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Old 18-08-2012, 07:45   #1
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Music Lessons Aboard ?

My 6.5 year old plays the fiddle; his 2.5 yo brother will be playing as soon as he can, from the looks of things. I play a little banjo and uke and dh plays a bit of guitar and harmonica, but the kids definitely benefit from some professional instruction (folk, not classical, at this point). I'm wondering about finding instruction while cruising. There's Skype, but that's a little harder and I think really hard for kids. Any experience with this?
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Old 18-08-2012, 20:43   #2
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

I'm wondering the same thing... our 12yo plays guitar and 10yo keyboard. We have resigned to self taught.
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Old 18-08-2012, 21:15   #3
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

Over the years we have anchored with a lot of folks who played music well !! seemed like the kids who played were always welcome to play along ! many many evenings were spent ashore with a bon fire and music, and sometimes even eats LOL but good music till all hours !! Im sure there are a bunch of music lessons on disc !! there has to be in this day in age !! just sayin I think theres a lot of music out there !!
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Old 18-08-2012, 21:32   #4
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

I give violin lessons to my son enroute. Since you are a family with various instruments I'd suggest everybody learning some fiddle tunes, Irish or Appalachian etc...Making it a group project. I do things the old way but there are video instruction series available on line. Try to find some music that also gives the chords then keep it fun like a game to polish it up. If you put enough tunes together you can play sets at the markets etc..... might even help the cruising kitty...
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Old 18-08-2012, 22:26   #5
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I have played guitar since I was thirteen...so 11 years now and just took my first lesson last month to get a firmer understanding of Jazz theory. I don't regret never taking lessons. What you pick up just playing with a variety of people is worth more than a thousand lessons. Just get them out there playing and make it fun. Any musician worth taking to would be more than happy to give them some pointers and I'm sure you'll run into a few along the way.
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Old 18-08-2012, 23:20   #6
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

My son recorded songs on the boat while cruising using basic instruments and relatively minimal equipment. It can be done.
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Old 19-08-2012, 02:33   #7
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

Confession time. I'm a closet Banger player and fan. Teaching kids music is great and at your kids age, unless he is the next Mozart, I can't see any great need for outside lessons if you can do it yourself. Once the kids show a real desire (not yours) to really learn to play well then I'd reconsider finding professional lessons. With the Internet becoming more and more available, YouTube alone has more info than a 2.5 and 6.5 year old can digest for a long time. But remember, learning to play an instrument is like sailing, not everyone, even your kids, will always share your passion.
What type of banjo stlye do you play? I've been trying for awhile to master the Scruggs picking.

For all you others, when you hear banjo music, ...paddle faster.
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Old 19-08-2012, 09:32   #8
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

I'm a professional musician, so the lessons go with the turf....but the student should have the interest and desire to play. There is nothing more miserable than forced lessons for everybody, student and others. Happy and determined screaches are far different than bored,angry howls - music does convey what is within....For a fulltime cruiser not able to teach starting a lesson program with one of the methods makes sense. Private lessons can be found in most towns by looking ahead on the internet and setting them up. A good teacher will be able to work with your child assessing where they are and helping them on to the next steps in their method. There are many, from Suzuki on- some work better with older students. talk to your local teachers about options. For any musician but especially cruisers who will be jamming on the beach etc...I recommend being able to read music so they can play with bands and orchestras but also learn how to just play by ear and improvise so they can interact with whatever is going on. A 3 chord strum or a didgeridoo and bongo drums
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Old 21-08-2012, 07:43   #9
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ITA that all things come from internal motivation. He enjoys it for sure, and we keep it low key. He practices for 5 or 10 min a couple times a day, and likes to perform for family on Skype. I just know there are technical "bad habits" that I wouldn't recognize, not being a fiddle player, and it sounds like there are enough musicians on the seas to help with that.

I play clawhammer style, but I play both contemporary and old-timey stuff. I study with a teacher on Skype, because he is my banjer hero, but I wish he lived near the ocean because I would sail there to study with him. I'm a novice, to be sure.

And if we're bringing the banjo jokes, this thread could set the record. "What's the definition of perfect pitch?" "Throwing a banjo in the dumpster and hitting an accordion."
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Old 21-08-2012, 08:52   #10
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thompsonisland View Post
My 6.5 year old plays the fiddle; his 2.5 yo brother will be playing as soon as he can, from the looks of things. I play a little banjo and uke and dh plays a bit of guitar and harmonica, but the kids definitely benefit from some professional instruction (folk, not classical, at this point). I'm wondering about finding instruction while cruising. There's Skype, but that's a little harder and I think really hard for kids. Any experience with this?

My first degree is in music education and I can assure you that as wonderful as Skype is, it is an inadequate substitute for hands-on instruction by a skilled teacher. You will have a harder time finding someone who teaches a "folk" style to children that age. The fundamentals are the fundamentals, and if they have a bedrock of classical instruction, it will help them with any style of music they might play for their own enjoyment.

You know who has a traditional, classical, music conservatory education?

Billy Joel. He attended Julliard, the most highly regarded music conservatory in the country. Now he plays (and sings) what he likes, but with a very solid foundation.

When your children have the basics down -- scales, fingering, bowing, etc., then look for a teacher that has classical training but chooses to play folk music. That will be an outstanding teacher for your children if he or she is any good at teaching. Personally I like Suzuki for very young children, and it's available worldwide.
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Old 21-08-2012, 09:36   #11
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

what do you recommend for a 61 year old who took up fiddle three years ago just to play blues?
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Old 21-08-2012, 09:58   #12
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

As a lifelong musician who has played professionally in the past,there are two options:1.) become an "ear" musician with no technical or theoretical knowledge and have fun playing popular music or 2.) study with a professional classically trained teacher and learn the proper fundamentals of technique, theory and interpretation. The latter would probably be difficult to find in many remote or Third World areas, but in the U.S., Europe and many areas in Latin America quality professional teachers are available that could provide quality instruction for a child or adult. When I lived in Puebla, Mexico in the seventies, I had several acquaitances who played for the Mexico City Symphony and met many qualified professional musicians/ex-pats who also taught music as well as many opportunities for musical performance with seasoned musicians. The choice is yours, but a quality musicial education is possible with even extended periods where no teacher is available as would be the case when cruising. One last comment: for those with serious intent a minimum of 2-3 hours practice a day is necessary to maintain and improve technical proficiency and to continue improvement. Most serious musicians practice a minimum of four hours a day to maintain proficiency. Those professional working musicians that maintain a repetoire and continue to learn new material practice seriously 6 plus hours a day. I don't know if this level is possible on a cruising boat. Oh, well . . . there's always Jimmy Buffet.
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Old 21-08-2012, 13:07   #13
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Four hours of practice time a day sounds like heaven! Of course, at 8, I would not have felt that way
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Old 21-08-2012, 15:04   #14
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

Times are really open to interpretation. You need a certain amount for keeping your hands in shape physically then there is what you need to do to maintain or learn repretaoire. and of course then there is learning about new types of music. All things can be combined, learning/ learning about material can be achieved while doing other things too. Classical technique needs evaluation too. Stephanie Grappeli learned to play in a natural manner and was able to play into a very old age while Issak Stern had to retire earlier like many classically rained players because his body could no longer support the technique. So approach the time issue with an open mind, notes by rote don't need to float the boat.....
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Old 21-08-2012, 15:49   #15
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Re: Music lessons aboard?

Did Doug Kershaw take lessons?
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