If you want to know what is the most effective way of learning a musical instrument, this article is for you! You know that learning the guitar, piano, violin, or singing takes time, actually a lot of time! That’s why it’s great when you know all options at the beginning. I am going to talk about 3 ways on how to learn to play a musical instrument. You gonna find out which one can be the best for you, or at least which criteria you should consider as a beginner or intermediate musician.
3 Ways On How To Learn To Play A Musical Instrument
At first, I’m going to introduce all of these approaches, and then we will discuss them in detail.
1. The first, and probably the most common way of learning music is based on in-person lessons with a music teacher. These traditional classes in a music school or private lessons are usually the first step of every beginner.
2. The second way is learning with a pre-prepared online video course or an online program. There are many music courses to choose from for every instrument. They contain a different number of video lessons teaching you how to play or sing, but there is no or minimal interaction with an instructor.
3. The third method combines the previous two. Live online lessons with music teacher via Skype, Zoom, or some other platform keep the personal approach while you can stay at home.
But which of these ways is the best for you? Well, the answer is …it depends. Let’s talk about the pros and risks of each method. Then, you should be able to make your picture and opinion.
1. In-Person Lessons
Wherever you are from, there are for sure some national music schools, elementary music schools, or private music schools. They usually provide several music programs you can enroll. You can easily find a teacher for the guitar, piano, violin, or singing. It can be a little more difficult with some other instruments, like a saxophone, bass guitar, ukulele, drums, or double bass for example.
The biggest advantage of having a music teacher is a personal individual approach. I think this is essential, especially for beginners and children. In case you have a skilled teacher who knows how to do his job, you will learn new things logically step-by-step. When the teacher knows your preferences, your personality, what type of practice is going well, and what makes you problems, he/she can adapt lessons to you! This individual approach is the big thing!
Another factor is motivation. The job of a good teacher is not only to teach you how to play a musical instrument correctly but find a way how to keep your interest and motivation. He needs to try to create your relationship with music. That’s why many teachers combine instrument practice with teaching how to play music you like. They can also encourage you to play with other students.
On the other hand, the biggest risk is, when you meet a teacher who doesn’t care, who doesn’t have experience enough, or who just doesn’t like his job. In this case, you can lose your passion for music, your motivation and you gonna finish soon or later.
As you can see, taking private music lessons or classes in music school absolutely depends on the quality of the teacher. Nevertheless, I believe, traditional learning with a music teacher is still the BEST option for beginners and kids. Let’s summarize this way of learning:
Due to the Individual approach, the teacher can
- Adapt lessons according to your preferences
- Teach and show you the correct playing techniques
- Motivate you to keep practicing
- Help you to avoid playing bad habits
- A bad teacher can discourage you
- Individual lessons are time-consuming (traveling)
- Relatively high cost for a private teacher
- Hard to find a teacher for some musical instruments
- Set time of lessons you have to adapt
2. Pre-prepared Video Courses
Let’s talk about another option – Prepared video courses. These are digital products that contain video lessons, PDFs, and audio files teaching you step-by-step on how to practice your instrument. On bestmusiccourses.com, you can find several quality courses in the main upper menu under online music courses. Just pick the musical instrument you want to learn and check out details.
I recommend this option for teens and adults who want to have total freedom while learning. It means you can take a lesson anytime you want and wherever you want. What you need to make a progress are discipline and effort. A huge advantage of some prepared video courses is the quality of instructors. Many of them belong to the most respected musicians in the world! Even there is no interaction between you and your instructor, you can learn to play pretty fast because of adapting of the learning process according to your time.
Related article: 7 Steps To Find Your Best Online Music Course
Even this way of learning a musical instrument is very attractive and much cheaper like private lessons, the individual approach is missing. But some of these courses offer a little communication with an instructor. You can send a video or audio for the teacher’s review. A great example is ArtistWorks. It is a platform you can find high-quality music lessons with top instructors. Now, let’s repeat the benefits and risks of pre-prepared video courses:
- Step-by-step video lessons for musicians of all levels
- Top instructors
- Learn anytime and anywhere
- Set your progress pace
- A lower price in comparison with private lessons or online teacher
- Some of these courses have a detailed focus on jazz, classical music, or pop
- No, or minimal interaction with the coach
- Not possible to adapt learning according to your individual skills
3. Online Music Teacher
Now, let’s continue with the last way of learning music, which is similar to the previous two: Online music teacher. There are several websites where you can find great online music teachers for almost every musical instrument.
It works very well because on some of these websites you can filter teachers according to several criteria like a musical instrument, lesson length, price, references, age, place, and so on. This can help you to find a good music coach for you.
When comparing in-person classes and online lessons with a teacher, there are some differences. In the real world, it can be a little unpleasant to change a teacher in a music school. On the other hand, the same thing in the online world is easy.
Learning with an online teacher brings also some imperfections, like difficulties with an internet connection, video, and sound, time zones, or language barriers. But overall, this option can be great for teens and adults, who prefer to learn music with a real teacher, but don’t want to travel for in-person classes. Let’s summarize the pros and cons of learning music with an online teacher:
- Combination of individual approach with the comfort of being at home while learning
- You can easily find a teacher who fits your preferences
- A high amount of skilled music instructors to choose from
- You can learn at home
- Available tutors for less common instruments like harp, violoncello, ukulele, or tuba
- Possible problems with an internet connection
- Video and sound quality is not always good
- Set exact time for a lesson
How To Choose The Best Way Of Learning a Musical Instrument?
I hope, after reading about 3 learning approaches, you already have one that kept your attention. If you are a complete beginner, I recommend the first or third option – a teacher. In case you already play a several months or years, online video courses can be beneficial to you. When you are a parent looking for music lessons for your kid, start with traditional lessons. To keep a children’s attention is sometimes a hard job even for a great experienced teacher:)
Anyway, online learning is very flexible and once you are not satisfied with a course you have, you can cancel a subscription (most of the online courses are based on monthly or annual subscription) or use a money-back guarantee.
Few Words In Conclusion
Hopefully, this article (video) helped you to realize what options do you have. Learning a musical instrument is an adventurous journey that opens new possibilities. I would like to encourage you to make your first step (if you already didn’t). When you will invest your time and effort into music and you choose a proper learning way, the music will give you everything back. I am interested in how you are learning music, so if you want, let your experience or an opinion on this topic in the comment section below this article.