Violin Lessons

Structured Music Lessons or Self Teaching? What To Know

Are you at a crossroads in your musical journey, wondering whether to enroll in music lessons or embark on the self-teaching path? This decision is pivotal, often influenced by personal goals, different styles of learning, and the time you’re able to dedicate. 

Each approach has its unique set of benefits and challenges. Some musicians thrive in structured environments, while others excel when they chart their own course. 

We'll delve into the merits and drawbacks of both music lessons and self-teaching, helping you determine the best route for your musical aspirations. Let's unravel this melody of choices to find the harmony that resonates with your musical ambitions.

Benefits of structured music lessons

Let’s first tune into the benefits of structured music lessons. Led by experienced instructors, these courses offer a well-rounded approach to learning music. Having an experienced guide and mentor can be incredibly beneficial at any point in your music education.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of taking music lessons with a great teacher.

Expert direction and recommendations

The most significant advantage of structured lessons is access to expert guidance. A good teacher provides personalized instruction, ensuring you learn the correct techniques and interpret musical pieces with emotion and skill. 

Trala offers exceptional teachers for all skill levels, blending traditional and contemporary teaching methods with innovative technology. You’ll be able to create a flexible, convenient schedule with a matched teacher online, helping you master music through a personalized lesson plan.

Organized learning

Structured music lessons follow a curriculum that methodically introduces concepts, from the basics to more advanced techniques. This ensures a comprehensive musical education, laying a solid foundation upon which students can build and expand their skills. 

At Trala, teachers will meet you where you are on your musical journey. Whether you’ve been playing for years or you’re just starting out, they will help you build a lesson plan that suits your needs and goals.


Regular lessons create a sense of accountability. Students are motivated to practice their musical instruments consistently, knowing their instructor will monitor and encourage their progress. This accountability is crucial in maintaining discipline and momentum.

Performance opportunities

Structured music lessons often provide the opportunity for recitals and concerts. These events are invaluable for gaining real-world performance experience, helping students build confidence and stage presence.

Social interaction

In a structured learning environment, there’s an enhanced opportunity for social interaction. Students can engage with and learn from their peers, enriching their musical education through shared experiences.

Trala offers a variety of opportunities like these, such as:

  • Concerts
  • Group classes
  • Recitals
  • Social events
  • Charity events

There are also student forums that we encourage you to participate in with your peers.

Let’s shift our focus to the self-teaching approach, a path increasingly embraced in our digital age. Teaching yourself comes with its own set of challenges, but is an equally rewarding experience as private lessons are.

Let’s take a look at the main advantages of taking the self-teaching approach using the tools and resources at your disposal. 


One of the most appealing aspects of self-teaching is that it’s inherently less expensive than paying for lessons. Trala offers a one-of-a-kind app designed to help teach yourself violin. This budget-friendly approach allows any learner to explore their musical interests.


Self-teaching requires a high degree of self-discipline and motivation. This journey empowers learners to set their own goals, manage their practice schedules, and stay committed to their progress. To do this, students will have to take time to not only learn their instrument, but also:

  • Motivate themselves to practice
  • Advance their skills
  • Learn new music
  • Keep building their techniques

They’ll also have to ensure their posture and playing positions are correct, which requires continuous self-assessment.

The sense of accomplishment in self-directed learning like this can be incredibly fulfilling when it’s done correctly, as each milestone is a testament to the learner's dedication and perseverance.

Problem-solving skills

Self-taught musicians naturally develop strong problem-solving skills. Without a teacher to provide immediate answers, they learn to troubleshoot issues, research techniques, and experiment with solutions.

This independent problem-solving approach not only enhances musical skills but also fosters creativity and adaptability, valuable traits in any musician’s repertoire.

Common challenges with self-teaching

While self-teaching has its merits, it's important to acknowledge the hurdles that learners might face compared to structured lessons. These challenges can impact the learning experience, and you should carefully consider them when choosing your music education path.

Limited or no guidance

One of the main challenges of self-teaching is the absence of professional guidance. Without a teacher to direct and correct, learners may struggle with the nuances of technique or questions about their music. This gap in guidance can potentially slow down progress and affect the overall quality of learning.

