Online Piano Lessons vs. in Person

There’s no doubt that technology has opened many doors for us, allowing us to do almost everything online. For instance, you can learn to play the piano online. With so many qualified teachers offering online piano courses and regular music studios, you have a choice to make.

Are in-person piano lessons a thing of the past, or are they the superior choice? There’s no easy answer, so we’ll consider the pros or cons of each type.

Short Answer

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each type has its perks and downsides, so it depends on your priorities, budget, experience, living situation, and more.

Are Online Piano Lessons As Good As in Person?

We’ll look at certain aspects of any learning experience and see if online or in-person lessons are superior in each.

Affordability

Taking online piano lessons tends to save money; they can cost as little as $5, depending on the online piano course. We’re talking $200 or more per year, which is less expensive than taking in-person lessons. These may cost $25 to $60 for a lesson, which might add up to about $3000.

Aside from the cost of online lessons, you also get to save transportation money. Not to mention, because music lesson costs vary from one location to another, you can hire an online teacher from a city or a state with lower prices.

Otherwise, you wouldn’t get those privileges with in-person piano lessons, so we have a clear winner in this category: learning piano online.

Convenience

As we’ve mentioned before, online classes don’t require commuting or driving. That isn’t only cost-effective, but it’s also convenient, which is especially true for students who play the piano because they don’t have to drag around their digital piano, acoustic piano, or other instruments.

Convenience

In comparison, in-person classes can be a hassle. For example, if you’re a busy parent, you might have a hard time driving your kids to their lessons and fitting them into your busy schedule. Accordingly, online lessons take the cake when it comes to convenience.

Scheduling

You’ll find a plethora of online piano teachers, so you’ll have numerous options for available slots. Not to mention, if you buy an online program, it might allow you to pick any time and date for your live lessons.

Moreover, online piano courses are even more convenient. A prepackaged program has a fixed number of lesson videos and assignments, so you can squeeze them in your free time every day or watch them all in one go. In other words, they can be self-paced; that’s if webcam lessons aren’t included.

However, if you opt for in-person classes, you’ll probably find one lesson offered each week at a fixed time that you can’t change. Moreover, those lessons are usually not on the weekends, possibly interfering with your work schedule or kid’s school hours.

An in-person teacher is also unlikely to give late classes (after 10 p.m). You might be willing to give up your lunch break or reschedule a meeting, but who’s to say your piano teacher will be free then?

As for cancelation, it’s more manageable with online lessons, allowing you to cancel with short notice. With in-person make-up classes, they tend to be difficult to schedule and require notice ahead of time. Overall, scheduling piano lessons online is much easier than in person.

Internet Connection

When you’re taking lessons online, a fast internet connection is crucial. Otherwise, you’ll find that the sound quality won’t be that good. Your online teacher may not be able to tell if you’ve hit the right key, and you won’t be able to hear their playing clearly.

Not to mention, other communication problems arise in an online piano lesson, including poor video quality, audio delays, and stuttering frames. To overcome issues with internet connections, both piano students and piano teachers need to have a stable connection and a quality camera and equipment.

Internet Connection

Alternatively, in-person lessons prevent this dilemma, as no connection issues, wires, or webcams, are involved. Even better, both you and your piano teacher get to see each other’s hand positions and listen to each other’s playing with no sound distortion.

Overall, the in-person lesson usually flows more smoothly with quick, real-time responses. So, we have to say that in-person lessons win this round.

Technique Correction

You learn to play the piano when your teacher corrects your technique, meaning that piano instruction requires the ability to adjust a student’s fingering or posture to enhance their piano technique.

Undoubtedly, this option isn’t available for online piano lessons. In fact, the teacher might have to change camera angles to demonstrate a technique on their digital pianos. As a result, progress might be slow, especially for young students who are struggling to follow verbal instructions precisely. They might practice a piece incorrectly.

However, advanced students with many years of learning experience might have a better chance at having positive online piano lessons. That’s because they can practice independently and the guidance of an online piano course will be more than enough for them.

Otherwise, if you have a teacher in person, they can physically fix your posture, mark up your sheet music, and notice your mistakes immediately. Accordingly, we like in-person piano lessons better for that purpose.

Technology

In online teaching, instructors can take advantage of technology. For instance, they might incorporate videos, computer software, and phone apps in their lessons, making them more interactive. Moreover, there are many options, including skype piano lessons, zoom lessons, youtube videos and tutorials, and piano lesson apps and websites.

