In light of current events causing many of us to practice social distancing or self-isolation, studying remotely is a way to return some normality and routine into our lives. Although online learning has been popular for quite some time due to its flexibility and accessibility, more and more music teachers and students are switching to it right now. It’s fantastic that we now have access to learn from the comfort of our own home, however, it’s certainly different from learning in a traditional classroom and there may be some challenges to overcome. Here are our top tips to study online so you can make the most out of your course!
Tip 1: Find a course that suits you
The first step to success is finding a course that suits you! Depending on the learning program, you may not have frequent one to one live sessions with your tutor, so it’s important you pick something that suits your current abilities and will help you achieve your end goal. If you’re looking for one to one tuition, you will also be able to find just that. It might be good to schedule a call with your potential teacher to discuss your aims and objectives and see if they’re a good fit. Pay attention to reviews and testimonials too.
Tip 2: Allocate a study space
In a dedicated learning environment, you will have a study space that suits your needs. If you’re learning from home, you’ll need to create that for yourself. Find a quiet space that helps you focus, eliminate distractions and organise it in a way that suits your requirements. Simple tips like decluttering your desk, making sure you have a comfortable and supportive chair and good lighting can go a long way in enhancing your learning process.
Tip 3: Have all the resources you need
Before you begin your studies, make sure you have everything you need so you can learn uninterrupted. Keep useful books in your study space, check that your wifi and computer are working as expected. If you’re studying in real-time, test your microphone and webcam before connecting with your tutor and have your instrument ready, if this is a music lesson. Staying organised will help the lesson run as smoothly as possible.
Tip 4: Keep yourself accountable
Learning online, particularly from a pre-recorded course makes it easy for you to get distracted and forget about your academic goals. You need to make sure that you’re logging on consistently and completing the modules to avoid cramming it all in at once. Keep track of your progress, see how you are improving and if not, why not? Think about the way you’re learning, do you have TV on in the background, are you answering emails or messages at the same time? These habits could really halt your progress, so make sure to give your full attention and focus on the learning materials when you study.
Tip 5: Develop time management skills
One of the benefits of studying online is, it can work around your schedule, providing a lot more flexibility than a traditional learning environment. While this attracts a lot of students, it could set a challenge for those of us who are not used to planning our own time. To stay on top of things, make a note of all important deadlines, write them in your calendar and make sure you look at it frequently. Use apps like Google Calendar or a physical diary and plan your week, write down your goals and schedule in time for study. Don’t leave everything until the last minute, it’s better to start early and stagger your work over a period of a few weeks, so it doesn’t feel quite as stressful as you approach a deadline.
Tip 6: Discover how you learn at your best
We’re all different in the way we learn, so it’s important you get to know yourself to reap the benefits of studying online. Do you feel you are most productive in the morning? Get some work done before or after breakfast. Prefer to work in the afternoon? Schedule studies in your lunch hour or right after work. If you’re a bit of a night owl, you can find some time after dinner. Similarly, figure out if you’re better at absorbing knowledge by listening, watching or doing. In addition to your online course, you could find audiobooks, write down notes or physically do the things you’ve learned, find some colourful infographics and more resources to support your learning. Getting to know how you work best will help you tailor online studies to suit you.
Tip 7: Ask questions
Sometimes, it can be a bit tricky to communicate with your tutor in the same way you would in real life, particularly, if the course is pre-recorded. You should always have the option to reach out to your tutor if you’re having any issues, so make sure you get in touch with them. Even if you’re having live online sessions, they may not always be aware you’re confused about something, so ask the question. Most tutors will be happy to help and go over anything you need more insight on!
Tip 8: Get involved with an online community
The helpful network and camaraderie between fellow students can also be found online! Many courses will have dedicated online communities where you can share your ideas and concerns with others who are in the same situation. If you’re learning with a private tutor, there are plenty of forums that you can join, full of other musicians and students. Communicating with likeminded people and sharing the challenges and victories of online learning will give you a sense of community and support when you need it.
Tip 9: Listen to feedback
Firstly, asking for feedback is really crucial to tracking your progress, but once you have it, make sure you apply it to your next assignment, project or challenge. Taking feedback onboard will help you do better in the future, identify the areas for improvement and also get a sense of accomplishment on things you excel at.
Tip 10: 10. Apply your knowledge
Once you’ve learned something new, there’s no use keeping it to yourself! Apply your knowledge in a practical setting and see how much more you can improve. For example, if you’re learning to sing or play a musical instrument, show off the songs you’ve learned at an open mic night or join a band. You could also create entertaining content that will help you track your progress and share it with others. Set up some social media pages, find other musicians to network with. Practical application will make your skills feel ‘real’ and you will be surprised to find how much better you are progressing further. It will inspire you to stay motivated and keep pushing yourself.
We hope you enjoyed our top tips to study online! The benefits of studying online are vital to explore, particularly, if you are staying at home right now. Keeping your brain active and your skills alive will ensure you don’t miss a beat and you may even have more time to invest in developing your musicianship, so take advantage of that.
Tags: Online learning
, Learn online
, Virtual learning