How to Teach Music Online: Tips for Your Success

Woman taking online guitar lessonsTeaching music online is a great way to connect with more students and eliminate much of the logistics that eat into your schedule and take up valuable time. Teaching music online will challenge even the seasoned music teacher, and improve music teaching skills overall by forcing teaching outside their comfort zones in finding new ways to communicate. 

While there are benefits to online teaching, engaging students virtually requires a slightly different skill set, and significant practice and preparation. Here are a few tips for virtual music teachers to consider. 

How do you teach music virtually?

While there are similar skills in teaching in person versus online, remote lessons do create some challenges one would not need to overcome in person. Focusing on the space, the equipment, and helpful resources will improve the virtual experience and the efficacy of lessons for students. 

Different strategies for teaching music will need to be employed in order to overcome technology latency, audio distortion, clipping or feedback, in addition to keeping students engaged to avoid downtime. 

Virtual music teachers must pay close attention to the hardware and software being used, in order to create a smooth and effective learning experience. Avoid using phones for the video or audio component, as the quality will suffer substantially. Consider a laptop or desktop with background lighting and an audio interface to keep the sound crystal clear and avoid any clipping.

How do I make my virtual teaching easier?

Music teacher giving virtual lessonAny teacher trying to teach online for the first time will realize that it’s far more difficult than it looks. Lack of planning and preparation will leave teaching with little material to cover and a lack of effective ways to communicate information in a productive manner. 

To make virtual music teaching easier, spend time in advance developing a structure for the lessons and creating audio and visual aids that will assist in the lesson. There are plenty of software resources for teachers and musicians that allow creators to build infographics that help students better conceptualize challenging material. Notation software has features that will help teachers notate songs, rhythms, melodies, and more. Most video software gives the users ability to display these graphics during the video conference session, so teachers can actually show these things on screen. 

Another way to make the virtual teaching easier is to use a second camera. Teachers can have one camera focused on the actual physical playing of the instrument, and the other camera focused on their face so they can look at their students while speaking. Most video conference software can accommodate a dual camera input, and it gives students a better experience that with a single view. 

How can I be a better music teacher?

To be a better music teacher, consider the five important qualities that Forbes Music looks for in great teachers, as well as the 10 tips for teaching music. If taken to heart and thoughtfully used, your teaching success will reach new heights. The five qualities Forbes Music looks for include:

  • Commitment
  • Consistency
  • Communication
  • Competence
  • Connection

The 10 tips that all music teachers should consider include these topics:

  • Preparation
  • Invest in gear
  • Have a toolbox of tricks
  • Use resources
  • Keep flexible expectations
  • Provide structure
  • Be positive, encouraging, and smile
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Have patience
  • Try new things

Online Music Teaching Jobs

For those teachers excited about the possibility of teaching music online, getting started can often be a big challenge with a few question marks. Promoting services and ramping up a roster of students can be slow and painstaking, so finding a reputable organization with experience in online music education could be a critical step to find success. 

Forbes Music Company works with teachers to build their teaching brand and student roster, while providing exceptional experiences for both students and teachers. Often teachers with Forbes Music balance teaching music online with in-person private music lessons. The variety can help teachers improve their teaching skills, avoid monotony, and ultimately take advantage of different environments within which to work.


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