Comparatively, in-person classes don’t use such technologies for the most part, but some teachers are starting to incorporate them into their teaching style. Of course, whether this is a pro or a con depends on how tech-savvy you are.

Distraction

On the one hand, online piano lessons make room for distractions. You’re sitting at your home with a phone and no teacher present, so you might be tempted to check social media, emails, and so on. Also, your family members might keep walking in and out. If you can’t get some privacy around the house, an online lesson can be a struggle.

On the other hand, distraction is rarely an issue if you have an in-person instructor. That’s because most of them ask you to turn off your smartphones and electronic devices during the online piano lesson.

Technology

Not to mention, you’ll probably avoid getting distracted out of respect for your very real teacher anyway. As a result, the music studio will probably be a distraction-free learning space, allowing you to focus on your task.

Nevertheless, a music studio can have traffic noise with other teachers giving lessons around you. Therefore, you should visit the studio you’re considering and evaluate your living situation to decide on the environment with the least distractions.

Group Classes

Group activities are becoming increasingly popular among young pianists. In-person classes can be group piano lessons, and they can be so much fun with the music teacher organizing musical games and ensemble playing.

Furthermore, if you’re a parent, group lessons are a chance for your kid to socialize, taking an individual art that can leave a person feeling isolated and building a community around it.

However, online lessons are mostly private piano lessons. You can, of course, search for online events or webinars in an online program. But ultimately, we’ll give it to in-person lessons for their group learning style.

Recording Lessons

When you’re taking online piano lessons, you can easily record them if they aren’t already recorded. Then, you can replay the online lesson when you’re practicing, take notes, pause at specific parts before moving to the next section, and more.

In fact, you can replay the video as many times as you want and soak up all the skills you can before your next lesson. And if a specific part is difficult, you can replay that section until you get it.

Recording Lessons

To compare, an in-person teacher will usually say no to being recorded. Also, you can ask for clarification if you don’t understand something about your sheet music or so. Still, if you don’t get it after the music teacher has explained it to you several times, you might not feel comfortable asking again. That’s why we love how you can record your online piano lessons.

Wide Selection

We’ve briefly touched on this, but there are music teachers all over the country giving online piano lessons. This can be a good alternative if you live somewhere remote or if hiring an experienced teacher with qualifications in your local area is unlikely.

Also, if you sign up for more expensive online piano lessons, you’ll appreciate that music teacher variety more. Let’s say you don’t mesh well with your teacher or they aren’t benefiting you; you can request another one.

But if you want to take music lessons in a studio, you might need an interview with the teacher. If they accept you, you might still be on a waitlist. So, it’s much easier to find an online piano teacher and study piano online than it is in real life.

Commitment

To learn to play the piano, you need commitment, and learning piano online offers more flexibility than regular lessons, so there isn’t much of a commitment.

After watching the videos of any of those online courses, you might not have much reason to commit and get bored. Not to mention, if your course is self-paced, you might end up putting off your online lessons for too long or even canceling them.

Physical piano lessons are a solid commitment. If you enroll your son or daughter in them, you have less to worry about because the teacher will probably take their lessons very seriously and expect the same from your kid. Additionally, sessions will have a fixed time each week, enticing students to commit.

And since the lesson plans aren’t prepackaged, a music teacher will customize them to their student’s level so that they enhance certain aspects of their performance. This will push students to work hard to keep up. Accordingly, these classes can make you commit more than learning piano online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Effective to Learn Piano Online?

It depends. Learning piano online can be effective if you’re committed and disciplined enough to follow through. Also, it’s more effective if you have a solid basis in theory and sight reading. Beginners, however, might benefit less from them because they require teachers to pay close attention and make physical adjustments to their technique.

Are Online Piano Lessons Effective for Kids?

There isn’t a strict answer to this question. For one, teachers won’t closely monitor kids, so they might get distracted. Nonetheless, an online teacher might use technological methods to supplement the lesson, such as games, youtube videos, and more. This keeps kids engaged and motivated.

Is It Good to Take a Private Piano Lesson?

Private piano lessons are great in that they make you more patient, disciplined, and concentrated. Also, your music teacher will customize your lesson plans to fit your specific needs, which can be highly beneficial.

Final Thoughts

All in all, when comparing online piano lessons and in-person lessons, we can’t declare one as superior to the other. In-person and online piano lessons work in different ways. So, you need to determine your priorities and consider various factors, such as timing, cost, and more. This way, you can decide if learning piano online or in person is a good fit for you.

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