Recently my husband toyed with the idea of giving up his life here in the metropolis of Oklahoma City to return to his roots as a farmer’s son in the very rural community of Corn, Oklahoma.
Is there really a town called Corn you ask? Well I can definitely say there is, and the town lives up to many of the images that probably emerge into your head upon hearing such a name.
The population of Corn consists of about 600 people made up primarily of teachers and farmers. No grocery store. No stop lights. No fast food restaurants. No clothing stores. No Walmart. No banks. Well…really the only thing besides houses in the whole town are two churches, a small 7th-12th grade Christian school, 1 coop where people can fill up with gas, a diner that is open every so often, and a post office that is closed during the lunch hour. In fact, if Corn kids don’t go to the Christian school they have to be bussed 20 minutes to the nearest public school. Yes, it is that kind of town.
So, with the prospect of moving to such a community, I began to think what musical opportunities would be available for my girls who love music so much. While I could provide some musical training on the home front, I began to see what others options might be available. The result? Online Music Lessons!
Try Online Music Lessons
There are so many online music lesson options out there today. Just do a google search for “online music lessons,” and you will receive scores of online lesson opportunities for nearly every instrument.
At first I was very leary of these types of music lessons because the online lessons that I was familiar with were the kind that involved pre-recorded video lessons with no student-teacher interaction. How could a child expect to improve if he/she didn’t have personal help from an instructor?
Well, online music lessons are not like that anymore. Now music lessons online are INTERACTIVE. By that, I mean the online teacher actually communicates with and teaches the student directly through the use of Skype, submission of practice videos, and other live feed connections. It’s fabulous!
You can literally have a live private music lesson for nearly any musical instrument (including voice) from the privacy of your own home. You don’t have to drive somewhere. You just have to have a computer and be at your computer on time! That’s it!
Our Online Music Lessons Experience
One opportunity my girls recently experienced in preparation for this potential move was with Gentle Guitar who provides private online guitar lessons for early elementary students. My girls thought it was so neat that they had a private teacher all the way from New Zealand who not only knew her stuff, but also had a pretty neat accent.
Inga, with Gentle Guitar, had a very gentle teaching style that immediately attracted my initially shy girls. As a fellow music teacher, I also appreciated the precision with which she expected my daughter to read her beginning rhythms.
To begin, Peanut had a music packet to download, print, and have ready at the first lesson. Inga then worked through the packet with Peanut one page at a time, and then gave her homework to practice throughout the week and mark off. The program was very well organized and, to my delighted surprise, began teaching rhythmic notation right away.
We tried out the Gentle Guitar’s private Skype lessons, but they also provide online video lessons if that is your preference.
Benefits of Online Music Lessons
Online music lessons have come a long way in the past several years. Now I can finally recommend online music learning as a music teacher because it is finally relational. Online music lessons are:
- Convenient. You don’t have to travel somewhere to have a lesson.
- Affordable. With so many options available, online music lessons can be a more affordable option for music lessons than local instruction.
- Effective. With video chat online music lessons, like those done with Gentle Guitar on Skype, you can receive very similar and immediate feedback from a qualified instructor who may not be in your own town.
- Quality. You have MORE opportunities to find a QUALITY instructor than you might be able to find near your home.
By the way, a little sidenote, Gentle Guitar, is one of the few online music lessons that I found geared primarily toward younger elementary students. So, if this something you are considering for someone in that age group, I would seriously consider starting here. They teach you basic musical notation that can easily be transferred later on to nearly any instrument, not just guitar. Oh, and you don’t even have to have a guitar for your first few lessons (which you can try out for FREE). Any type of instrument will do!
You can find Gentle Guitar on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+.
That said, whatever you do, if you live in a rural setting or are in a location where traveling to private music lessons might be a challenge, give online music lessons a try! They may just be the answer you are looking for!