Music Courses

The internet has revolutionized our lives in more ways than we can count. And if you’re a musician, you may have noticed the many music courses offered online. These courses frequently cost much less than private, in-person instruction, and you don’t get the benefit of an instructor who can notice mistakes you make and quickly correct them.

However, online courses do have their merits — you can access video lessons at any time while at home, letting you practice on your own schedule. In many cases, courses are designed or taught by accomplished musicians. That said, there are so many online music course options out there that it can be difficult to know which one to take. In this article, we’ll take you through our picks for courses in singing, guitar, violin, piano, and ukulele. We’ll also go through what you may want to look for when choosing a course.

1. Singing and Vocal Music

You might not think of learning to sing as being like learning an instrument. However, singing courses are one way to improve your performance skills, and online courses can be an affordable way to develop your craft. Whether you’re a professional, an occasional performer, or even someone who just likes to sing, there are a few things you may want to look for when selecting a course.

What to Look for When Choosing a Course

  • What level(s) does the course cover? Many online class options for singers are geared toward those who are newer to singing, but some are designed for singers with some experience.
  • How expensive is it? Just like in-person lessons, online singing courses can vary considerably in price. If you’re on a budget, no need to worry — there are plenty of affordable yet thorough options out there, too.
  • How long does the course last? Some courses, like those from the Berklee College of Music, last a set amount of time. However, most online options let you pace yourself, which can be good if you have a lot of other obligations.
  • What technology do you need? In many cases, you just need a computer. However, if you need to perform for a group or instructor, you may also want to invest in a decent-quality microphone and US audio interface so an instructor can hear your voice more clearly.

The Best Options Out There

In this section, we’ll go through the top four options we’ve found. Keep in mind that the right course for you may be one of these, or it may be something else — there is no one-size-fits-all singing course.

Berklee College of Music Voice courses

Berklee College of Music is one of the most respected music education institutes in the world, but you don’t need to be a full-time student to take a class. Berklee’s online program does have degree options, but we think that the school’s voice courses are a quality option for students at any level. For individual courses, you also don’t need to apply — you just need to sign up. Here are the courses you can choose from (each one is 12 weeks long):

  • Voice Technique (Level 1) — This intro course can help you expand your range and get more comfortable performing.
  • Pop and Rock Vocals (Level 2) — This course will help you learn to sing rock and pop hits, indie music, and even singer-songwriter styles.
  • Jazz Voice (Level 2) — In this course, you’ll learn jazz standards along with vocal techniques used by jazz greats.
  • R&B Vocals (Level 2) — Like the Jazz Voice course, this course will teach you techniques used by R&B greats and help you to apply them to your own performance style.
  • Vocal Production (Level 3) — While this course focuses on many aspects of vocal production, taking it can be useful for engineers, producers, and even artists.
  • Popular Singing Styles: Developing Your Sound (Level 2) — This course is especially useful for those who are fairly new to singing. It focuses on developing your voice and your own unique sound.
  • Ear Training 1 (Level 1) — This course is useful for all types of musicians, and it will help you to be able to translate musical notation into sound (as well as translate sound into notation).

The Cheryl Porter Vocal Method

If you want to become the best singer you can (regardless of genre), this comprehensive and relatively affordable course may be right for you. Cheryl has been a vocal coach for successful performers on the Voice, X-Factor, America’s Got Talent, Eurovision, and more. She is considered to be one of the world’s top vocal coaches, and her unique course is taught in a charismatic, high-energy fashion that many singers will love.

Here’s what you get in each lesson of Cheryl’s main course:

  1. Warmups/Warmdowns
  2. Vowel placement
  3. Singer breathing Bootcamp
  4. Vibrato and stability
  5. Timbre and tone quality
  6. Vocal registers and passagio
  7. Belting high notes
  8. Articulation
  9. Agility and intonation
  10. Vocal resistance training

In the course, you also get full backing tracks, 60 vocal exercises, bonus tips, a monthly live stream, and a vocal exercise book.

City Academy online singing lessons

City Academy is a vocal school based in London, but singers from around the world can benefit from their online courses. Lessons are based on Estill Voice training, a method that records, analyzes, and plays back the voice. Estill feedback (along with the help of a qualified voice coach) can help you develop your singing voice and break through plateaus.

