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  1. #1

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    ***Note: I originally posted this in the Networking: Teaching/Studying Music forum, but deleted it from there and moved it here***

    Like most of you I'm sure, I get bombarded with ads for online jazz guitar classes through Berklee. I finally clicked on the link to check them out. I teach college myself and find their prices to be in-line with most other accredited colleges and universities. I'm mid-50s and do some low-pressure jazz gigging as well as musical theater pit orchestra work. However, I have a lot of gaps in my knowledge I'd like to fill. My closest quality guitar teachers are a couple of hours away, leaving YouTube lessons as my best bet. I've done a couple of the TrueFire courses and Dave Stryker's Artistworks course, but would like something even more structured, systematic, and methodical. I've thought about Berklee because I've been working through the Leavitt's method books, Jody Stein's chord melody arrangements, and other books by their faculty. So that led me to consider their online Jazz 101 course. So, my question is, have any of you completed their
    online guitar courses? And, if so, what did you think? (I know many of you attended Berklee in the past. I'm jealous. But I'm really interested in their online courses.) Thanks.

    Skip B.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I took a few of the Berklee online courses and don't think much of them they are pretty shallow in content. I think they are expensive for how little information they impart. Basically it's a weekly video lesson and simple assignment to complete and upload. Some feedback from the instructor but not much.

    I say pick a guitarist you like and email them and ask if they teach online lessons. With the virus going on a lot of name players are teaching now, but even one lesson with someone you dig can give you a lot to work on.

    If you want a good online program checkout the Truefire Sherpa program I studied with Sheryl Bailey for a few years and got a lot from her. It's all video exchange so you make video playing and asking questions, then Sheryl or whatever teacher you choose makes a video answering your questions and commenting on your playing. Then each teacher has loads of pre-recorded lessons and handout only available to their Sherpa students. It's as close to a one on one lesson and cheaper at least last I was involved. I've switched to focusing on piano so haven't taken a guitar lesson in awhile.

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    Thanks to those who responded, especially those who sent me a private message. You've been a great help.

    Skip B.

  6. #5

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    You may want to check out Frank Vignola's "Jazz Studio" on truefire - inexpensive and lots and lots of material and Frank is always available for answering questions.

  7. #6

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    Yup, I've done several of the Truefire courses (Frank Vignoli, Mimi Fox, Fareed Haque). They've all been useful and worth the minimal expense.

  8. #7

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    Very good friend of mine finished hie degree at Berklee online. A lot of people think “online” is going to be a cakewalk in their pajamas; it is not. Much hgher than 50% drop out rate, generally described as significantly harder in in person. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, just don’t enter into it lightly.

  9. #8
    I'm taking an online course on wing suit flying during this COVID quarantine. I can't imagine it's anything like the real thing, and the high drop out rate is daunting.

  10. #9

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    Good words about online learning! After 25-years as a college professor, I'm having to teach online for the first time - some classes synchronously (a fancy word for "live") and some asynchronously, where students are watching my pre-recorded lectures, submitting their work, and then participating in online discussions. It takes a good deal of discipline on both sides - for the student and the teacher. These are students I taught in the classroom for the first part of the semester before COVID-19 forced us to an online format. What's amazing to me is some of my best students in the classroom have really struggled to stay motivated now that they have lost the structure and culture of campus life. Perhaps, if I did take an online course it would force me to have more empathy for my own students!

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    What's amazing to me is some of my best students in the classroom have really struggled to stay motivated now that they have lost the structure and culture of campus life. Perhaps, if I did take an online course it would force me to have more empathy for my own students!
    It's always very different from the two sides of the podium. You want to know how hard it really is, you're going to have to move back home, feed the dog and be part of a family you thought was forever behind you. Yeah, I'm glad I don't have kids as I'm trying to adjust and I'm REALLY glad I don't have to deal with parents telling me I'm a kid again!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    It's always very different from the two sides of the podium. You want to know how hard it really is, you're going to have to move back home, feed the dog and be part of a family you thought was forever behind you. Yeah, I'm glad I don't have kids as I'm trying to adjust and I'm REALLY glad I don't have to deal with parents telling me I'm a kid again!
    Yeah, great point. I've got a daughter finishing her senior year of high school in her bedroom and my college son who's a sophomore percussion/MusEd major (with a 4 1/2 octave marimba) finishing the semester in another room, and I'm teaching my full load in the den. This thing has really been disruptive for both teachers and students. Related to the original post about online instrument learning, I've been watching my son and his university percussion studio meet for lessons. Some of his cohort are having a difficult time keeping up, finding time and a place to practice, etc. These are good kids and good players but are just having a hard time with the adjustment of moving back home.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    Yeah, great point. I've got a daughter finishing her senior year of high school in her bedroom and my college son who's a sophomore percussion/MusEd major (with a 4 1/2 octave marimba) finishing the semester in another room, and I'm teaching my full load in the den. This thing has really been disruptive for both teachers and students. Related to the original post about online instrument learning, I've been watching my son and his university percussion studio meet for lessons. Some of his cohort are having a difficult time keeping up, finding time and a place to practice, etc. These are good kids and good players but are just having a hard time with the adjustment of moving back home.
    Interesting. Music lessons in real time via computer? What are they doing to overcome latency issues?
    I know it's the best we can do, but I happen to feel that learning to play good time with other people has not a small contribution of learning to read cues, the feel and the air of the room you share. It sounds flakey, but for me it's true. When I hyper focus on only one aspect, as is the tendency when the input is coming from one point, there's a way of "hearing" that can be detrimental. But what do I know? It's the best we can do for now and the semester is already paid for I guess.
    But yes, it's certainly understandable that some students will not thrive in that situation. I need to know the space is mine and I'm not disturbing anyone else, and not getting anyone else's "second hand sound" before I can really practice deeply. Even Wes was worried about making noise in his house and he developed an entire approach to the instrument as an adaption to not making noise.

  14. #13

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    Concerning playing synchronously online, I don't think my son's percussion studio play together. They play for each other - or at least that's what it sounds like through the bedroom door.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    Concerning playing synchronously online, I don't think my son's percussion studio play together. They play for each other - or at least that's what it sounds like through the bedroom door.
    If this is effective, even to some degree, music schools will be in an awkward position of justifying their prohibitive tuitions, or on the other hand, charging a lot for the organizational mechanism of essentially shedding at home.
    Interesting dilemma.

  16. #15

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    I think all of us who teach college - in any discipline - would define your word "effective" differently. In terms of a close-knit music studio at a college or university, moving things online during the quarantine keeps the train moving down the track, but not at a great speed. I have the advantage of living just a mile away from the music school and the performing arts center at the university where my son is a student. I get to attend all of the faculty and student recitals and get to observe close up the really cool culture they have formed where faculty, grad students, and undergrad students all support and push each other. The online learning we're doing right now - at every educational level - again, keeps things moving along, albeit at very slow pace. You are right to mention the expense. This is not a problem with just music schools, but all colleges and universities. I know in my son's case, we just received a very big refund from his university for unused meal plan, housing, fees, etc. At the college where I teach, we have done the same.