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Author Topic: I've been taking Skype Melodeon Lessons, and this is how it's helped me.  (Read 600 times)

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Blake

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This is an unsolicited post, but I feel compelled to share my experience to encourage others to reach beyond videos and books for guidance.

I've been playing melodeon for a couple years on my own and enjoying it greatly, but stalled on my skills. The Pignol-Milleret books helped me a great deal (I made it halfway through the second one), but I felt that I might have some dogging problems that were holding me back. I made a New Years resolution to find instruction.

There are no melodeon players in my region of the US, so I turned to the internet and found a great experienced melodeon performer and instructor from the UK, Paul Young, who takes students on Skype. I signed on.

I've had about a dozen lessons so far. The lessons are an hour each, every other week. This gives me time to practice. Paul suggests tunes, fingerings, makes insightful observations about playing position, phrasing, practice habits. I've learned much about bellows movement, which I was pretty much ignoring before. oops. He provides smart, detailed video reviews after the lessons. I'm a more careful practicer, and more precise player. I'm also learning about the cultural history of this type of music through the lessons, too.

So a part of this post is to give Paul a nod, but also to encourage other players to try online lessons if there are none locally available. Skype isn't a bad platform for lessons. I'm sure there are additional teachers out there, too, maybe who address your specific melodeon needs and interests, but my experience has been fantastic and I look forward to becoming a stronger player with work and guidance!
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playandteach

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I've been tempted to have some lessons with Paul Young, but he's a bit of a drag away. I've never quite fancied Skype though. Can I ask what the cost is for a Skype lesson?
Do you take an active role in saying what you want to improve at - I'd be keen to find greater variety of left hand stuff. Also was that on DG or GC?
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Blake

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I've been tempted to have some lessons with Paul Young, but he's a bit of a drag away. I've never quite fancied Skype though. Can I ask what the cost is for a Skype lesson?
Do you take an active role in saying what you want to improve at - I'd be keen to find greater variety of left hand stuff. Also was that on DG or GC?

He charges in GPB, quite reasonable, I pay by paypal. I don't want to quote here since it's achived and he may change his rates, but I think it's on his website.

Before the first lesson, he did ask what I was interested in, and has been great about sticking to my interests. I feel if he wasn't confident in his ability to teach me a certain type of music, he'd have said so, but I'm interested in a lot of the kinds of music that he plays, as it is.  He has an assortment of instruments in different keys. Some songs we use D/G, others G/C, which are the two boxes that I have. The songs he's chosen have been spot on for learning specific techniques that I need work on. I definitely feel that he's considering MY playing and interests with each lesson. As far as left hand, he has introduced several left-hand patterns. I really struggle with LH, so they are basic, but he definitely is moving that skill forward for me.
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malcolmbebb

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For those not aware, UK based Mel Biggs (melonbox of this parish) has also been offering Skype music lessons (worldwide) for some time, and by all accounts with great success.I don't know the charges but here is a good place to look.
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Dick Rees

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I've been tempted to have some lessons with Paul Young, but he's a bit of a drag away. I've never quite fancied Skype though. Can I ask what the cost is for a Skype lesson?
Do you take an active role in saying what you want to improve at - I'd be keen to find greater variety of left hand stuff. Also was that on DG or GC?

He charges in GPB, quite reasonable, I pay by paypal. I don't want to quote here since it's achived and he may change his rates, but I think it's on his website.

Before the first lesson, he did ask what I was interested in, and has been great about sticking to my interests. I feel if he wasn't confident in his ability to teach me a certain type of music, he'd have said so, but I'm interested in a lot of the kinds of music that he plays, as it is.  He has an assortment of instruments in different keys. Some songs we use D/G, others G/C, which are the two boxes that I have. The songs he's chosen have been spot on for learning specific techniques that I need work on. I definitely feel that he's considering MY playing and interests with each lesson. As far as left hand, he has introduced several left-hand patterns. I really struggle with LH, so they are basic, but he definitely is moving that skill forward for me.

That's the way I prefer to learn and teach.  None of us learned to ride a bicycle by studying the theory.
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playandteach

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I learn how to ride my bike better by understanding the theories of weight distribution, pedalling styles, biomechanics etc. Cornering safely does require some understanding - which I like to absorb in advance of trying it out. I don't claim to be typical. I also find it hard to 'get' someone's name if I don't know how it is spelt. I like to know if it's Catherine or Katherine before I feel I know their name. That's why I'd rather have a say in how I'm being taught. I'm sure he'd take that on board, as it probably helps anyway.
I'm not trying to be awkward here, just finding out as much as I can in advance of contacting him. I also would need to set up a camera for skype, which is something I've never used.
EDIT: Found costs on his own website - I'd been looking at his facebook page instead - I'll have a think. Might be better to make the trip for a one-to-one first.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 08:08:37 PM by playandteach »
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Blake

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That's why I'd rather have a say in how I'm being taught. I'm sure he'd take that on board, as it probably helps anyway.
I'm not trying to be awkward here, just finding out as much as I can in advance of contacting him. I also would need to set up a camera for skype, which is something I've never used.

There are as many kinds of teachers as there are students! I find the best teachers to be flexible and observant of the student's learning aptitudes. Being skeptical is good. My lessons are purchased as we go, so I don't think you'd need to commit to more than the hour your sitting for.  A trial experience is perfectly in order with any learning situation.

Each lesson starts with Paul asking what I worked on. So, some weeks, I feel like going back to basics, others, I forge ahead with new material. He's always been down-to earth and flexible. He's quite articulate in his suggestions, too. I have had other music instruction which hasn't been as productive despite adequate practice.
 
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Morse Baritone EC
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Mark Leue

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I'm interested in Skype lessons as well, so it's good to hear your positive experiences. All I'm lacking is internet of less latency and better speed than the abysmal satellite thats currently the only option.  Next year they say. Of course that's a running joke around here. We were on dial up 6 years ago, probably among the last earthlings to use it. 
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