City Academy offers a few different online courses for singers, and there’s something for just about every ability:

  • Online singing lessons for beginners
  • Online singing improvement courses
  • Online musical theatre singing courses
  • Online musical theatre course
  • Online sight reading for singers course

Many of these courses are in a relaxed group setting, which can make learning to sing a little less intimidating.

AM Vocal Studios Singing Courses

One of the great benefits of some online courses is that they offer an option for continued learning. For instance, AM Vocal Studios offers a very affordable Fundamentals of Singing Online course. From there, you can opt to purchase one-on-one online lessons or even pay for a vocal critic.

For our purposes, we’ll mostly focus on their Fundamentals of Singing course, which is the most affordable option on our list by far. Here’s what you’ll learn in this course:

  • Proper breathing for singers
  • Using breath to support the voice
  • The registers: chest voice, head voice, mixed voice, falsetto, whistle voice, and vocal fry, as well as how to use them
  • Effective use of vocal cords
  • Fixing common problems with the voice
  • Using resonance to make singing easier

2. Learn Guitar

People around the world seem eager to learn guitar, and there’s no shortage of program options for learning guitar online. Some focus more on performance, some focus more on music theory, and some can just teach you extra guitar skills. Here’s what to keep in mind as you choose your class:

What to Look for When Choosing a Course

  • What level player are you? Many online courses start at the beginner level. And while you can skip ahead if you’re more experienced, very experienced players may want to make sure they can be adequately challenged.
  • Do you have a genre choice? Because there are so many genres of guitar, some players may prefer to choose a genre track and stick with it. Others may want to learn a variety of genres. If you are interested in a specific genre, make sure the course you choose includes it.
  • Do you prefer a program or stand-alone lessons? If you are new to guitar and/or prefer structure, an organized program may prove to be better for learning. Some programs also let you choose from stand-alone lessons, which can be an enjoyable bonus.

The Best Options Out There

Fender Play

Fender has already made a name for itself making some of the world’s most iconic guitars. Now, it’s making a name for itself with Fender Play, an affordable site that offers online lessons in many different genres. Fender Play is good for beginning and intermediate students, and it makes it especially easy to track progress. To start, you choose a “path” — you select a genre and note whether you primarily play electric or acoustic guitar. Lessons are guided, and the instructors make sure you can clearly see fingerings. While you don’t get offline access as you do with some courses, you can go back and re-learn problem lessons as needed. 

Guitar Tricks

This is another guitar learning site that has been highly rated and recommended. Like Fender Play, it has something for guitarists of every level. This is an affordable site that’s very well thought out — new guitarists start by playing through the Core Learning Program, which teaches new players the basics of guitar. From there, you can choose to learn a specific style of guitar, learn some of your favorite songs of all genres, or even complete an artist study.

One of the nicer things about Guitar Tricks is that it’s designed to help even experienced players challenge themselves. You can choose stand-alone lessons on new techniques, delve into a new musical style, and more. Because Guitar Tricks’ extensive lesson catalog is extremely well organized, it’s easy to learn something new every day. You can read the head to head comparison with Fender Play here.

Guitar Lessons for the Curious Guitarist

This course, taught by guitarist Dan Dresnok, is a little different than the other options we’ve mentioned thus far. It isn’t a site of its own, but it’s a stand-alone course on the learning site Udemy. You get 26.5 hours of video lessons and 54 downloadable resources. While it might seem a little expensive, you get lifetime access to the course.

The course creator notes that this is a course for players of all ages, and course reviews consistently mention how clear and systematic the layout is. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll learn:

  • Solos and improvisation
  • In-depth music theory, scales, and modes
  • Ear training, rhythm, and strumming
  • Reading and writing music in TAB or standard notation
  • Arpeggios, special techniques, and more

Justin Guitar

This comprehensive guitar course is one that has drawn the eye of several professionals — it’s even endorsed by Steve Vai! The site has a free membership option, but full access will let you take full advantage of their courses at every level. For new players, it’s best to start out at the beginning — the site will take you through a few grades of beginner guitar before you move up to intermediate and advanced modules.

However, Justin Guitar offers more than just lessons. You can access readings and information on essential knowledge for players — including music theory, scales and modes, and more. The site includes tools to help you with ear training, tempo, and more. You can also learn new songs from the site’s extensive catalog — there are hundreds of easy songs for beginners, as well as more complex songs for experienced players. For players who are passionate about guitar and want to learn all they can, this is definitely a site worth checking out!

