Name: Lisa McCormick
Cameras:Canon Vixia HV30, Flip Ultra HD
Editing Platform: Final Cut Express, iMovie 6
Microphone: Audio-technica Pro-70 Lavalier Mic
Support Gear: Sony VGN-AW220J 4GB RAM, Miller Solo DV, DV Kitchen (file conversion software), Epiphone Masterbilt Acoustic Cutaway Guitar.
If you told me five years ago that by 2009 I would be teaching guitar lessons to thousands of students around the world, I would have thought you were nuts. An on-the-road performing musician for many years, I began teaching guitar lessons in my home studio as a way to spend more time at home yet continue working in music. I love teaching guitar, helping people with the desire to learn guitar get over the hump and begin making music of their own. Much to my surprise and delight, my business as a guitar instructor took off fast, and quickly became very successful. I taught private lessons to more than thirty students per week, and had a waiting list that was at least twice that number. But this was mixed news. With my schedule booked to the gills, I was not only exhausted, but also had no place to go with the business. I was completely maxed out, turning away more clients than I served. I considered opening a guitar school, hiring teachers and renting classroom space, but I felt this would not be a good fit for me. I’m an artist and a teacher, not an administrator. And that’s when a video camera swept in and completely changed my life.
Keep in mind that I did not own, nor had ever operated, a camcorder. But I did use the Internet teaching on a major guitar lesson site called GuitarTricks.com. I noticed that GuitarTricks.com was accepting applications for faculty instructors, and the idea intrigued me. The application process required submitting a sample lesson on video. Oh no! Accepting the challenge, I ran out and bought a small video camera, and more than one “For Dummies” book to help me navigate the big learning curve ahead. I created my application video and sent it off. The email came a few days later: I got the gig! Now I had some serious learning to do. Three-point lighting, dual source audio, video editing, file compression; it was all brand new to me. Long story short, I now teach guitar via video to students all over the world. I set up my own small video studio in my home where I create video guitar lessons, which are posted to GuitarTricks.com and accessed by thousands of people per month.
I recently flew from Vermont to California to do a live video shoot to be broadcast on the GuitarTricks.com YouTube Channel. I am also in the process of creating a full set of welcome videos to be placed throughout the GuitarTricks.com site. The unlikely marriage of teaching guitar lessons, and learning to use video technology, has allowed my modest music business to go global, and had opened up limitless possibilities for growth. It thrills me every day to correspond with my students via email, whether they are in Belgium or Nigeria or Michigan or Korea, or anyplace in between. We all share the love of the guitar, and video has allowed us to make a real, human, and global connection.
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