Monday, August 26, 2013

MacPhail Center for Music Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas #mobsociety #onlineguitarlessons

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         Homeschoolers love music lessons, so why not add them into your day without even leaving your home? This sounded like a fantastic solution to Taylor wanting to take Guitar lessons. We were given the homeschool package of 4 weeks of class sessions lasting for 30 minutes each from MacPhail Center for Music for us to review. Taylor was beyond thrilled. He could not wait to get started.

     Taylor has been wanting to take guitar for awhile now, but we did not even have a guitar. When this review came up I just knew I needed to make it work for him so he could see if this was really something he wanted to do or not. Now to get our hands on a guitar to borrow. Taylor's Nana offered us her guitar from when she was young, Nick had used it to take lessons when he was young, but guitar was not for him. So we were set to start, now what? Well we were sent a link to set up our online account. Next they sent us a questionnaire to get to know Taylor a little bit, questions like personality and what kind of personality we were looking for in a teacher.  The other questions that were asked had to do with how familiar Taylor was with his guitar and music in general. Like could he read music, did he know notes, and what kind of Music did he like. Also what days and times worked for us for the lessons. They determined that Taylor was going to take Guitar Beginner classes.

   A couple days later we were sent a bio about his Teacher, and a class schedule for Taylor's 4 upcoming lessons. The nice thing was they were all at the same time and same day of the week, just like traditional lessons. This made it very easy for Taylor to remember when his lesson was without me having to always remind him. Independence doesn't come easy for Taylor so this was a HUGE step for him this Summer. They did ask if the time worked for us and if it had not we could have changed it. The final step in the process before actually beginning was a check of our computers and internet speed. We installed Skype before this "check" day and we were ready to go.

   Now may be wondering? Skype? Well how on Earth did you think he was going to take lessons in our home. MacPhail certainly could not mail us our instructor each week and send him to our home. This all happens through Skype using your home computer, or in our case Taylor's lap top. The day of our set up appointment I was actually going to be out of town, I wondered if this was going to work, but I was in constant contact via email and they assured me Taylor would be fine and if they needed me I was just a phone call away. The day of the set up Taylor was so excited he could hardly stand himself. He had to run a speed test for our internet speed ahead of time so he could relay the numbers to the tech. This is a fairly easy process and we have done it in the past due to internet provider issues so he was old hat at that. Then they "called" him on skype and made sure he could hear them, they could hear him, had him play a few strings on his guitar so they could check sound quality. He passed with flying colors so the following Wednesday he was ready to begin, right after Lunch. His instructor was going to be Randy.

    He practiced on the guitar day and night in preparation of his first class. He found a tuner app on his smart phone, gotta love technology. Found a song online that he wanted to learn to play and was ready to go. The first lesson went wonderfully, after Taylor's lesson they emailed me and let me know the natural light was too bright in Taylor's room, making it hard to see Taylor for the teacher. So for the next lesson we covered the window behind him with a towel and this seemed to remedy the problem. After Taylor's second lesson using my Mom's classical guitar I surprised Taylor and went on craigslist after a conversation with a friend who told me that was how they bought all of their kids first instruments. I found him the guitar he really wanted to play, an electric guitar and amp. I was so excited to surprise him with it.

    He was over the moon when I brought it home, and he could not wait for his next lesson so he could show his teacher. He really hit it off with Randy, his instructor, he valued his opinion so he was excited to hear what he thought.  So Taylor finished his last two lessons learning on his new electric guitar. He finished his lessons a couple of weeks ago but has not stopped practicing. He loves playing and he is getting fairly good after just 4 lessons.

    We would like to have continued on with MacPhail for guitar lessons for Taylor but it just is not in our budget right now. If budget allowed we would have jumped at it. I was pleased with the lessons and Taylor looked forward to each week with enthusiasm I had not seen in a long time. If you know Taylor you know it takes a lot to impress him and hold his attention. I was so pleased to see him excited about his lessons and he took it so seriously and practiced and still does every day.

   If you are looking for music lessons, whether guitar or maybe another instrument, MacPhail may be just the answer you are looking for. Suitable for students of all ages in grades  K-12.(with some help with the computer for younger kids) and all from the privacy of your own home.

  The pricing for all students are as follows:
Special Introductory Pricing - Individual Instruction - Four Online Lessons for $111
Receive four 30-minute individual online lessons from an outstanding teaching artist, from the convenience of your home. All K–12 homeschool students are eligible to participate in this package, a 25% discount from standard tuition rates.

Daytime Flex Packs for Live Online Lessons offer flexibility to accommodate your busy schedule and help you achieve your unique musical goals. Simply schedule 8 Live Online Lessons during the 18 week semester on any weekday from 9 am – 3 pm CST. Unexpected scheduling conflict? Our cancellation policy gives you the option of canceling your lesson up to 48-hours in advance, without forfeiting the lesson. Whether you travel for work or leisure, juggle kids' extracurricular activities, or live in an area where options for studying your instrument are limited, MacPhail's Daytime Flex Pack can help you experience the joy of music-making. Standard pricing will apply after introductory lessons at $37 per 30-minute lesson. 

    If ever given the opportunity to take lessons from MacPhail again I know we would jump at the chance. If you are interested in learning more about MacPhail online lessons, or if you live in the Minneapolis, MN area you can even take lessons at their school in person please visit their website, http://www.macphail.org/ If you would like to hear more about the Crew's experiences with their students and their different choices in instruments be sure to click the banner below and read them all.


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