A History of Musician’s Workshop
I started teaching guitar lessons in high school. Seven years later in 1973, I produced my first nation wide music instruction product. There were two innovations in this product. First, it had sound. It was a combination of book and audio. (12-inch vinyl record album because cassettes had not become widespread at that point). I was personally frustrated with books, and felt like my students could learn better if they could hear a recording of the music that they were learning. Second: the material in this package was taught “NOTE FOR NOTE” exactly as it was on the original recording. So for the first time, the aspiring student could learn to play the authentic version of the music.
Both of these innovations eventually became widespread. My instincts told me to study my students. Find out what problems were holding them back, and then find a way to solve the problems.
My biggest secret is that most of my music teaching techniques have not been borrowed from music teachers. Instead, they have been adapted from my swim coach, my archery coach, and my music STUDENTS! The goal of Musician’s Workshop for over 3 decades, has been to solve your problems and to get you out there participating. We don’t want you to be a sidelined spectator. We want you to be in the jam session, on the stage, and in the recording studio.
We’ve taught students as young as 5 and as old as 90. We’ve taught people with fingers missing and people who bring their seeing-eye dogs with them to their lessons. Through our private students, our festival seminars, and our phone conversations with folks who’ve purchased our courses, we have learned your needs, desires, and problems and we’ve created products that truly address and solve the problems so that you can become an active musician.
Most people tell us that they are slow learners. If you think of yourself as a slow learner, you’re not the only one who feels this way. There are plenty of accomplished musicians who seem to be more talented than you, but are not. They’ve simply solved the problems and developed enough to be out there actively participating. You can reach a very satisfying participating level of musicianship even if you think you’re slower than average.
Each of our products has a specific goal in mind. We mostly cater to the person who wants to learn the popular forms of music. Popular styles include everything that’s “informal” such as: rock, country, bluegrass, jazz, blues etc. Since the “informal” musical styles are created informally, we also teach them informally. Not haphazardly, but without formal music notation. This allows you to learn the actual things that you’ll need to know when you get together with other people making music. We approach teaching by asking ourselves: What made those famous musicians famous? Did they have formal training? Why do they play so well? Why can they play a song that they’ve never heard before? What do we need to include in our instruction courses that will allow our students to have the understanding and skills that the pros have?
Our most successful students seem to be those who give us a call and tell us where they’ve succeeded and where they have been having problems. Then together we discuss some solutions. So feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.