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 Post subject: Tutors for a digital age
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:09 pm 
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A local young muso is planning to write a tutor for the pipes, but with limited time and income, and being in a small local market, needs to use his time most effectively. His natural medium is video, but his concern is doing a lot of work, selling downloads, only to have them forwarded to others who don’t pay. There is a trade-off between accessibility of digital formats vs the low cost to produce and to edit digital media vs a declining number of people who will pay for and use books/have CD player, and high cost of printing books and CDs.

All comments welcome but here are some questions for you in case they add more context:

-What’s your preferred medium for learning to improve your playing (print, audio, video, lessons)?
-Do you prefer to pay as you go, pay a subscription, or pay once for a series of lessons?
-For pipers, what’s missing from what is currently available?
-Any advice or comments?

Thanks in advance,
Hugh

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:40 am 
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Have you done some online research? It seems to me there have been multiple uilleann pipe tutors/tutoring/tuition/lessons endeavors launched over the years. Plus many pipers offer online skype lessons. Unless this young muso has an inspiring "New Approach" [see Heather Clarke tutor] than I'm not sure any project won't join an already glutted market.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:25 am 
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flutefry wrote:
-What’s your preferred medium for learning to improve your playing (print, audio, video, lessons)?


1. private lessons
2. group classes/workshop
3. audio/video
4. print

In that order.

flutefry wrote:
-Do you prefer to pay as you go, pay a subscription, or pay once for a series of lessons?


Pay as I go.

flutefry wrote:
-For pipers, what’s missing from what is currently available?


Top-notch pipers and teachers close to me and available for lessons.

flutefry wrote:
-Any advice or comments?


It's always going to be a struggle for those of us learning in relative isolation. Not sure that another tutor is going to fill that gap, but I'll probably buy it anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:52 am 
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Not a piper here but want to comment about not paying. I've had numerous occasions for obtaining "passed on/downloaded" CDs, tutorials, etc., freebies, and can say that out of respect for the musician and craftsman, that I pay. I may not have the extensive collections of items that some members may have, but, I pay. HNY!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Tommy, you are right that there is lots of competition out there, and pipers are a small market to begin with. Professional musicians of all stripes have the same basic issue of having to cobble together a living from gigs, recordings, lessons, guesting at music camps, tutors, and online resources. Most have a lot of experience at the first three, and probably as a percentage of their overall revenue, these are the most important. So it isn't surprising that there is more focus there.

My experience with camps, tutors and online resources in classical, renaissance, baroque, Irish musics is that most of these I have run across leave something to be desired. The simple answer is that it just might not be worth the effort to do more than the usual "basic techniques, and some annotated tunes", and it's less work and more lucrative to do private lessons (and maybe) online lessons. I am trying to find out if there is something that is not out there that people would like to have, that would make the time and effort of making the resource available is potentially worth it. I do notice a near complete absence of detailed and methodical coverage of playing regulators for example, but it would be interesting to know of others.

An Draighean, thanks for your detailed reply-much appreciated.

Cheers,
Hugh

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:46 pm 
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flutefry wrote:
I do notice a near complete absence of detailed and methodical coverage of playing regulators for example, but it would be interesting to know of others.


Now THERE"S an open niche!

I hope I didn't de-wind anybody's sails here. By all means, if there's a combination of things that works...go for it!

Something I've enjoyed learning (and passing on) are the forensics of piping. You know, decoding all the little blips and bloops and nickety-tickety bits that are found in much of the playing of The Greats. Many of these are really percussive effects...that cannot be notated.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Tommy, no worries about removing wind from sails. The underlying question is "is it worth the bother?" so cold water and reality checks are what I was looking for.

Thanks for an expert opinion on what is out there for regulator playing. Completely agree that there is way more than meets the eye and ear to expert piping than most of us will ever appreciate, so I think there is another niche for teaching about a level of finesse and detail that video is well suited to.

Cheers,
Hugh

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:45 pm 
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This is a different gap for beginners, but in this past, my first full year, I've spent more time troubleshooting my set than playing. Leaks in particular have been an issue - they got started just as I started a week-long group class and I felt like I'd been beat up from all the extra work. I retied my stocks several times (nicking the leather with a knife and weakening it at one point). Only when a nearby highland piper urged me, weeks later, to go over the entire bag with soapy water and a cotton swab did I find an additional leak in the seam. My wife has expressed astonishment that I haven't given up on pipes yet after watching me spend as much time on repairs as on playing. Yes, I have consulted my maker(s) and one (remote) player I have access to, watched online videos, etc., but I don't want to bug the experts every day. Compared to all this, learning to actually play when everything is working has been a welcome, and far easier, effort.

Not what you asked for, I imagine, but it is a gap in knowledge for which this isolated beginner would have happily paid for assistance. Maybe a marketing opportunity for someone else.

Keep playing whenever you can,
Ken


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