Online schools are now a popular option for many who are looking for career advancement, or simply to want to finish a degree program that they had started at another institution, but their schedules would not allow them to attend regular classes at a college. Online education allows flexibility in learning pace, venue and schedule: you can be sitting in your room at home comfortably at the desired hour, without the hassle of travelling, and earning a degree or professional qualification. There are indeed thousands of online courses to choose from; however, if you are looking for performing arts schools and programs, you might find your choices slightly limited. Performing arts education in, for example, music, dancing or acting, relies heavily on hands-on application and experiment, which are difficult to achieve through the internet.

Nevertheless, there are solutions around these limitations. Some online performing art programs choose to focus on theory more than application; for example, you could learn about the theories of photography, and then execute them on your own. Even real life music classes in colleges involve learning a significant amount about the history of music and the mechanisms behind different musical instruments. If you are particularly interested in the theoretical aspect of the arts, then an online program is definitely an option that you should consider.

Do not rule out online courses just yet, even if you are more interested in the practical work. Well-established online performing arts programs will provide students with adequate opportunities to submit work online, through recording and video tapes, to demonstrate their practical abilities in the arts. Students are also encouraged to participate in internships to supplement their education, to work alongside professionals in the field, to give them a taste of the life as an artist, and to have their techniques corrected and improved personally by the masters. When comparing and assessing online performing arts programs, you can also refer to the school’s faculty, job opportunities, list of alumni who have graduated from the school, internship programs that they offer, etc. Of course, the cost will be an important factor. Most classes should fall between the range of USD$600 to $1800, and for degree programs, you may be able to obtain federal assistance. Also, make sure that you check if you can apply to any scholarships or grant at the school.

Ultimately, it is hard to define what the best program or school is, for everyone’s needs and expectations are different. Though with the ever-changing and renewing technologies, you can be sure that online performing art programs will only be improving. Also, it will be comforting to know that the prospect of jobs in the performing arts industry is positive through 2014, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting job growth to be as fast or faster than the average for all occupations. Therefore, do not give up hope, with a suitable amount of effort you will be able to find an online performing arts program that suits you, and bring yours career to the next stage.

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