Makes Music Education
Easily Accessible to
By Eric Michael Roberts
When I started learning uitar in 1994, I bought a guitar at the nearest music store, which was located
about twenty minutes away from where I
lived. I went back to that same store, once
a week, to meet in a very small room and
sit face to face (literally!) with an instructor.
It worked. I am a musician and make my
living in the field of music today. Private
lessons are still an excellent way to learn
to play an instrument. If, however, you are
in need of a more flexible and affordable
option, look no further than your home
computer or iPad. Online learning is cost-efficient, convenient, and customizable.
In my hometown in Ohio, private music
lessons range from $75–$100 per month.
If you live on one of the coasts, lessons are
probably more costly. In comparison, my
online learning program for guitar, from
8chords100songs.com, costs only $149.99
for the whole year! That is a savings of over
$1,000 compared to private lessons! Other
programs, such as Brett Manning’s Singing
Success, cost only $199.95 for the complete program! If you have more than one
person in your home who is interested in
playing the same instrument, your savings
increases even more, because most online
programs are purchased per household,
not per individual.
There are many benefits to studying
online. First, you do not have a scheduled lesson time that is determined by
the teacher’s availability. You will not
have to drive to the lesson location and
wait for thirty minutes to an hour while
your child takes his lesson. Most importantly, you are provided with a flexible
learning system that you can access right
from your living room!
Many online formats are similar to
the format adopted by my online school.
The student is given access to a special
student section, which includes lesson
plans, PDF book download (which can
be viewed online or printed), streaming
video for each lesson, and MP3 downloads for songs and exercises. The learning experience is interactive and visual.
The student can watch the videos over
and over again until she feels comfortable
with the song or technique. When she
feels ready, she can move on to the next
lesson via a simple click of the mouse.
. . . . has made learning
to play an instrument
accessible to every
Some instruments lend themselves to
at-home study more than others. You can
easily learn guitar, bass, drums, piano, or
voice with online lessons. Music theory
and music history are other subjects that
are easy to learn using an online format.
In addition to the many programs you
can purchase, thousands of online tutori-
als for almost every instrument are avail-
able at no cost. When learning online, I
encourage students to use a core curricu-
lum and supplement with free content
from their favorite sites. Just visit www.
search for your topic of interest! You will
find thousands of videos and tutorials
from professionals and amateurs who of-
fer lessons on songs and techniques.