Updated: Feb 13
In a recent paper presented by the UK’s largest music education body, ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music), music tutoring has adapted successfully to online teaching requirements during the pandemic. The ABRSM even notes that online music tutors have noticed significant improvements in an online teaching environment for almost 40% of learners, compared to face-to-face classrooms or private tutoring workshops. This is not a surprise to me since switching to online guitar lessons I have had more students take exams and achieve higher grades. There are other factors of course, such as the extra time students had to practice as a result of covid restrictions. I also found the change to video exam submissions worked much more like coursework than an exam which students really took to.
Whatever the reasons, online lessons offer a unique opportunity for music education to embrace the advantages of modern technology in a homeschooling environment. . Here is how online music tutoring can help children develop their understanding of music and instruments as well as support parents.
#1. Homeschooling at their own pace
It’s hard to enjoy any subject when you’ve got to rush through the lesson to meet the expectation of the curriculum. For a lot of children, an online music tutor can help develop a new relationship with music. Music is a subject that is tightly connected to our moods. Countless studies have demonstrated the role of music in regulating mood disorders and mental health fluctuations. It makes sense to consider how music affects learners as much as listeners. Music tutoring programmes online can be tailored to the learning pace of each individual.
#2. A trusted and comfortable learning environment
What does it mean to attend a music class or a private music lesson?
As much as your child may love music, there’s always the hassle of getting ready and leaving on time for the start of the class. When you take into consideration public transport disruptions that are likely to carry on long after lockdown restrictions are lifted, it’s fair to say that our little ones may not be looking at their future music tutoring with excitement. More importantly, even for parents who need to drive their children to private tutoring lessons, keeping up with their musical education can be time-demanding.
On the other hand, using online tutoring to enhance their homeschooling environment provides a unique opportunity for peace in the household. There’s no need to rush outside and worry about traffic. All your child needs to do is turn the laptop on. It’s not only the commute time that’s reduced. Online music tutoring removes all those unnecessary hassles that could affect their motivation.
#3. Tailored music tutoring
Music should be a pleasure. While there is also an element of learning new skills, it should engage children’s curiosity and joy. While it’s not to say that you can’t use a grading system for online tutoring, the online music tutor has more breathing room to build a playful and engaging programme. For children, this makes a huge difference. Nobody wants to feel pressure to “get things right” all the time. Learning to identify patterns they enjoy or to follow their curiosity is crucial in the discovery and performance of music. The trained listener will always be able to tell the difference between a musician who loves playing, and a musician who doesn’t take joy in the process.
#4. An online music tutor saves you money
Music in a homeschooling environment can be a money-saving investment for families. Indeed, arranging for private music tutoring at a music teacher’s facility can be expensive. The national average for music theory lessons in the UK is approximately £25 to £40 per lesson, depending on the duration of each session. The budget for music tuition can rapidly grow to huge proportions. By the end of a month, a child who receives several lessons each week could end up needing almost £500 or more in one-to-one lessons.
Comparatively, parents can keep their budget under control with an online music tutor. Additionally, prices are also unlikely to vary depending on locations, unlike face-to-face tutoring.
#5. Suited to the current homeschooling environment
The current lockdown in the UK is affecting some subjects dramatically. Children are more likely to receive dedicated online tutoring for some of the major topics, such as maths or English. Music, on the other hand, could fall behind in terms of digital support from schools.
However, it makes sense to look for dedicated music torturing that would fit in your child’s homeschooling programme. A lot of online music tutors are experienced in the national curriculums so that they can provide tailored lessons for children who wish to maintain music as part of their GCSE or A levels. Additionally, even children who have no desire to pursue superior music education can find a lot of joy in maintaining artistic activities as part of their general homeschooling education.
#6. Embrace creative skills and brain plasticity
Being creative is a skill in everyday life. Creative thinking offers a new perspective in problem-solving situations and encourages individuals to think outside the box. Unfortunately, everyday lifestyle and homeschooling may struggle to support your child’s creativity. Music tutoring helps children to develop their vision and appreciation of new thinking patterns. Creative activities play a crucial role in the development of brain plasticity. You may not realise it, but children who are musically trained, for instance, also show better abilities with scientific subjects. This has to do with the unique way the brain responds and changes to music reading and music playing. It puts your children in a better position to boost their skills across the board.
#7. It’s good for the soul
Let’s be realistic. Children have been stuck at home for extended periods of time. Needless to say, lockdown is stressful and comes at a high emotional cost. An online music tutor can offer a unique platform for your child to express pandemic stress, insecurities, and heightened emotional states.
In conclusion, online music tutoring can open the door to many learning and self-discovery opportunities for children. It is fair to say that, while the need for online tutoring is growing during the pandemic, we can expect online music homeschooling to remain a trend in the long-term.
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