might be a lot more interesting to work with!
Fundamental differences between traditional and online piano learning
For starters, you can find online sources that will help you obtain this skill for free. Of course, there are some good paid online courses too. Furthermore, whenever there is a change or upgrade in this type of education, you can easily find it on the Internet. These piano lessons always implement the latest trends and teaching methodology.
The people who give/record lessons and help others learn how to play piano are usually experts in this field. They have the qualifications, training and skills and they are prepared to share it with the world. In addition, you can choose to take advanced and professional lessons too. Another great benefit is that online learning doesn’t require you leaving your home. You can learn at any time of the day and at any place you want, as long as you have a computer/laptop (or tablet or phone for that matter) and access to the Internet. In other words, learning to play piano this way is much more flexible.
You also don’t have to know how to read sheet music to get started with most apps – many have an online piano animation that visually helps you figure out which notes on the keyboard to play. Apps are interactive, some hear you play and keep track of your accuracy to provide feedback. The animation highlight which notes to play – reminiscent of games like Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution, making playing the piano more of a game and less like a chore.
When it comes to the cons, learning online doesn’t really replace that one-on-one interaction and learning that you can experience with a piano tutor who is sitting at your side. You can’t always get the quick answers you need online – who’s going to be there to point out when you’ve made a mistake?
Beyond the simple joy of learning how to play a song you love, there’s actual benefits to learning how to play an instrument. For instance, learning a musical instrument actually increases your brain’s capacity for memory and improves cognitive skills. Learning a musical instrument on your own online, instead of under someone else’s guidance and deadlines (“gotta practice before next week’s lesson!”) teaches you how to manage your own time and organizational skills.
After all, if no one’s telling you to do it, you’re doing it for yourself, and you can go just as fast or slow as you want to, challenging yourself at the pace you’re ready for. This means that you’re also improving your perseverance – learning an instrument isn’t something that can be accomplished in a day. It requires real work and patience, but the reward of the knowledge you gain makes it all worth it!
Other benefits of learning piano include an improvement in your reading comprehension and math skills. This might be a good project to pick up while you’re preparing for an important test or taking a difficult class, especially since creative projects like art and music are proven to relieve stress – without the added pressure of someone breathing down your neck of course.
The flexibility of self-guided lessons can also be a roadblock, since many people struggle with time management, but challenging yourself to do something and then accomplishing it, giving you a new way to express yourself, is a great feeling for anyone, regardless of age or musical ability.
Pros of Learning the Piano Online
Let’s now take a look at the pros of learning the piano online:
- Millions of resources in the form of lessons, tutorials, e-books, discussion forums and articles are available over internet that offer required information characterized according to your learning level.
- Apart from paid memberships, lessons and offline programs that you may buy, everything on the internet is completely free saving your cost to a great extent in comparison to lessons from a teacher. So these methods are cost-effective.
- Websites share information in the form of knowledge, facts and ideas taken by expert piano professionals.
- Online resources are frequently updated when compared to physical books and manuals. Moreover latest trends and methodologies are implemented with these updated online lessons.
- You get a huge variety with details, songs, techniques and genres to choose from.
- Any step that you fail to follow or remember, you can revert back to it.
- You can find libraries with patterns, rhythms, lessons and tricks that are readily available and accessible.
- You can learn at your own convenience i.e. whenever and wherever you get time and are willing to learn and practice. You don’t need to leave your home and have access all the time making piano learning and practice more flexible. Geographical flexibility is that makes it a suitable choice for money and you don’t have to travel for your piano lessons.
- You can choose a level basic, intermediate or advance according to your own will and expertise.
- These piano lessons are designed to teach you from basic so you don’t need to have a background in music or know the basics of piano instrument and music.
- You can decide and dictate your own pace and level for learning piano. You can even limit your learning especially those who are just learning for fun.
- You get a variety of approaches to reinforce learning such as with videos, graphics, descriptions, apps etc.
- You can stop for a break or for doing something else during an online piano lesson.
- With high quality cameras, you can make your online lessons interactive with a teacher similar to a traditional in-house lesson.
Cons of Learning the Piano Online
In contrast let’s see the cons of learning the piano online:
- Real after all is real and nothing could replace the complete satisfaction that you can get by learning with a traditional real piano teacher. Online lifeless form of learning may not give satisfaction.
- You may not be able to get prompt answers to your questions and there will be no one to correct your mistakes if you are doing something wrong with piano. This one to one interaction is missing.
- Professional piano teachers are qualified and trained teachers with skills that make them capable of helping others with learning to play piano.
- When you are learning something on internet, you can easily get distracted in comparison to home based piano lessons. These distractions on the internet are often unavoidable such as emails, social media etc.
- Some free lessons offer only basic information and you may need to pay for getting access to the real things. Although there are some fantastic resources offering step by step piano learning. Progressing further with knowledge of basic skills is better to be done with a trained teacher for a one-to-one learning or you can sign-up for a piano music class.
- With online piano lessons, you would not be sure if the advice or technique given is a good practice or not. You should be sure about accessing authentic and reliable resources only.
- Even when you have a real physical teacher on the other side who is there to teach you online, you would need to compromise on quality of sound and things may not be as clear as they can be with physical presence of a teacher.
- You don’t get commitment of a trained and qualified teacher with you.
When you consider the pluses and minuses of learning through apps or the web the piano online, versus learning with a proper piano teacher visiting your home or you travelling to them or to a music class; you will find that there are not many cons. Perhaps, you yourself can better decide for yourself whether you are more comfortable with online lessons or traditional method of learning. Whatever makes you more comfortable and enables you to remain more focused is the best solution for you. However by having a quick look at the pros and cons of online learning method that we have shared here, you will be able to widen your spectrum of learning.
Similarly, the internet has made learning piano easier with a lot of websites offering you promising lessons and related resources that could enable you to learn piano without having someone physically to teach you the right ways. Deeper and bigger information is now available that we can view on our screens according to our own flexibility and schedule. Thus online resources have completely changed the traditional way of learning piano with well-designed and structured lessons and tutorials.
The great thing about the Internet is the fact that it provides a global network of access to valuable sources of information. As a matter of fact, people can learn many new things online and learning how to play the piano is (simply) one of them. If you are thinking about starting some online lessons, you don’t need much equipment. A laptop or tablet or even a phone will do the trick. If you happen to be interested in trying an online lesson you can totally find out more here.
Thanks for sharing your time with us. If we missed any key points, feel free to tell us in the comments! 🙂