Pros & Cons of Youtube Lessons

Can learning a musical instrument from Youtube videos do you more harm than good?


Music Lessons Anywhere - Youtube music lessons

Streamed video on demand has taken the world, so it is no surprise that music education has been making use of this resource.
Canned music lesson videos have made online music tuition accessible across the world by storm. The great thing is that they help to encourage people to learn and play music. There are many pros & cons of Youtube lessons:

These are some of the main problems of learning music from Youtube videos:


Positioning Yourself at Your Instrument


Students’ bad positioning at their instruments if not corrected, can lead to bad habits, physical trauma and even injury. When students come to us, these some of the physical issues that we notice:

  • Students use the wrong fingers for certain notes.
  • Hands are too tense.
  • No practical knowledge about how to set properly your instrument, hold it and blow air into it (embouchure, reed, blowing air etc).

Specifically at the piano:

  • Fingers are positioned flat on the black keys, when it is important that they should be rounded.
  • Shoulders are hunched.
  • Students are sat and positioned incorrectly on the chair.


A live online teacher can:

  • Make sure you are always positioned correctly so you won’t develop bad habits.
  • Help you to break any positioning bad habits you may have developed.
  • Make sure you are comfortable and avoid physical trauma.


Sight Reading


We find many students have learnt to play some pieces that are more advanced than their level. This causes significant gaps in musical learning. These are notably: 

  • Poor rhythmic skills when learning new pieces.
  • Difficulty in learning new pieces from scores.
  • Missing the basics (proper foundations are essential for mastering your instrument).
  • A reliance on learning by ear rather than from scores.


A live online teacher can:

  • Develop your rhythmic skills.
  • Help you to learn new pieces properly from scores through many techniques.
  • Help you build the proper foundations by teaching you the basics.
  • Teach you how to read scores fluently and with ease.



Expression & Musicality


We find that students who have been learning from videos show very little regard to dynamics and articulations, so there is a preoccupation with notes and rhythm. This is evident in:

  • Poor articulations especially in legato/staccato.
  • Poor dynamics and phrasing, which are often not indicated in the score.
  • Dynamics being followed only generally.
  • A lack of understanding of a musical score.
  • A lack of emotional depth.


Through regular communication with a live teacher, a profound understanding of expression in music can be attained and broadened.


The Invisible Audience


Getting to know peers and fellow learners creates a sense of a community that will take you through the long journey of mastering a musical instrument. Learning through impersonal videos means:

  • There is never a connection with a live audience (be it one person or many).
  • Audience feedback or reaction is never experienced.
  • Stage fright is never overcome.
  • Learners can become musically isolated and musically unsocial.
  • Various difficulties may be experienced when playing publicly.
  • Many learners never play with other musicians.


A live online teacher can provide:

  • Feedback as an audience to your playing.
  • A live presence and listener to your playing so you become used to playing to a live audience.
  • The opportunity to meet with other online students so you can play to each other.


Skype music lessons live online - Music Lessons Anywhere


Tracking Your Progress


Learning from videos provides no guided progress or structure. Lessons should be tailored to the student’s own individual personal development. Video courses do not adapt to students’ individual needs. This causes significant problems for music students:

  • Gaps in theory knowledge.
  • Gaps in technique.
  • Difficulty in keeping on track.
  • Lack of motivation as no realistic goals are set or reached.
  • No proper learning curve is maintained.


A live online teacher can:

  • Provide up to date feedback on the progress you are making.
  • Tell you where you need to focus your practise.
  • Identify your strengths so you can apply these to areas of weakness.
  • Set achievable goals, tailored to your ability.

To supplement our live online tuition, after every lesson, we send lesson notes about what was covered in the lesson (see example below):
Music Lessons Anywhere piano lessons online notes example Click image for larger view




Videos not related to what students are learning and need to learn, can become a distraction. This can lead to:

  • Shortening of attention spans.
  • Distraction which wastes time allotted to learning.
  • A sense of underachievement when seeing professionals or peers performing.
  • Lack of self discipline which means you will never excel in your instrument.


A live online teacher can:

  • Keep you stimulated and thus motivated.
  • Provide you with engaging exercises to keep you focused.
  • Provide balanced positive feedback and encouragement so you know you are making progress.
  • Set achievable goals and structured practise schedules to develop your self discipline.


Focus through live Skype music lessons - Music Lessons Anywhere


Quality of Tuition


Not all Youtube music players and teachers are good. Inexperienced students will not know if the teacher is playing or even teaching correctly. Learning from a poor video teacher means: 

  • You will never be able to know what is good or bad teaching.
  • You may not be able to distinguish a good performance from a bad one.
  • You might learn to play a piece wrongly.


Taking lessons from a live online teacher:

  • You can choose a good and accomplished teacher.
  • You can try some lessons with that teacher to find out if they are suitable for you.
  • A good online teacher will be able to explain what is good and bad in music.
  • You will be able to develop a deep understanding of music.
We have the best online music teachers, selected from all over in the world.


“Each of the three teachers we have are professional and extremely knowledgable in their area. Although my children had face-to-face lessons, none of their previous teachers were anywhere near the quality of what they have now, here at Music Lessons Anywhere.” Alison Mollel, Angola
More reviews of our online music lessons are here


Pros & cons of Skype piano lessons online Tracy Rose
Take your skills to anywhere in the world!


If you have any questions about the pros & cons of Youtube lessons and the advantages of taking live online music lessons, or if you would like to see how live Zoom or Skype music lessons work, try a sample Zoom or Skype piano lesson or other of our many other online instrumental lessons with us! Contact me, Tracy Rose, here.