Musos give online lessons

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Graeme Smailes and Roger Renolds are among those offering online music lessons to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.
Camera IconGraeme Smailes and Roger Renolds are among those offering online music lessons to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. Credit: Warren Hately

Capes musicians are among those who have seen their business models collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are now turning to online lessons.

Many of the region’s performers also run music schools, and the end of live gigs for the foresee-able future has required them to “think outside the square”, according to drum teacher Roger Ren-olds.

“Our lessons at the studio are, for now, continuing one-on-one with all health and safety policy and recommendations in place,” he said.

“Introducing online sessions could be a way for us remaining in business, and hopefully not be forced to close like so many others affected in our community.”

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Co-teacher Graeme Smailes said turning to online was a way to help students not attending school and unable to do in-person lessons —as well as protecting the livelihoods of regional musos.

“I started with a number of students last week through FaceTime and they are really excited,” he said.

“They’re looking forward to their next lesson.”

The pair are offering drum, guitar, singing and keyboard lessons for new and existing students.

Piano teacher Carina Moes said she was also accepting students through Skype.

For a 15-year veteran teacher, conducting classes online was a first.

“It was well received, with people asking to continue through the holidays to give kids things to do,” she said.

“We have a set half-an-hour a week for the lesson, but I am available for short meetings on-line in between lessons if students are stuck or if kids want to show me some of their achievements.

“I was a bit nervous starting the online classes, but now see it as a challenge to become more technology-savvy.

“Some of my usual activities — especially the ones related to improvising — have to be adapted for online lessons, but it also creates space for new ideas.”

Guitar teacher Mike Goodwin said he was increasing lessons for guitar students as well as aspiring songwriters.

He said he preferred Zoom as an online platform, and used other programs to share documents, while teachers such as Ms Moes were sending sheet music and learning materials via email ahead of lessons.

To get involved, contact Ms Moes via 0458 766 184, Mr Goodwin on mikegoodwin@live.com. au, or Shockwave Music on 0418 891 701 or 0422 685 824.

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