I hooked you with that title, didn’t I? Oh, come on. You know you’re wondering: “Why, and HOW would one take guitar lessons by Skype?”
I suppose I’m the person to ask because we did, in fact, take guitar lessons this year. And they were, in fact, over Skype. Why? Because I’m a busy mom. Because I was already running around to various lessons. And because even though the girls were dying to learn guitar, I just did not have one. more. drive in me.
Turns out, driving wasn’t even an option; our guitar teacher lives in New Zealand! And so, as we were closing out our Tuesday evenings, and he was just beginning his Wednesdays, we’d hop online and he would give Gianna and Aliya a 30 minute lesson each.
I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. The results, as they say though, spoke for themselves. Gianna especially made amazing strides in finger-picking, learning several songs in just a couple of months of lessons.
Shane Cammell, our guitar teacher, is really an amazing guy. He plays classical guitar which is, FYI not your ho-hum-play-around-the-campfire-music, let me tell you. When he plays, it sounds like there multiple instruments all perfectly harmonized. But don’t just take my word for it. Go listen to the samples from his CDs. Check out his YouTube channel. It’s also important to note that he’s not only a guitarist but a composer as well. He loves music, really and truly, and is gifted at sharing it with others.
Shane began playing the guitar when he was 6 years old. His older brother was “a little Mozart” on the piano, and Shane took to guitar in much the same way. He trained in classical guitar until he was 16, and then he began teaching it part time. After college, he worked as a guitarist on American cruise lines for 10 years, which he said was the best job on the ship. He loved playing music for couples in love, and the challenge of playing requests on demand, 4 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the end, though, he wanted to have a family, so he left the cruise line business and moved back to New Zealand.
These days, Shane is busy busy busy. He has a wife and 3 kids, he gives concerts, he performs at weddings and other events, he composes instrumental music AND he teaches guitar (both in person and by Skype). Whew!
His method is really intriguing. He gets kids playing right away by finding out what their favorite songs are and then translating them into tablature so that they’re able to finger-pick. Gianna learned Edelweiss (Sound of Music) in just a couple lessons! Once kids are successful, they get interested. Once interested, they learn quickly. Brilliant!
Hey, look! Here’s Shane playing Edelweiss!
Anyway, friends. I wanted to tell you all about Shane because I figure some of you might be in the same boat we were: interested kids, overwrought parents. I’m not being compensated for this post, other than the satisfaction of knowing there may be one more guitarist in the world. So click on over to Shane and give him a look, and some love if you like. 🙂
P.S. If you’re a homeschooler with a charter school, he works with those, too!