A: Ah Youtube – Youtube is the Nintendo Wii of the social platforms – there are some real quality, excellent learning tools and video on there, but trying to find them amongst all of the other questionable videos is simply draining and very hard work.
Youtube is great
I freaking love Youtube. There are some amazing people out there on Youtube doing excellent ukulele based tutorials/music based things and the fact that people have access to this (for free) is outstanding - I’m positive it has probably helped a lot of people get into learning an instrument, and at the end of the day I’m all about that – education shouldn’t be viewed from a business perspective, and I don’t think teachers are competitors to one another. I know that when I’m writing out a lesson for a student I will look on Youtube and see how (and if) someone else is teaching the same song, to see what their ears have picked out or how they are describing certain aspects. Unfortunately what I find more often than not, is that the information being given out is just plain wrong.
Youtube is confusing
Anyone can upload to Youtube, and finding good, correct information really is a coin flip – you technically don’t need any qualifications to be a private music teacher, and you definitely don’t need any to upload videos to Youtube. Thankfully qualifications don’t spell out everything, but experience usually does. In my years of teaching I’ve been presented with questions from students that I never really considered myself, or had to re-explain a concept that I thought I had broken down perfectly. The fantastic thing about teaching is that as a teacher you learn just as much in a lesson as the student does, as everyone is put together slightly differently and so processes information and concepts uniquely to themselves. I’ve found through videos that often in tutorials something has been brushed over/rushed and it has had a negative effect on the student as they just end up stuck – then relying on someone else in the comments section to help explain.
Youtube is limited
Teaching on Youtube may not be someone’s full time job, meaning that the student can’t always rely on the teacher for new content/answers to questions when stuck/general guidance. In order to learn best we need to carefully calculate a path to follow – that’s why all systems in Colleges/Universities/School are based on this (I can say this having taught in all of them). Progression is the most important thing for us when learning, otherwise we get burnt out and the content can be too difficult without first having encountered something else vital (like a certain technique/chord/theoretical explanation). All the students I’ve met who were ‘self taught’ from Youtube could play, but needed severe corrections in a lot of their technique and a lot of times had to be taken right back to basics.
So why should I learn you from you, video man?
I am not claiming to be better than everyone you can find on Youtube, as that would be disgustingly arrogant and wrong in some cases. My experience and passion however very much lends to learning from me – as I’ve mentioned I’ve taught in most levels of education, as well as private teaching for almost ten years now (alright Grandad).
Two of the things I can offer you is what we all spend our money on – convenience and value. I have put together many, many lessons in my online ukulele course and laid them all out in step by step courses that I reckon are pretty damn easy to follow. This is the exact same content that I’ve used with my private students over the years, and as I write all my own sheet music/lessons, the content is constantly being updated – I’m still discovering even better ways to explain techniques and ways to practice them. You get to learn great songs whilst practicing vital techniques and learning how to read music – I want you to be a massive success in the music world, and that’s how I’m going to treat you. The price of these lessons per month is the same price that I (and most private teachers) charge per hour privately – so I like to consider that some damn good value.
Sure, I’m asking you for money whereas the kind folk on Youtube aren’t – but I’m providing sheet music/tabs and mp3s for every ukulele lesson, and you’ll find the Youtubers who do offer sheets are protected behind a paywall themselves (Patreon).
Youtube is great
I freaking love Youtube. It is the most accessible hub of video based information we have, and it’s all free free free. There is so much incredible content out there by people who put so much time and effort into it – it’s sort of unreal, and I have definitely used it successfully as a learning tool. The one advantage I have though is that I can tell the good content from the bad as I’m experienced in my field – but for beginners, how can you tell? Sadly you can’t trust likes or comments, as I’ve seen many videos with thousands and thousands of thumbs up and positive comments – but the content is wrong. Wrong chords, wrong timing, wrong notes. And who could blame them – because hearing subtle differences and being able to tell is not something I’d expect even out of intermediate/even advanced players.
Youtube is perfect for learning a particular song, or a particular riff. But that’s it. For learning proper technique, musical knowledge and understanding? It’s possible, but you might have to spread yourself out over many teachers on Youtube – if you’ve got the time and patience, go for it. For those who don’t and just want the confidence to find good content and learn ukulele from the comforts of their own home – I’ve got you.
If you ever have any further questions regarding this topic or more, then please hit me up on firstname.lastname@example.org- or you can find me on Twitter @sammydamacy