Internet speeds up success of music students
By Jim Newton email@example.com | @jimnewton5 August 23, 2013 11:08AM
Longtime Music Gallery guitar teacher Dave Krater of Round Lakes leads A.J. Hanson of Gurnee through a jazzy version of "Twist and Shout," with the aid of computer-generated backing and instrumental effects from a special amplifier. | Jim Newton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 23, 2013 2:39AM
HIGHLAND PARK — Music and technology have been merging at a rapid pace with the advancement of the Internet, and guitar teachers at the Music Gallery in Highland Park are using computers to increase the speed and decrease the frustration involved in mastering the instrument.
With the top-of-the line computers and high-speed Internet connections installed in the shop’s lesson studios, teachers have the songs that students want to learn available in seconds, and are able to slow down the speed of the music to make learning the note and chord progressions less complicated for starters of all ages.
Computer programs can also provide playback software and background tracking to allow students to play along with any number of instruments to increase their abilities and knowledge of ensemble playing. New amplifiers add a dizzying array of effects and tones that once called for a an assortment of additional pedals and devices.
“After their first lesson, they can get out of here and go home to play a song for mom and dad,” said Music Gallery owner Frank Glionna. “If they are adults they can go impress whoever they want.”
Glionna said the monetary investment in the equipment has been more than worthwhile in terms of time saved for both students and teachers and customer satisfaction.
“We went full tilt,” he said.
Longtime Music Gallery guitar teacher Dave Krater of Round Lake said that in the past, a lot of students would quit because they became frustrated with the speed of the music they wanted to play.
“Now I can use an incremental increase. It takes away the intimidation factor and instead of giving up, they’re playing in a couple of weeks,” Krater said.
Krater said he can also save songs at different speeds and pitches send them home with students on MP3 format so they can practice at home, not just in the studio.
“That’s the nice thing about modern technology,” said Krater, who teaches a variety of guitar styles from classical to rock and has students ranging in age from 6 to 60 embracing the new advancements.
Glionna and Krater said what used to take an hour of class time now can be accomplished in a half hour.
The Music Gallery offers both individual classes and band camps in a variety of guitar and bass categories and age groups.
For information on guitar and bass group or individual lessons, visit www.musicgalleryinc.com.