One of the more successful recent entries in the online world of string music instruction has been the Tony Trischka School of Banjo. Using a combination of prerecorded lessons and video exchanges between Tony and his many enrolled students, the school manages to combine the private lesson experience with the benefits of classroom instruction.
The secret is in making all lesson materials available to all students. When student A posts a video of themselves tackling song X, and Tony posts a response video with critique and suggestions, all other students have access to those exchanges, much like a traditional master class. It has morphed into something of a full time job for Tony, and the success of the venture has led to a major expansion of the concept which is scheduled to launch in June.
ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass will combine the Trischka School of Banjo with similar, interrelated systems for mandolin, flatpick guitar, fiddle and upright bass. An all-star faculty will be on board offering instruction for players at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.
Tony tells us that he has been delighted with the evolution of his online teaching portal, and is looking forward to its integration with the Academy.
“I’ve been teaching through the Tony Trischka School of Banjo for over a year and a half now, and it’s been extremely exciting and gratifying to see everything expand…..new faces, new lessons, new interviews, new video exchanges. It’s a whole banjo world with a lot of wonderful people under one cyber roof.
Now the roof just got a lot bigger with the creation of the Academy of Bluegrass. TTSB will almost be the same….just better. With the addition of Mike Marshall on mandolin, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Darol Anger on fiddle and Missy Raines on bass, you now have the chance to double on another instrument, with some of the greatest acoustic players in the world. You’ll also be able to interface with folks on the other sites to find other players in your area.
I’m thrilled beyond words that the Academy of Bluegrass is just about a reality.”
There will be separate registration and tuition for each instrument, but all students and faculty will be able to mingle in a central social community. ArtistWorks describes it as the Academy’s online student union building.
While new students can’t enroll until June, there is a good deal of information about the Academy of Bluegrass online now, including a video overview and introduction.