A new wave of musicians is entering the industry who have been trained purely using the internet, University of Southern California Professor Richard Smith says.
Smith, who is a “offline music educator” from the United States, has been hosting workshops in Tasmania with Musicians Institute Hollywood California’s Dr Stig Mathisen.
He found the internet had a profound impact on the way musicians discovered their craft.
“I’ve got some students who are completely trained using the internet so that informs a really different relationship with me cos they’re not used to working at a human being’s pace,” Smith said.
“They’re used to being able to fast-forward and rewind, and learn completely at their pace.”
It created a real challenge as some students had to be socialised first, he said.
Learning using the internet changed the way guitarists interacted with other musicians, but it also meant they could upload videos of their playing to share with the world, he said.
The pair have taught professionals who have gone on to work with John Mayer, Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus and John Legend.
Smith has been coming to Tasmania for several years, long enough to see some of his students become professionals.
“I’ve been here several times to teach and really enjoy the students and the atmosphere that Tassie has.”
He also became a fan of Hobart-handcrafted Mark Gilbert Guitars, which are made out of Tasmanian timber.
Both lived in Los Angeles and were rather happy to be in Tasmania, escaping the 40 degree days their city was experiencing.
Mathisen said, “As guitar enthusiasts, it’s always great to come to different places and meet people who have the same passion as we do”.
“Guitar is alive and well in Tasmania.”
The music industry had changed drastically since he started his musical education in the 1990s, he said.
The general knowledge level was much higher now than in previous years, Mathisen said.
“Because of YouTube and the internet people are already coming in with a lot of knowledge. It forces you to teach differently.”
It didn’t mean the latest wave of guitarists were better, just that different aspects needed more focus, he said.
Guitarists were learning in a completely different way than any other musicians would have learnt even 15 years ago, Mathisen said.
Socialising became an intermediary phase for guitarists growing up, learning to play using the internet, he said.
The duo taught students from Newstead College and St Brendan Shaw College on Tuesday, before travelling down to teach in Hobart later in the week.
The workshops included a session on careers in music and one focusing on guitar work.
Newstead College music teacher Brendon Siemsen said he hoped hearing the two international music educators would inspire the students to consider their own future