Let me go ahead and get this out of the way.
There is no substitution for in-person music education.
These past several months have had their share of trials and tribulations. However, I have also seen a large number of unexpected benefits and positive effects among music students due to online music education.
- Students are learning more about audio and video technology. This is an important skill for students to develop in order for them to make recordings to use for auditions, festivals, and other events.
- Students are gaining virtual performance experience. Many students have organized livestreamed recitals, lectures, and events using social media and other platforms. This provides them with valuable performance experience and teaches them how to interact with audiences. Additionally, many of these virtual performances have a higher number of viewers than they would attract in a traditional concert setting.
- Students are making more recordings. Recordings are the greatest teachers, as they allow students to hear what they truly sound like instead of what they think they sound like. Having to record record for lessons, studio, or other classes also helps students to compile recordings which they might be able to use for future opportunities.
- Students are becoming savvy at digital networking. I’m truly inspired by the number of websites, YouTube channels, blogs, and social media accounts music students have created to promote their art and connect with others. This allows them to create a virtual portfolio and network with other musicians from around the world.
- Students are getting to meet musicians from around the world. Before this year, the idea of inviting an international guest artist for a studio class was often logistically unfeasible. Now, students can “meet” internationally renowned musicians via Zoom or other platforms.
- Students are broadening their career options. As technology continues to play a larger role in music education, many music students are expanding their job search. Students are combining their interests and creating new jobs for themselves in the music field, and the options are infinite.
- Students are expanding their musical horizons. With so many free Zoom webinars, online courses, and other opportunities for professional development, students can learn about a variety of new subjects from the comfort of their home.
- Students are saving money through free and reduced price concerts, programs, courses, and other opportunities. Many organizations have offered free virtual conferences, free access to premium content, free product trials, free livestreamed concerts, and several other ways for students to experience things they might not have otherwise.
- Students are learning the value of determination and perseverance. This has been a tough year for everyone, and the music students who work hard, stay motivated, and persevere throughout this ordeal will find success.