3. Violin

Violin is a challenging but rewarding instrument to learn. And while there may not be as many courses out there for violin as for guitar, there are still plenty of great courses out there.

What to Look for When Choosing a Course

  • What style do you want to play? Many beginner courses simply focus on the fundamentals of the violin. After that, though, you might realize you’d prefer to study traditional violin or delve more into fiddle-style playing.
  • Do you need instructor feedback? Some violin courses will give you performance feedback from instructors. This can be a great help, especially at the more advanced levels.
  • What about other resources? Most online courses are centered around video lessons. Many also offer digital versions of practice books, and some even offer bonus audio files.

The Best Options Out There

Red Desert Violin

This comprehensive, affordable site includes plenty of violin courses. The courses are based on the renowned Suzuki Method. Players can take courses centered around Suzuki books 1-4, and there’s even a Book 2 “Suzuki Lite” course that’s simply designed to be a supplement for students learning the book with another instructor.

The Suzuki courses are the backbone of Red Desert Violin, but there’s something for just about everyone here. You can take a course that teaches you the basics of fiddle-style music and takes you through American and Irish fiddle tunes. You can also take specialty courses designed to help you master selected violin skills or difficult pieces of music.

Violin Lab

This is another online site designed for students at every level. It’s also one of the more comprehensive violin sites we’ve been able to find. With a membership, you get full site access. This gives you access to over 600 video lessons. The lessons include play-along sections that serve as preparation for practice on your own, and membership also includes private feedback from the instructor, Beth Blackerby.

Violin Lab is also one of the best sites for players who want to stay organized — memberships include the very useful Practice Organizer tool, and it’s very easy to track your progress as you go. It’s an all-in-one membership, and everything is instant-access — you don’t need to buy or use separate books.

Suzuki Violin Online

As we mentioned above, the Suzuki Method is one of the most well-respected forms of music instruction out there. One of the core beliefs of Suzuki is that all students can learn. With Suzuki Violin online, you just pay monthly for any course you do.

Unlike most courses we’ve covered in this article, Suzuki Violin Online also has special courses designed for younger children. If you’re a parent of a child who wants to learn, these courses ensure that all skills are explained in ways that even a young child can understand. This site is a little more expensive than some, but it comes with some great perks — you get feedback from a professional instructor each month, weekly practice videos, and quizzes to help you track your progress.


Sometimes, would-be students end up being deterred by the cost of music courses. However, this catchily-named site has a major point in its favor — it offers quality violin lessons for beginners and intermediate players free of charge. And for those who want to progress to the advanced level, you can then purchase a paid membership to Julia’s Violin Academy.

This is a great option for students who want to try out instruction quality and the instrument itself before committing to a paid membership. You can even download a free violin sheet music book, which can help you develop a knowledge of music theory and develop music-reading skills as you learn.

4. Piano and Keyboard

Piano and keyboard are very versatile instruments — once you’ve learned the basics, you have the foundation to play classical piano, add keyboard riffs to electronic music, and even create otherworldly soundscapes on a synthesizer. If you’re starting to explore the world of online piano skills courses, here are some things to think about:

What to Look for When Choosing a Course

  • How much experience do you have? Piano students from around the world have found success with online courses. Luckily, you can access courses for those with no musical background through courses for advanced players. Make sure the site you choose will give you room to grow!
  • How much time do you have to practice? Many courses, especially those for newer players, are designed to help you progress with minimal practice. Some courses require more outside practice time.
  • Do you need individual feedback? Some courses have the option to get individual feedback from an instructor. If you can afford it, this can be very helpful.

The Best Options Out There


Plenty of new learners are a little impatient, and Flowkey understands that — that’s why you’ll be able to play songs from your first day. This site is geared primarily toward beginners and returning players. If you want to try it completely free, you can — selected lessons and eight song tutorials can be accessed without a credit card.

There are two main lesson sections — a section for beginners and a section focused on chords and pop piano. You’ll also be able to learn about improvisation, which can be helpful if you want to work toward creating your own piano composition. While this isn’t the most extensive site on the list, it is one of the most affordable, and it will give you a valuable foundation to help you as you continue your study.


Even learning an instrument you’re passionate about can feel like a chore some days, and that’s why we like Pianu so much. While it is a real course and will teach you real skills, it’s designed to feel like a game — you can collect learning badges all the way up to Piano Master. You can subscribe to Pianu for a low monthly fee and cancel anytime, so it’s great for curious people who want to explore.

