In today’s music lesson, we’re going to discuss how to make the most of online lessons. Voice instructor Abby Heimann will offer tips on how to get prepared.
Voice Lessons with Abby Heimann, The Lesson Studio, Boulder, CO
With technology becoming more and more prominent in schools, workplaces, and everyday life, virtual music lessons are gaining a lot of popularity. And while you might think that in-person voice lessons are far superior to online lessons, you would be surprised how many pros there are to this form of instruction. Here are some tips to prepare yourself for your virtual voice lessons.
Have Your Materials Ready
Having your lesson materials ready by the start of the lesson allows you to have more of your lesson time devoted to actually singing. If your teacher has to send you files or links that you had access to before the lesson, that takes up your valuable lesson time when you could have had everything out and ready beforehand. Have your sheet music printed or downloaded to a device that you can use during the lesson. Have practice or karaoke tracks of your songs queued up and ready to go. This will make both you and the teacher feel like your lesson was most productive!
Make the most of online lessons – Take Notes!
I highly recommend taking notes during your online voice lesson. You can simply jot down reminders on your sheet music or, since you are already on a device, create a note document and type notes out as you go. Another way you can sort of “take notes” is by recording your lesson. There are plenty of apps that allow you to record what is happening on your device in real time, such as Screencast-O-Matic. This is great because you would probably feel weird bringing in a tripod and camcorder to your in-person lessons. Just be sure to ask your teacher’s permission before recording.
The Advantages of Online
Most online voice lessons, like ours at The Lesson Studio, are done through video chat platforms such as Skype or Zoom. Both of these platforms allow screen sharing, which is great for sharing sheet music or sight-singing examples. One huge advantage of virtual voice lessons is that you can see video of yourself for the entire lesson. This is great because you can constantly be checking in the posture of your head, neck, and shoulders; your breath; your mouth shape; and your facial expressions. These all require consistent practice to gain the muscle memory for correct technique. You can discover A LOT about your singing habits that you may not have noticed in a regular lesson.
From the Comfort of Your Home
One clear benefit of virtual voice lessons is not having to drive to another location and being in your own home. However, this can come with some drawbacks. Being at home can sometimes make us feel a bit too relaxed and make it harder to focus. Be sure to find a space in your home that allows you to be focused, like an office, and away from distractions. Do not – and I repeat, DO NOT – try to sing from your comfy bed! I’ve had one student attempt this, and they almost fell asleep! … Not really, but bed-singing clearly isn’t the best singing posture. Lastly, if you still feel like it is hard to focus at home, just take my previous advice of taking notes, and be sure to read the notes from your instructor and practice them!
If you follow these tips, you’ll be certain to have an awesome online voice lesson that is productive and makes you realize that virtual instruction can be just as great as in-person lessons!