Lockdown Guitar Lessons
I'm posting this instead of a regular blog this week. It's an email I sent out to my students today.
So, starting Tuesday we're on lockdown for 30 days. FYI - I'm getting my information on what that entails from here:
NOT from Twitter or FaceBook!
Needless to say, guitar lessons are considered "non-essential." For those who take from me at Guitar Dock, the store is closed - for 30 days at least.
Hey, I've been "non-essential" my whole life!
So here's my position on your guitar lessons: If you want to try to continue during lockdown I'm available via Skype or FaceTime.
In my admittedly biased opinion, continuing guitar lessons will, at the very least, give you something to do. More than that, playing guitar can be therapeutic in times of stress and upheaval, as I know from first-hand experience, more than once or twice!
Anyway, I need those of you who wish to Skype or FaceTime lessons for the next month to let me know - just respond to this email and let me know which platform you prefer. My default will be that your Skype or FaceTime lesson will be at the same time as it has always been, just online instead of in-person.
There is a 3rd option for those of you who don't have Skype or FaceTime. My wife has a Zoom account I can use. This is a web-based platform and requires no software. I would email you a link right before the lesson and all you would have to do is click on the link.
As far as payment goes, I consider that secondary at this point. The first issue is to get up and running with the new routine and we'll figure out the money part later. I can take PayPal. I can set up a service product through the platform I use for downloads from my website that would enable credit card payments for guitar lessons. Heck, send a check in the mail; the mail will still be delivered. Anyway, I'm not worried about that part of the equation. My concern is getting everyone that wants to continue lined up and ready to go.
Keep in mind that we're looking at 30 days - that's 4 lessons. Hopefully, we can then return to a modicum of normalcy.
Now for some details:
MONDAY STUDENTS: Since the lockdown doesn't start till 12:01AM Tuesday morning, I could see you at my home studio one more time. Coincidentally, that would be the last lesson of the month, and we would then be even money-wise. I was going to take the 5th week off anyway. So can I count on you showing up on Monday? Up to you, just let me know.
TUESDAY STUDENTS: I had temporarily opened up the Tuesdays I normally gig - since all my gigs are temporarily gone. I had several of you take me up on that for this Tuesday - Skype of FaceTime?
STUDENTS AT GUITAR DOCK: As I said, the store is closed. I am taking my guitar and amp home but otherwise I'm leaving my studio intact there, with the intention of returning when the store reopens. Dan (the owner) has told me that the business could survive the store closing for 3 months. So if this situation lasts only 30 days I fully expect the store to reopen. Several of you did Skype or FaceTime last week and we agreed to do the same this week. I assume we're still on?
If you choose not to, or are unable, to Skype, FaceTime or Zoom lessons, I will either refund any credit on your account, or will hold and apply it to whenever we can start in-person lessons again, hopefully in May.
Again, I need everyone to let me know what you wish to do.
One last thing - on a personal note.
Perspective is important to maintain and the older you are the more you have. When I was 12 years old (1968 - if you don't know what I'm talking about use your lockdown to educate yourself) I saw army tanks going down Brookside Blvd (I lived at 61st & Central) and laid awake 3 nights in a row listening to gunfire and smelling tear gas. This current situation is completely different of course, but we seemed closer to societal collapse then than we are now. Lockdown does not mean we are on the brink of a general breakdown of society into apocalyptic chaos. Non-essential people just don’t go to work and people restrict activities is all. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations etc are all still open. I intend to use the time productively. When this is all over I will have more download products in the queue, more blogs written and scheduled for publication, more teaching videos for the website, and new songs for the gigs when they return. Plus I intend to clean out my basement!
Let me know what you want to do!
To all that I would add:
I've seen many of my musician compadres doing live feeds with virtual tip jars. I dearly love performing and I 'm already jonesing for a gig! I started gigging in 1969 and for the first time in my life I don't have a gig! However, I will leave the live feeds and virtual tip jars to my peers. My financial situation is such that a month or 2 of interrupted income is not that big of a deal. I would rather those who are so inclined go to my musician friend's feeds and support them. If there is a demand I might consider doing a performance or two but am not inclined to pursue it as a money-making venture. I'm going to put my time and effort into creating things that will put me more ahead when we come out on the other side of this thing.
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