Music teachers are more sceptical than most other tutors about the idea of online tuition, a report has revealed.
The Tutor Pages, an online directory of UK private tutors for academic, languages and music tuition, carried out a survey of 400 tutors about the pros and cons of online tuition.
Of all the groups surveyed, music teachers (comprising singing and instrumental teachers) were the most likely to think online tuition was not appropriate for their subject.
Among the tutors who identified themselves as teaching exclusively musical instruments or singing, 16 per cent said they used an element of online tuition in their teaching.
Of those who were not using online teaching, 27 per cent said they would like to try it.
However, 81 per cent of music teachers agreed that ‘Technology can never be a substitute for the physical presence of the tutor’.
The respondents cited several barriers to successful online tuition, including the visual and auditory limitations of the internet and the importance of being able to make physical adjustments to posture.
One respondent commented: ‘Music tuition is not just about imparting knowledge and technique. It is about building rapport, friendship and in many cases becoming a mentor and counsellor to the pupils.
‘This is especially true in singing teaching, where the voice is intrinsically linked to the emotions and state of mind of the pupil.’
Another said: ‘Results are certain to be possible but in instrumental teaching they won’t compare with being in the same room as a fine teacher.’
Overall, around 80 per cent of respondents said they used Skype to tutor online. These tutors reported a number of advantages, such as flexibility in lesson scheduling and no travel costs.
Read more on the Music Teacher website