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Lessons or Apps

With the recent development of technology, students no longer need in person instructors to teach them how to play many of their favourite instruments. They can simply download a free app, or trial version, learn some chords and play along to many of their favourite songs using a simple video. These videos will claim that students do not need to learn theory to do well on their instrument. So the big question is do we need instructors and in person lessons anymore?

The answer is not as easy a yes as one may think. For many people all they want to do is play some simple chords at a campfire. For this the apps work wonders... even YouTube can teach you how to do that. For others simple playing a simple melody is all they want. Apps can teach you this as well. For many others sitting with a person for half an hour every day is too much and an app that can be paused and restarted fits their schedule a lot nicer than lessons. For a very select amount of students in person lessons seems appealing as it is holds them accountable and helps them progress. Knowing that in a weeks time someone will be checking in on you keeps them on task.

This is why apps are so nice. No accountability, no rush, your own pace, and whenever you want to practice is a good time. You make your own schedule, and in todays society this is the ultimate life goal. Is this what we need though? Will this really help? Again the answer is not a simple yes or no. For some this will help! Making their own schedule, practicing for themselves, and being accountable to themselves will help them get far. For many it is not.

Private lessons provide instant feedback that is at the students level, and is intended to help them progress at their own pace. Instructors also provide information based on how the instrument is held and played each lessons that apps cannot offer. Instructors allow for questioning and answer based on what they see in real time.

With technology where it is students can look up any piece of information they need and put it to use, but without any applicable reason to use it students have no reason to look it up. Private instructors provide instruction and assignments that give students a reason to use theory knowledge they would otherwise not use. Teachers give purpose to those scales and chords that the apps call meaningless.

In short, having another person in real time provide information that is geared towards the advancing of the students theoretical and practical advancement on their instrument through level appropriate lessons is where private lessons trump apps

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