It has been wonderful to return to face to face singing lessons this year. 2020 was very challenging, having to change my vocal studio to all online lessons. Although online singing lessons were and still are a very successful way of learning, there is nothing like being in the same room with your student, watching them and listening to them, giving instant feedback and then hearing, in person, the changes and improvement made.
What are the benefits of online singing lessons? First off, there is no travelling involved, so you can learn from anyone in the world, if you really wanted to. Secondly, you can learn in the comfort of your own home, in your own space that you are used to singing in. Third, if you are a little unwell (either the student or the teacher), you can still have your lesson and not worry about infecting anyone. Fourth, you can pretty much do whatever you do in a regular class in terms of technical work, exercises and learning repertoire. As long as you have your materials with you, you are good to go.
What are the drawbacks? First, you need a really good internet connection. If the internet connection is poor and things keep dropping out during a lesson, it can be very frustrating. Second, there is some time lag between the teacher and student speaking and hearing, it is enough that you cannot do things in real time, so there is always listen and respond, and this can be tricky at times. As long as the student has a recording of the exercise or song at their end, then you can get around this in the lesson. This leads into the third drawback – the student has to do a lot of extra work from their end, setting up tracks etc… while the teacher has to wait. Fourth, the sound quality can often be an issue, especially if the student hasn’t got a very good microphone on their device. It can sometimes be difficult to hear accurately, especially on higher notes where the microphone has difficulty picking up the sound frequency. Fifth, sometimes the student doesn’t have a good rehearsal space and is interrupted by family members, or the student interrupts the family or neighbours, or it isn’t near the modem and the connection is affected.
In saying all this, whether you have in person or online singing lessons, it is important that you find a teacher that you can work with to assist you in developing your skills, and that you can receive feedback so that you can know you are improving your singing.