The Challenge of teaching music in the YouTube generation.
Do you know anyone that doesn’t know about YouTube? I’m pretty sure that most people who use a computer, tablet or smart phone these days know about the value that YouTube gives as a source of free information via video.
Around 6 Billion hours of video were watched in March this year in 61 languages with growth of mobile YouTube users growing by 27% annually. With these staggering figures it would be easy to think that the ear of personalised music lessons is going into decline, HOWEVER this is in fact not the case.
The creation of YouTube in 2005 has in fact given more people a chance to realise how amazing it is to make music! If anything YouTube could be considered a promotional tool for music! Personally I love to use YouTube to watch Music Videos as well as instructional videos for using new software for example. I’ve even learned a few ukelele tunes from YouTube videos. I have students who surf their favourite songs and discover the viability or playing them through some of the tutorials they find free online also.
It might sound like I’m promoting YouTube as the way forward for Music Lessons, but in fact there is strong evidence seen by the numbers of people still enrolling in traditional face to face music lessons, that YouTube does not satisfy everyone, nor does it fulfil all the functions a personalised lesson does.
So why do students ( children, teens and adults) still want a face to face lessons?
These are just some of the reasons I have heard from students I personally have taught over the last few years. As a qualified and highly experienced teacher, trainer, examiner and author it’s comforting to know there is still a strong demand for traditional music lessons, even though the YouTube generation has also added some challenges.
As a trained teacher of multiple instruments, it is perturbing or even distressing to find:
The worst case scenario though is when someone thinks they “don’t have the talent” to learn to make music, based on not being able to understand what to do by following a bunch of random videos. Everyone deserves the chance to make music in some form and not everyone has to be a professional or even a performer. Making Music is good for the soul and will uplift your spirits.
So what do I believe is the biggest challenge for Music teachers now? It’s not about how to compete with YouTube, or stop people using YouTube or other technology. The challenge today in 2014 is to embrace technology, but be selective in what is used, learn to use it and help others also be selective in its use.
How do I currently use technology in my music lessons?
My Teaching business relies on technology to provide marketing and operate administration functions. I have invested heavily over the last few years into developing teaching content and methods that will soon be available within our Wendy’s Music School Franchises in online delivery format but with a teacher connected via a “skype type “ live video link to give the personalised assistance many people still prefer.
Being part of this period of history is exciting if we can face the challenge to embrace it and keep up with frequent changes!
B.Mus.Ed, A.Mus.A, MIMT
Music Teacher, Trainer, Examiner, Author and CEO of Wendy’s Music Companies
MOB: 0418 394 556
SKYPE ID: wendybrentnall
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