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  • Writer's pictureThe Music Works

Teachers vs Youtube

Updated: May 7, 2021

Self-Learning vs Learning with A Teacher

This is a question that comes up all the time with music lessons! Why pay someone to teach you an instrument when you can get everything for free on Youtube?

Learning via free music lessons on Youtube can work well for some, but for the vast majority the overwhelming amount of information and lack of a structured pathway can be a massive downside to learning effectively. What do you learn next? Am I playing it correctly? You have to answer your own questions.

Watch Out, Don’t Develop Bad Technique!

We see it all the time. Students join us for lessons after months and even years learning on their own and unfortunately, after learning from free music lessons on Youtube they have usually developed bad habits and/or technique that needs to be ironed out. This takes hard work and dedication to do and with hindsight 20/20, most musicians will gain more from structured lessons than studying for free in the beginning. We would even hazard a guess that ultimately you would save money the long run if you start out with guidance, rather than if you don’t.

Why do we think that!? One of the most time-consuming parts of learning an instrument is research. What should you be studying? And when you have completed that, what next? This can take hours and hours each week and this is time spent before you have even picked up your instrument.

Research Takes A Lot of Time

This is why a teacher is so valuable at any point in your musical journey. A teacher has already gone through the process of learning the techniques and theory you want to understand. Great teachers have not only got to this point but have also thought through diligently how they can pass that information on to another person in the simplest way, so that it is easy to understand. Unfortunately, you will never get this from free music lessons on Youtube.

So, Is Youtube Bad!?

No, of course not! Youtube does have its place in the grand scheme of your music education, as it’s a magnificent pool of information and inspiration that can be drawn from. Attending weekly music lessons and learning songs/music concepts in your free time is a sure-fire way to improving on your instrument.

What’s the conclusion?

I think it’s clear where we sit on the debate (although we may be slightly bias!). If you want to get the most out of your time and effort when learning a musical instrument, we will always recommend that you have input from a music teacher to help guide you. There are benefits from learning using free music lessons on Youtube, but you will not gain as much from structured and planned music lessons.


Learning with A Teacher Pros

1. Trust. You can trust that a teacher knows the best pathway for you to reach your potential.

2. You can check their credentials. Are they qualified to teach you?

3. Time. You can focus on practice and enjoyment while your teacher does the legwork. Want to learn ‘Eruption’? Your teacher will transcribe it and teach you how to play like Eddie

4. Bespoke lessons. Learn what you want to learn! A Teacher will work with structured lesson plans to get you from A to B.

5. Motivation. We are on your side! Your success benefits everyone involved and we love nothing more than seeing our students nail a song or compose/perform!

Learning with A Teacher Cons

1. Price. This is an interesting one, as although price can be the harsh reality of having weekly lessons, you honestly get what you pay for. A music teacher prices their time appropriately based on literally 1000’s of hours (and 1000’s of ££££) spent honing their craft over years.

2. Finding the right teacher. This is a toughie as it really can be hard to find the right person based on what you need. Fortunately, we work with a team of 25 fantastic musicians who are all highly trained, experienced and patient when it comes to helping students achieve their goals.


Self-Learning Pros

1. Inexpensive

2. Flexible timing

3. There’s a huge amount of information available on the internet!

4. Repeat the lesson over and over if you want

Self-Learning Cons

1. There’s a huge amount of information available on the internet! You’ve got to do your own research and this takes a lot of time

2. Technique correction. You won’t know if you’re doing it right or wrong and this can lead to injuries such as repetitive strain.

3. Trust. How do you know you can trust the lesson by that guy on Youtube? Anyone can make a video, but not everyone should be a teacher.

4. Motivation. You won’t have someone in your corner encouraging you to push yourself.



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