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Music Technology For Online Music Lessons

Music and technology are two subjects that have become intertwined…and it’s safe to say that music, as a whole, has been changed by technological advances


Online music teachers use music technology to supplement their lessons all of the time- From online metronomes to apps, games, and even recording software, there is certainly much to glean. If you have a child who is interested in music, consider checking out some of the below resources with your student.


In the last article, we mentioned how music lessons can help teach technology because digital tools and music go hand in hand. In this piece, we will share some examples of music tech. These can be used during your homeschooler’s online music lessons, or as supplementary education. Either way, these tools below can help pupils get more

excited about learning their instrument, music theory, and more!






Online Music Lessons: Basic Tools


First and foremost, let’s look at the basics. Since music technology is technically any piece of equipment/device/tool that helps musicians perform, compose, or otherwise create online tuners and metronomes count.


These are two integral music tools that students need to learn to use: tuners help to make sure the instrument is adjusted correctly, while metronomes assist students in keeping time. If students don’t have these items at home, they can learn to use them online during their lessons. 


One perk of having these online or in the form of an app is that they often have more sounds and settings. For example, the digital metronome I have only can be adjusted in increments of 4 BMP (beats per minute) whereas the app I use allows me to adjust one beat at a time. 


Music Technology: DAWS for Production/Recording 

  • Helps teach music production and composition

  • Students can record and listen to themselves in high fidelity


There are many different options when it comes to music production. DAWs, or digital audio workstations can help teach students how to write their own pieces, learn how song form goes, and see the songs you listen to on the radio are created. 


 Many of these powerful platforms are also free to download. Some DAWS ( I’ve used in the past with students include: Audacity, Garageband, Cubase, and Logic. 

 

There are more bare-bones programs that allow students to record and make basic adjustments (and learn about things like EQing, fade-ins and fade-outs, and filters) like Audacity. On the other hand, there are more electronic-style platforms with loops and loads of production tools, like Garageband

Recording Practice, Mid-Week Check-ins 


Having a digital audio workstation is immensely helpful for practice, too. If you’ve ever taken music lessons, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Record yourself’! 


If students have access to a basic USB microphone and free DAW, they can hear a high-fidelity version of their playing repeated back to them, allowing them to reflect on their progress. Students can also use DAWS to send recordings in to their teacher in-between lessons to see how they’re doing! 


If your student is interested in producing music, their online music lessons teacher will be able to point your student in the direction of a DAW that will suit them well. With the power of DAWS, Students and teachers can also create projects together virtually.


Online Platforms 

There are some online music-making programs that allow students and teachers to collaborate in real-time. Soundtrap, for example, is a digital audio workstation that is completely cloud-based. The basic plan is free and the workflow makes it fun and easy to get started producing music. 


Music Notation Programs 

  • Help digitize music 

  • Pave the way for original compositions

  • Allow students and teachers to trade projects back and forth 


Some programs, like MuseScore, are free online-based music notation platforms. Inside this music notation programs, students and teachers can engrave (digitize) any music.


 Music notation programs aid students in composition because they allow music to be organized in an editable, shareable document. If students want to learn how to compose their own song, you can ask your online music teacher about which notation program they prefer to use. 


Side note: MuseScore in particular has both free sheet music and free notation software: However, be sure to have your music teacher vet any music you may find, as some of it is created by hobbyists. 


Engaging Music Technology Younger Learners

  •  Experiment with music

  • Get exposure from listening to games


While some of the music tech in the article is a bit advanced for elementary students, there are still many apps and websites to get young pupils started. 


For students interested in music production or beat making, online music teachers might use Chrome Music Lab’s SongMaker. Sites like Music Labs help kids play and experiment with music at their own pace.


There are also fun apps that help students interact more with music, like My Singing Monsters

A colleague of mine is an online guitar lessons teacher, and he found that integrating My Singing Monsters into his virtual listening curriculum for one of his 5th-grade students was one of the best ways to keep his students engaged and attentive. 


Other ideas for students are online music games, such as virtual operas. One of my personal favorites is Scheherezade from Go Classical. PBS’s music games are also fun.


Music Theory Apps

Circling back to this idea of tools, online music lessons can benefit by being supplemented with music theory apps. Here’s how they can help:


  • Apps can teach interval learning in a gamified,  fun way

  • Students can learn about different types of chords and scales on their own

  • Pupils can practice identifying where notes are on the piano 

  • They can practice sightreading with the guidance of the app 


Even when I was in undergraduate school for my music degree, we learned music theory on apps.  Tools like Tenuto allow learners to practice ear training from anywhere. Plus, having an app like this to play with after a lesson helps to keep ideas fresh in students' minds.

A New Frontier in Music Technology: Virtual Reality 

  • Students can ‘attend’ a performance 

  • Similarly, they can conduct an ensemble

  • VR can provide dance/rhythm games that integrate macro movements 


Do you have a student in music lessons who also uses a VR headset like the Metaverse (etc…)?


VR can actually be integrated with music. While this isn’t exactly practical for an in-lesson setting, virtual reality has many music games that help students solidify their internal sense of rhythm.


Thanks to technology, students can sit in an audience of an orchestral performance without ever leaving home. There are also free games like Maestro VR, which allow students to conduct their own orchestra virtually. 


One of the brain-breaks I like to give myself (and recommend to my students!) is Beat Saber- In this VR game, you use your arms to hit the beats with virtual light-up sabers. It’s very interactive and engaging!


Music Technology for Online Music Lessons: Conclusion

As a whole, music apps and music technology have made online music lessons and practice sessions more engaging than ever. Whether your student wants to learn about music, interact with music, or even produce their own tunes, there are a plethora of online resources to choose from. 


All of the above resources can be used by students by themselves, or integrated into online music lessons. 


Music technology offers us wonderful tools to help supplement music education. But if you ask me? Nothing will ever replace a real music teacher. 


If you’re still looking for a music instructor, consider taking online music lessons with us here at Maestro. 


Maestro Music is an online music academy specifically designed for homeschooled students. We will match students with top-notch instructors who will help pupils achieve their musical goals. All of our instructors are vetted professional musicians with a passion for helping the next generation of musicians.


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