Music Lessons and Technology
In part one of How to Rebuild Your Music School After COVID, Danny Thompson and I talked about the long-lasting impact that the virus is going to have on the music lesson industry. It’s certainly too early to tell with certainty what the long-lasting impact is, but it’s clear that the average consumer is now much more comfortable with technology than they were a little over a year ago. Not only has people’s comfort level with technology increased in recent months, but people’s attitudes towards technology have changed.
Convenience and Speed
We’re always looking for what’s faster. What is more convenient. What is easier. These are all desirable traits with any service or product. A year and a half ago, I never would have been open to the idea of telehealth. I can’t tell you how many doctors I’ve seen now over the internet. I really appreciate the convenience of it all. The 10-to-15-minute drive to the doctor’s office has been eliminated. The wait in the waiting room has been removed. I show up to my appointment on Zoom at 10:00 AM. There’s a doctor, 20 minutes later, the appointment is over and I can resume back to whatever I was doing.
The Truth About Virtual Music Lessons
The convenience factor of virtual lessons is undeniable. Virtual lessons are giving parents back so much time. A 30-minute in-person lesson is really an hour investment in terms of the drive to the music school and the drive back. Then there’s the time the parent has to sit there in your waiting room, while their child’s in the lesson. Maybe they are trying to be productive, get some work done, but there are so many distractions. Music schools are loud. The sound of six or eight different music lessons happening at once certainly makes it hard to concentrate, as a mom is trying to focus on her email or take a call from a client.
With virtual lessons, the drive time’s eliminated, and a parent can focus on whatever tasks they were doing prior to the music lesson. Maybe at most, the only distraction or disruption for the parent is helping the child log on to Zoom or to Rock Out Loud Live.
Kids and Technology
Kids are much better now with being able to be independent and log in themselves. So yes, something is lost. No doubt something is lost with the in-person lesson. There’s something to be said for the in-person lesson. Something happens in a space where there are two people working together. There’s a certain energy there, and that can never be replicated in the online environment. The online environment provides convenience and ease of use that are certainly attractive to both child and to parent.
Adding Glitz and Glamour to Virtual Lessons
I love what Danny said in the last episode about the importance of setting up the teacher space with good lighting, good camera angles, a nice backdrop to make it feel like the child is interacting with YouTuber. Adds a little star quality to the music teacher. Kids are obsessed with YouTube. It’s a very comfortable environment for them. It’s a very familiar environment for them. And when the music lessons feel more like a YouTube video, but where the YouTuber’s interacting with you, that really makes for an exciting experience for kids.
Give Your Students Bragging Rights
The online music lessons also create instant video content that both the music school can use for their marketing and the student can use for their own social media efforts. The parents can use those videos. It’s an opportunity for them to brag about their child on social media. So the whole content component that comes out of the virtual lesson allows both the music school and the student to get some additional mileage from it.
Virtual Lessons and Better Practice Habits
Something that Danny said in part one, and I hadn’t thought about this is the value of the student not having to pack up their instrument, travel, come back home, and unpack. Where all they have to do is grab their instrument, do their lesson. And when the call ends, the likelihood that they’re going to maybe play a little beyond the Zoom lesson is greatly increased because there’s less of a barrier there. I mean, just the simple act of putting the guitar away and shutting it into a case removes the instrument away from the child. How many kids come home from their in-person lesson and never open their instrument case? How many kids let the instrument just sit in there, never pick it up and practice during the week? Don’t open it again until they return for their next lesson?