Difficulty in identifying mistakes

When learning alone, it's often tough to identify and correct mistakes. This difficulty can lead to the development of bad habits and in some cases, even the risk of injury due to improper form.

Having a knowledgeable eye (or ear) can be very beneficial in developing your foundational technique. If you want to go the self-taught route, you'll be responsible for your own self-assessment.

Lack of accountability

Self-teaching often lacks the structured practice and progress tracking found in music lessons. This absence of accountability can lead to inconsistent practice routines and make it difficult to gauge your own improvement over time.

Limited or no feedback

Immediate feedback, a staple in music lessons, is largely missing in self-teaching scenarios. There’s no one there to give you real-time corrections.

However, it’s important to note that Trala can help bridge this gap. Trala’s lessons with expert instructors and the Trala app offer instant feedback on your playing, whether it’s about pitch accuracy or rhythm, making the learning experience both better and more intuitive. This feature helps self-learners stay on track and make meaningful progress.


Another challenge in self-teaching is the potential for isolation. Unlike structured lessons, which often involve group learning environments and community interaction, self-teaching can be a solitary journey.

This lack of social engagement and peer support can impact the learning experience and sometimes, the learner’s motivation.

Common challenges with music lessons

While music lessons can offer numerous benefits, they also come with their fair share of challenges. Here are some common obstacles that students may encounter when taking traditional music lessons:

Scheduling conflicts

Coordinating lesson times with busy schedules can be challenging for both students and instructors. Conflicts may arise due to school, work, or extracurricular commitments, leading to missed lessons or irregular practice routines.

Limited availability of qualified instructors

Finding a skilled and experienced music teacher who aligns with your learning style and goals can be difficult, particularly in areas with limited access to music education resources.

Geographical constraints

For students in rural or remote areas, access to quality music instruction may be limited due to geographical constraints. This lack of accessibility can hinder opportunities for musical growth and development.

One-size-fits-all approach

Traditional music lessons often follow a standardized curriculum or teaching method, which may not cater to the individual needs and preferences of each student. This lack of customization can hinder the learning process and diminish motivation.

Performance pressure 

Some students may feel pressured to meet specific performance expectations or progress at a certain pace, leading to stress, anxiety, or feelings of inadequacy. This performance pressure can detract from the enjoyment and intrinsic motivation associated with learning music.

Limited repertoire selection

Music lessons may focus primarily on classical or traditional repertoire, overlooking other genres or styles that students are interested in exploring. This narrow focus can limit creativity and diversity in musical expression.

How to make the right choice for how you want to learn music

Choosing the right learning path is a personal decision that can significantly impact your musical journey, especially as you consider the pros and cons of each learning approach. There are lots of important factors to consider to ensure your chosen method aligns with your needs, goals, and preferences.

Consider your learning style

Your learning style is a key factor when deciding between structured music lessons and self-teaching. Do you thrive under structured guidance, or do you prefer exploring and learning at your own pace? 

If you lean towards structured learning, Trala offers a diverse array of music teachers, covering over 26 genres (from classical to pop, country, jazz, and everything between) and various teaching styles.

This flexibility means you can find the right teacher for your needs and skill level and even switch if your requirements change. 

Think about how much self-discipline you have

Self-discipline is crucial, especially in self-teaching. It requires a high level of commitment to practice regularly and track your progress. 

If maintaining discipline is challenging for you, structured online lessons provide a framework that can keep you on track. If you are self-motivated, self-teaching could be a rewarding experience that allows you to learn at your own pace and according to your personal interests.

Choose Trala for your music education

Whether you opt for formal lessons or the self-teaching route, your choice should align with your personal learning style, goals, and the level of discipline you possess. Trala prides itself on providing exceptional online music education, accommodating all learners, skill levels, and learning preferences. 

Our platform bridges the gap between traditional teaching and modern technology, offering a personalized and flexible approach to music education. We encourage you to consider your unique circumstances and preferences as you embark on or continue your musical journey. 

Prepared to explore the world of music with Trala? Join Trala today and embrace a unique blend of traditional teaching excellence and innovative self-learning.

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