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Music Compound now offers virtual, hybrid guitar instruction

The Sarasota music school's new course, “Introduction to Guitar Fundamentals: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide," was launched in early December.

Taylor Galford
Taylor Galford
Photo by Ian Swaby
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Instructor Taylor Galford believes Music Compound’s new on-demand course, which combines virtual material with sessions of live video instruction, will be a great asset for the music school’s students.

The value of video goes back to the days of VHS tapes, said Galford, when musicians learning an instrument would purchase tapes of the greatest musicians to imitate their techniques.

“I definitely think it's a cool edge that we offer, because life is so busy, and if it takes you 30 minutes to get here and 30 minutes to get back, that’s already an hour course that you could do at home,” Galford said.

Just last week, Music Compound launched the course, titled “Introduction to Guitar Fundamentals: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide," the first in a series of planned online courses.

Galford said that while different modes of instruction suit different students, virtual learning still offers the opportunity for instructors to make a connection to the students that can help them understand the material, like how to get their instruments in tune.

“It's all about connecting with the end user,” Galford said. “If the end user is the type to where they can have the attention span to lock in with you, it's no different (from in-person instruction.)”

The project, which was conceived by instructor Iain Harris, began during conversations on creating milestones for students and increasing the quality of the school's offerings, said Music Compound owner Jenny Townsend. 

“We are constantly evolving and innovating,” said Townsend.

Created through a collaborative effort by Music Compound staff, the course began with videos the school had already been creating to accompany the journals provided to each student, which include chords, practice tips and music theory.

“We said, ‘We're creating all these videos, we're creating all this content – we can actually create a course,” Townsend said.

The course, priced at $97, includes over 10 videos with an hour and a half of educational content, plus two thirty-minute consultations with a music compound instructor, who will walk students through obstacles, with a journal also included.

Afterwards, students can opt for virtual lessons, or the next level of the guitar course, which will be offered next year, along with courses in drums and keys. 

“We feel that the opportunity to connect with a live person, face to face over video, is going to add a lot of value, which is going to provide a really great connection to not just the instrument, but to music compound as a whole,” Townsend said. “You're not just taking lessons or buying a course online, you're part of our community.”

She said the course, priced at $97, is also relatively affordable in a time of economic uncertainty.

“This allows people to still invest in themselves and get music education at a fraction of the price from anywhere, really.”

Galford said he’s grateful for what the virtual instruction can add to the learning experience. 

“Reading music is difficult, and I think that anything that you have that can bridge that gap, can be what you need to take it to the next level.”



Ian Swaby

Ian Swaby is the Sarasota neighbors writer for the Observer. Ian is a Florida State University graduate of Editing, Writing, and Media and previously worked in the publishing industry in the Cayman Islands.

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