How students benefit from online music lessons – Interview with an international student

Online music lessons are not only interesting for teachers. Students also benefit from this form of education. That’s why we asked our doozzoo coaches to tell us about their students.

We start with the Chinese student Yongcheng Zhan (Victor). He wanted to study saxophone in Strasbourg, but the pandemic put obstacles in the way. The conservatory also had to close its doors and switch to online lessons, but Victor was lucky: he was able to continue his program and prepare for his Master’s degree. He now lives in Strasbourg and is successfully completing Philippe Geiss’ master’s program at the Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg-HEAR. Thanks to doozzoo.

We asked Victor how he experienced the online lessons.

What instrument do you play and for how long?

I have been playing the saxophone for eleven years.

What circumstances led you to take online music lessons?

I started online classes during the Covid-19 pandemia, when my conservatory was closed and all lessons were given online, that’s when I started to get used to online classes.  On the other hand, as a young teacher, I also gave online classes to my students in China.

These first two experiences allowed me to discover that online courses are very convenient not only for domestic students, but also for foreign students. 

For example, for international students who cannot study abroad, due to visa issues, health restrictions, or other reasons, online lessons allow them to take lessons with teachers they like and with whom they hope to study face-to-face later. This helps them improve their language skills and adapt to the teacher’s teaching style in advance, which is invaluable for future study abroad.

Victor and Amit Dubester having a saxophone lesson

What were your thoughts about online music lessons beforehand? Did you have any concerns? At what points did you have to rethink or change your thinking??

Beforehand, I think that in the beginning of this period, online lessons were disrupted by many reasons: internet connection problems, computer problem, etc. I think that even though online lessons are convenient, as the working place is mainly at home, the student has to be much more motivated because he is alone, if you don’t have a strong motivation you can have a risk of demotivation.

For students learning to play an instrument, it’s more complicated than taking face-to-face lessons, because they have to provide external materials, such as microphones and headphones, and find a suitable location to get the best acoustic. But there is no denying that due to the pandemic, online lessons have become a necessity and different online course software has grown tremendously during this time. When I discovered doozzoo I completely changed my mind about online lessons. I found that I could get a better sound than on other softwares even without special external equipment such as a microphone and headphones, in addition you can have on doozzoo the usual useful tools for musicians such as metronome, tuner, etc. This software met all my needs for lessons.

What do you like most about teaching with doozzoo compared to other video platforms?

I have used Zoom and Microsoft Teams before, but there are two main problems that made me stop using these two softwares. First of all, these programs frequently cut off the sound because they don’t support the low and high registers of my instrument. Secondly, these programs do not offer the usual musical tools, such as metronome, tuner, etc. that I need for my online lessons.

When I started using doozzoo, I discovered that I could hear each register of my instrument clearly! Moreover, this software is equipped with all the necessary tools to learn music, such as a keyboard, tuner, metronome, etc. These advantages allow me to work comfortably during my online lessons. That why I decided to finally chose doozzoo.

Would you recommend online music courses? For whom would you recommend online music courses?

Yes of course, because I often take online music lessons and occasionally teach online. I think the advantages of online music lessons are that we can study anywhere, anytime, and a lot of the music lessons we take can be replayed so you can watch them over and over again to practice an analyse them. They are relatively less expensive compared to face-to-face lessons, which is ideal for students who don’t have a lot of money and have irregular free time.

What would you say to someone who says “online music lessons are pointless”?

In my opinion, this question varies from person to person. Some people think that online lessons need more motivation, otherwise it is easier to become lazy or slack. Some people think that online music lessons are more convenient than face-to-face lessons because they can be taken anywhere, anytime. For me, I fall into the latter category, but I choose both the face-to-face and online lessons so that I can study regularly through the face-to-face lessons and review and consolidate what I have learned through the online lessons.

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