Musical instruments are a fantastic way to channel your creative energy while staying at home, but they’re most enjoyable (both for you and, ahem, those you live with) when you actually know how to play them. If you’ve been noodling around on that dusty guitar or keyboard for a few weeks, now is the perfect time to start taking lessons. Ads for celebrity-taught music classes on platforms like Masterclass have been highly visible across the internet lately, but there’s also a wealth of musical knowledge right in your community: local musicians! In addition to enriching your musical knowledge, taking lessons from a local artist is also an excellent way to support their wellbeing.
Many working musicians also teach, both to pass the joy of playing music onto others and to make ends meet financially. Performers you’ve seen on Levitt stages like Black Violin, Kyle Dillingham, The Moxie Strings and LowDown Brass Band even take education on the road and teach in the communities where they perform while on tour. Few musicians achieve mainstream success and fame, but a great many share a passion for teaching, and there’s likely someone in your community who can help you take your playing to the next level.
Taking lessons from a local musician is also an investment in your community’s music scene. With most concerts and festivals off the calendar, teaching remains one of few avenues for professional musicians to continue working and earning income during the current crisis. Music teachers have already adapted to using Zoom, Google Duo, or other software to offer virtual lessons, but even so, many have seen a steep drop in enrollments. In addition to sharpening your playing skills, taking lessons from a local musician will help an especially hard-hit profession persist through the hardships created by COVID-19.
When it comes to marketing, most freelance music teachers can’t compete with big-budget lesson sites, so you may have to work a little harder to find the right local instructor for you. Start by contacting local music stores and music schools, or by asking musicians in your social circle for recommendations. You can also check community-oriented online spaces like NextDoor, Facebook Local and Craigslist. Something as small as weekly lessons can have a sustaining impact on a musician in your community, so the extra effort will be well worth it. If that’s not enough motivation, just imagine how impressed your socially-distant friends and relatives will be with your newfound musical abilities — you’ll be ready for a virtual recital in no time!