The truth about 'Online Music Lessons' 
Written by Swapna Karambakkam on Nov 6th 2020
Are you getting the best Return On Investment on your "online music lessons"?

As parents one of our major concerns is worthwhile activities for our children and also whether the child is getting the intended benefits of the significant investment in time and money. In many cases it is seen that kids have been taking music lessons for years at end without any significant progress in their musical abilities. Before considering online music lessons parents should consider these aspects about the academy or school that they are registering their kids to, for music education. 

1. Accomplishments of the Instructor is just one criteria

How accomplished the instructor is - does not always translate into good music education for your child - it is just one piece of the puzzle. Continue to read below to see what guarantees a Return On Investment in worthwhile music education. 

2. Does the Instructor/School/Academy use an online learning platforms (also termed LMS or Learning Management Systems)?

These platforms allow students access to on-demand video lessons and material so that they can refer to these after the class and during their daily practice sessions. In the absence of this facility you are relying on the students ability to absorb and remember all that has been taught and discussed in class - needless to say the process of learning will take much longer leaving the student feeling helpless and in wait for the next class whenever he has a question or is not sure about some material/technique he/she is supposed to master. Even worse, sometimes they practice something incorrectly again resulting in valuable time being wasted in correction and re-learning. 

2. Are Practice Logs and Schedules enforced for students?

Often times the onus for daily practice is left entirely on students without any enforcement/encouragement/motivation from the teaching authority. This can only delay the learning process as all progress is entirely dependent on how regularly the student practices. Most reputed institutions have procedures and facilities in place to encourage, monitor and reward regular practice efforts by students. 

3. Are students required to regularly submit video homework assignments?

Most of the times, only when they sit down to do a video recording of their playing do students realize how unprepared they are. Unless they are required to submit regular homework assignments and recordings, their progress will be slow and inefficient. How diligent the instructor/academy is about mandating homework assignments is a good indicator of how committed they are to your child's progress. 

4. Are you receiving feedback on homework assignments?

Many a times this is a one-way traffic with students submitting homework but not getting feedback on their efforts. Again the result is slower progress and inefficient learning cycles. How committed are the instructors in providing actionable feedback on homework assignments is a good criterion to estimate how your child will progress.    

5. Is your child getting performance opportunities?

Performance is the culmination of every step in music education. It can even be said that music education is effective only with regular performances since these are the milestones which help students have goals, develop discipline, put in planned effort and gain a sense of achievement and confidence after delivering a successful performance. The more the better - so know in advance how often will your child be performing. 

6. Does the online class format provide for peer engagement?
A large part of learning especially for kids and teenagers happens with peers - when they see their peers doing something better they are automatically inclined to put an effort to improve themselves. In most cases, private lessons are good only for advanced students. Again it is good business to do online private lessons for the academy but does it promise you and your child the best stimulus and environment to learn and improve?

Most of the premier academies provide online platforms where class mates can communicate safely and securely, share video clips of their progress, like and comment on each others videos and constructively progress faster and in a fun environment full of engagement and social interaction.  



Swapna Karambakkam


Swapna is an HR professional and also a mom to two beautiful daughters. As a parent she is always on the lookout for constructive and educational activities for her daughters and is an outspoken activist for children's rights.