Most courses designed to guide your study of piano require you to have your own piano or keyboard, but Pianu has an optional on-screen piano. This may not be the best for long-term learning, but it’s great for players who want to see what piano is all about before buying an instrument.

Piano in a Flash

The catchphrase of this site is “Yes, you CAN learn to play piano,” and we think this really underscores Piano in a Flash’s encouraging atmosphere. This course is taught by six-time Emmy winner Scott Houston, and beginners can check out a free intro course before committing to future, paid courses.

The future courses are still affordable, and best of all, they come with individual feedback from the instructor — a rarity in the online-lesson industry. You also get hard copies of course books — something that many players will likely appreciate.

Liberty Park Music

This is another site where you can select individual courses. And while many that we’ve focused on are for beginners, Liberty Park offers something for pianists of all ages. For example, you can take a Classical Piano course designed for beginners, one for early intermediate players, or one for intermediate players.

Liberty Park is somewhat unique in that it offers several membership levels — a basic membership lets you access all courses, a mid-level membership lets you access extra resources and unlimited chat and e-mail learning support, and a top-level membership includes teacher feedback and a monthly personalized learning plan.

5. Ukulele

Ukulele is an instrument with some real character, and it’s gained popularity thanks to independent artists like Ingrid Michaelson. And if you’re looking for ukulele classes, you’re in luck — there are plenty of online courses focusing on the uke.

What to Look for When Choosing a Course

  • Do you have a preferred genre? Like any instrument, the uke can be played in a variety of styles. Many beginner courses will focus on basic chords and other fundamentals, but as you progress, you may find that you want to specialize in jazz, blues, or something else.
  • Do you need one-on-one feedback? Basic courses usually won’t include this, but some of the options on the list will give you access to one-on-one feedback from your instructor.
  • How much time do you have to practice? Many courses that give you college credit have quizzes or other assignments that need to e completed on deadline. If you want to learn in a more casual setting, you might prefer one of the self-paced options.

The Best Options Out There

Uke Like the Pros

This excitingly-named site has several different membership options, and you can access more than just lessons. You get to access members-only content, live Q&A sessions, and more. Uke Like the Pros is also a great site if you want to delve into genre-specific uke content — you can take a beginner Bootcamp and then choose blues ukulele, fingerstyle ukulele, and even jazz ukulele.

If you want to get into music composition on the uke, you might like the site’s courses on chord progressions and music reading, too. In our travels around the web, this is one of the best sites for new players eager to get into the world of the ukulele.

Alison Glew Guitar School 

Despite the site name, Alison Glew Guitar School has several great options for people who play the uke. You can take a free intro course on reading tablature for the ukulele — a skill that will help you learn songs and work toward writing your own music.

If you’re interested in affordable paid courses, the site offers an intro course as well as a course for players with some experience who want to learn new techniques to enliven their playing. Also available is the ukulele club online membership, where you’ll get members-only content that includes private lessons.

Ukulele Tricks

While the name sounds like the popular Guitar Tricks website, this site doesn’t appear to be affiliated with it. However, Ukulele Tricks is a thorough site in its own right. You can start with a free 14-video course that will teach you to play four different songs on the uke.

Ukulele Tricks also is home to several specialized courses — you can learn blues, country, jazz, and fingerpicking, or you can delve into minor arpeggio studies or master easy-to-learn Christmas songs. Plus, you can access helpful learning tools and the instructor’s ukulele blog. This is an affordable option, but it offers plenty of material for the new or experienced ukulele player.

ArtistWorks Ukulele Level 1 Certificate

Earning a certificate in an instrument can give you a sense of accomplishment. While this course is slightly more expensive than some other options, you’ll learn from the renowned ukulele duo Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel. The course lasts 12 weeks, and you’ll receive video lessons teaching you to play in traditional, jazz, and blues styles.

This course can also help you earn college credit, which may be a plus for some players. You’ll learn different picking and strumming techniques, and you’ll also learn practice habits that will continue to serve you well as you continue to study the uke.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve found our list helpful. Remember that the right online music courses for you may be different than the right courses for your friends or family. Take your time looking, think about your goals, and have fun learning! Let us know what you think in the comments, and please don’t forget to share if you found our list useful!

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