Save Money on Music Lessons

Last week, our son became a pianist thanks to the Internet (the video of him playing is at the end of this article). We didn’t have to pay for lessons, and we didn’t have to nag him about practicing. All we did was offer him an Internet connection, and he did the rest on his own.

Before our kids were even born, we decided to constantly surround them with music and art. We offered them lessons, but didn’t force anything. CJ became a clarinetist then taught himself piano, Hudi took to the trombone, and Zeb? Well, for several years now Zeb has excelled in Rock Band (drums and guitar). I’ll tell the tale of how our family has bonded over Rock Band another day. Today, I’m going to write about YouTube.
YouTube Rocks
That’s right. YouTube.
Zeb found a tutorial online that showed how to play a Chiodos song he enjoyed (Lindsey Quit Lolligagging). It demonstrated how to play note-for-note.
Within a few hours, Zeb was playing an identifiable song on the piano, an instrument he had never been drawn to before. That’s no replacement for lessons, you might point out, and you are right to some extent. I get it. I was a keyboard (piano) minor in college. I guess the real question comes down to why you want to learn music.

  • Enjoyment? Zeb certainly had that.
  • Structure and discipline? He plays for hours on a daily basis now.
  • Music theory? Ah, that might be the catch, but Zeb naturally found a way around that, too.

Learn Music Theory Unconventionally
Zeb was so interested in his music that he found the sheet music online and printed it out. He laboriously went through and labeled all the notes. He researched key signatures, time signatures, and brushed up on his rhythm.
It was way cool.
Now Zeb set his iPod touch to blast through the speakers, and he plays along. Check it out in the recording. This was after he had been playing a few days. Yes, there are some rough patches, but I figured that’s good because it shows that it really is he who is playing the keyboard.
I love hearing that boy play. Watch him play and let us know what you think.

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Car Trouble – It's Okay. I have my iTouch

iPod Touch
Image via Wikipedia

Disaster struck this summer while my boys and I were away at camp. My husband, who stayed home to work, became very ill. Off I went to the rescue with fluids and fever-reducers tucked safely into my trusty steed (aka, our stunning electric-blue new-to-us “hope we make it through the summer” mini-van).
Two hours into the three-hour trip my steed faltered. Actually, it decided to travel no more that day. But it was kind enough to limp into a hotel parking lot for recovery. (Thank you, Hampton Inn in Geneva, for letting us store our car in your lot). I am fortunate enough to have one of those husbands who can fix anything. I knew that if he were there, he could fix it in a heartbeat. However, I am not my husband, and I didn’t have a clue. My husband was too sick to help with anything. While I was waiting for a friend to pick me up, I grabbed my iPod touch and filmed the damage.
Since I was recording, I could clearly describe what I was seeing and smelling at the moment (it smelled VERY hot) and a belt was clearly frayed. A few days later, my husband recovered enough to travel back to camp with me. Thanks to the video, he knew what the problem was and which part we needed to purchase to replace the old. He had it fixed in less that half an hour.
Here’s the Car Engine Video from last summer – it’s kind of boring, but it shows you how I did the recording. Please kindly keep in mind that I recorded it for information purposes only. If I had thought I would use it in a blog I would have tried to sound more vibrant (:

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