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Online Tuition: Is It Right for Your Family?



By Suzy St. George

Remember taking music lessons as a child? For many students, that meant packing up your instrument and your books at the same time every week and making your way to your teacher’s house. Maybe you got dropped off at the lesson or perhaps your parents waited patiently in the next room or in the car.

Well, things have certainly changed since then! Now, you can find practically anything you need online or through various smartphone apps – from shopping for household basics to learning a new language.

Music lessons, too, are evolving with technology. Many private teachers offer live, online lessons through Skype, Google Hangouts, or other video chat platforms. It’s a convenient way to help your child learn, and one that can save you time, money – and even your sanity!

Web sites like TakeLessons make it easier than ever to find teachers nationwide, offering online lessons in subjects ranging from music and languages to screenwriting, drawing, and vocal training.

Singing and acting teacher Molly R., based in Hayward, CA, has worked with several online students and sees them flourish just as much as her in-person students. Her student Sam, for example, came to her hoping to brush up for an upcoming audition.

“We chose online lessons because I don't have a license and my grandparents didn't want to drive me somewhere if they could avoid it,” Sam, 17, explained. “I wanted to improve my singing to help me be more successful in theater.”

For most online students, the learning process is exactly the same; you’re simply working through a webcam.

“We started with the basics – alignment, breathing, and basic ear training,” said teacher Molly. “I do this with everyone – in person and online. Nothing changes! The only thing that does differ is that my online vocalists tend to sit. This is not an issue as long as they sit up straight. I'm always looking!”

The training and guidance Sam received certainly came in handy – she scored the lead role at her audition.

Even if you’re not prepping for an audition or performance, online lessons can be a great option for students of all ages. Wondering if they’re right for you or your child? Here are 3 questions to consider:

  • Do you have a packed schedule or limited transportation? The convenience of online lessons is unbeatable. Instead of shuffling your kids to their lessons, simply power up your computer and your webcam and connect instantly!
  • Do you have a limited budget? Online lessons are typically priced lower than in-person lessons; plus, you’re saving money on gas or other transportation costs.
  • Are you having trouble finding a quality teacher? If your perfect teacher is across the country, connecting with them is still possible with online lessons, which can be a huge benefit if you live in a small town and want to expand your options.

For families with packed schedules, the convenience of online lessons is unbeatable. Students get the same one-on-one guidance that private lessons provide without the higher cost or hassle of traveling. And that alone can be quite the sanity-saver!

Suzy St. George is a writer for TakeLessons, an online marketplace for students and families to find qualified and vetted instructors in areas ranging from music, dance, and acting to foreign languages, math, and photography. Learn more and search for a teacher near you at http://takelessons.com.



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