Online guitar lessons have become increasingly popular with the youth (and young at heart) nowadays. It seems more and more apparent that the old days of traveling to an instructors house are long gone, with new technologies like video lessons, skype lessons and online discussion forums become more and more common place. It's not really a wonder why such a revolution might take place, because in today's day and age with all the technology and information available, why would one choose to travel to a specific location at a specific time (the same thing could be said for college classes, and we have seen online colleges become more and more popular nowadays). During a recent review of some of the more popular online guitar lessons for 2015, I've seen some really intriguing features and functionality that caused me to wonder why the old days haven't vanished altogether. I was also brought back down to earth by an interesting comment made by an expert in the field of music education. I came to a somewhat surprising conclusion for such a techie guy as myself.
So here goes...
So I was hanging out on the forums of TrueFire, one of the up and coming guitar lesson communities on the web, and I found out that they have several professional instructors that are very active on the forums. Some of them are even teachers for colleges in music education departments. I found this intriguing at first because I didn't expect such highly regarded musicians to take such active roles in an online community. Perhaps it was the geeky rebel in me that thought college professors were all stuck up and wouldn't lower themselves to the level of Internet geeks. However this was far from the case. In fact many of the people I chatted with online were very down to earth and tech savvy individuals. I also realized that maybe I was getting old. The college professors weren't even in their 40's yet, and I'm only 31, I realized that they had all come up with computers also, and were the vest-wearing pipe smoking academic smug caricatures I was expecting. So lesson learned, I'm getting older, and Internet users are getting older also. There are plenty of well regarding college educated musicians and instructors that don't mind spending time online. One of the instructors shared this excellent video with a neat little guitar lesson, check it out!
The next thing I learned happened to be a breakthrough in my thinking about music education and education in general. While I've spent the beginning of this article basically shitting on standardized education, I realized the face-to-face communication cannot be truly replaced. Why you ask? Well think about it... We are social creatures, and as such we desire social interaction. The internet and "social media" gives us that, but only in small doses and not to the full effect we desire. This means we really do benefit so much more from an actual face to face with a human than going through computer screen and iPhones. Of course, this isn't to say that we can't get a lot done with computers, but sometimes its good to supplement it with some old school face-to-face interaction.