With the help of the Internet, your living room may very well be your classroom, as more and more universities offer online degree programs for students who are too busy to take on-campus classes. Furthermore, there are now companies that offer free online courses—often called MOOC by students, short for massively open online courses—that cover anything from algebra to computer science and even robotics. Now, even music teachers are joining the trend, as this article by Lee Romney from The Los Angeles Times reports:

Music Lessons

Plugging into the Internet

Talc Tolchin ducks into the music studio he built behind his Marin County cottage, where the sun filters through a towering redwood tree and his daughter has dotted the flower beds with fairy houses. It’s time for his next piano lesson.

……… But not all of Tolchin’s students are close by. When it’s time to greet his second student on a recent Friday, he reaches for the laptop perched on his upright piano and summons her — via Skype.

Madeline Sheron pops up, peering at Tolchin from under her dark bangs. They banter — about an app that offers piano, bass and drum accompaniment, adjusted for groove and tempo. Then they dive into “All of Me,” the song Sheron had chosen in hopes of mastering jazz improvisation.

Of course, piano isn’t the only instrument you can learn with the help of distance learning. Mark Hamrock, for example, gives online music lessons to Orange County students hoping to become the next Chuck Berry or Eric Clapton. Online learning allows students to save both time and money as they can learn the guitar in the comfort of their own home. Even better, the sessions can be recorded and reviewed as many times as needed until the lesson sticks. For the teachers, giving lessons online allows them to teach more motivated students as it eliminates the downtime of waiting for other students to arrive.

Still, getting Orange County music lessons online does require some technical investments from both student and teacher. At the very least, they should have a computer or laptop with a microphone, a set of cameras trained at different angles, and a headset. Most importantly, a stable internet connection is required to facilitate clear communication between student and teacher.

As online music lessons have proven, the World Wide Web has become a treasure trove of knowledge in more ways than one. Today, learning a new instrument can be as easy as plugging in your computer and going online.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Online music lessons in the key of see, The Los Angeles Times, April 29, 201)

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