Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Archive of on-line classical guitar lessons from previous years.
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Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by GeoffB » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:13 am

The following is a translated message from Jean-François. Any comments or ideas will be very welcome.

Jean-François wrote:Hello my guitarist friends, dear students, dear fellow teachers.

At the beginning of the online lessons I had an appetite for communicating, for building something new, but now time has gone by and even though I still feel privileged to be able to exercise my profession as a guitar teacher, let us just say that once I get home from the conservatory in Brest I feel like doing something different (kayaking, for example).

Since getting the online lessons up to level 7, I haven't done anything more for them, except to recopy them each year without changing anything. I'm well aware that the improvisation section could be completely reworked to make it better structured, simpler, and more effective. Likewise the scales, which these days in Brest I teach in a quite different, more satisfying way (beginning with the ear, and intervals, without bothering about fingerings at all to start with; the fingerings, with their practical side, don't come until later, once the ear and the brain have assimilated everything).

In short, I could smarten up the lessons a bit, but I don't have the will to do it.

By force of circumstances, I have switched to playing without nails, but I'm not yet fully adapted to it. I can't give clear examples. I would need to find a springboard, something to motivate me again.

I ask myself: Jean-François (I am talking to myself here) are you going to keep recopying your courses every year? That's a bit sad, isn't it?

As you will understand, I am in a dilemma, and I tell myself: the simplest thing is to talk to the students about it, since it concerns them, and also to talk to my fellow teachers, and something good will probably, in fact definitely come of it.

:ouioui: Jef

Over to you! :mrgreen:
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Joe de V » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:21 pm

:merci: Dear Mr. Delcamp: I believe I am not alone in expressing my gratitude for the excellent service you are providing to us - students and professionals - in the CG community. Your lessons menu has provided me to the equivalent of at least two full years of college education in music training for the CG.
To me - and likely to many others - this is like a correspondence course from an accredited educational institution. As a Professor and Dean of that college you are entitled to a sabbatical that will offer you the opportunity to refresh your mind and body doing something that you love besides your devotion to the CG. Taking a temporary leave will not affect the quality of this service.
Every Moderator here appears to be what an Associate Professor will be in a University environment. This blog will remain in very good hands. You deserve to enjoy your other life interests without having to worry about the consequences of your wonderful On-line University. Go For It.
Enjoy what you will be doing and come back at the time that you are ready to continue bringing us more wonderful music and instruction. :merci:

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Ed Butler » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:42 pm

Mr. Delcamp - I can not say it any better than Joe has just said. This website, you, and all of the participants, have been an inspiration to me. Having just retired and moved from the hectic business world to now spending time with what I want to do (i.e. taking up classical guitar), I can understand the need to relook at priorities. I wish you the best with wherever your future path takes you.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:17 pm

I would like to second what is said above. And humbly add, that for Professor Delcamp His present program is something "not new" so it is always possible to make it better. But for the new students the program is new, and, as we all know, it works so well.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:40 pm

Professor Delcamp:

I too want to thank you for your many years devotion to this site and the vision to make it possible. Aside from the instruction, I am sure you realize you have created and fostered an amazing global community. This will endure I am sure. I know it is about the music, but as my signature says, we think we are making music, but it is making us.

As a sailor, I understand your draw to the sea, and love the pictures you post on facebook. I hope some of your lieutenants can carry on the work of the site, both administratively and pedagogically as well, as you paddle off. Maybe a visit to the Pacific Northwest or Canada's Sunshine Coast, is in your future, the best kayaking/sailing in the world!

But before you go, maybe one last mission: to get some of this community (who might be able and willing) to get together in person for a Delcamp Festival of Guitar, somewhere in the world, to commune in person, and to tell you in person how we appreciate all you have done. It may be a small crowd, or maybe a very large one. It could feature students of the online courses, some of your conservatory students, seminars in performance, masterclasses, luthiers and their creations, and maybe some guest performers. Maybe we can work in a kayak field trip. How is Brest in the summertime? Or maybe Martinique in the winter? Vancouver (I'd be there)??? I ask this because I have just thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow students from China, Tennessee, Greece, Sweden, Ontario, Spain, France, Viet Nam, and who knows where else, and would love to meet some of them in person.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide input to your decisions.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Whiteagle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:50 am

What you have done with the forum is great. Enjoy the kayaking!

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by James A. Showalter » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:18 pm

I am new to the site, new to classical guitar and new to my admiration for what I am discovering is a wealth of knowledge and camaraderie that I never imagined could be. I have not yet signed up for the lessons but of course everything here will be fresh and inspiring to me. I am looking into a window at the coming dawn of my retirement and my intention is to devote as much of my free time to classical guitar learning. So Thank You, Mr. Delcamp for inspiring me and offering this gift. If you never add another composition or lesson to this body of knowledge which you are giving freely it is already more than I can imagine being able to fully appreciate over the rest of my life.

Enjoy the water wherever your sails may lead you.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by John Montes » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:01 am

Like many others I have found the resources here and its community to be of great value and hope it can continue as much as possible, perhaps with additional help to free up more of Professor Delcamp's hands-on time with the lessons.

I can totally understand the Maestro's dilemma and the cross-roads he's encountered.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Angela Zhao » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:27 am

From this forum,I learn a lot, and thanks Mr.Delcamp and all teachers on the forum, without your selfless dedication, without our achievements.
We all know what you have done for the forum,and you pay a lot, I wish you can enjoy yourself and don't bother on the forum.you have done a lot for us. and this forum is the most wonderful classical guitar learner forum in the world.In China, we are doing the same things, but still has a long way to go. You are ours example. I think your are the best.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Colin Bullock » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:28 am

Jean-François wrote:...
Since getting the online lessons up to level 7, I haven't done anything more for them, except to recopy them each year without changing anything. .......

In short, I could smarten up the lessons a bit, but I don't have the will to do it.

I ask myself: Jean-François (I am talking to myself here) are you going to keep recopying your courses every year? That's a bit sad, isn't it?
I don't think it is sad (talking to myself, but I'm sure others will agree). These lessons are timeless and an amazing resource and legacy. Each student sees the lessons as new and there is more than enough material to keep us occupied during the year. I have benefited a great deal from these lessons and the format acts as an incentive to practice. I'm sure they will continue to benefit future students.

Having sailed, canoed and walked in the area around Brest I can understand your desire to kayak and enjoy some well earned relaxation. I hope, however, that you will have people you trust who could administer the lessons each month, some who could add new material subject to your approval, and perhaps reduce your workload so that only your oversight of the exams is necessary.

Whatever your decision, I wish you good paddling!

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:24 pm

I must admit to being a bit confused - is JF suggesting he wants to pull out of running the show (as some replies have suggested) or just in need of some TLC to restore his enthusiasm?

Direct responses would be, no its not in the least bit sad if the courses have reached a stage of evolution where nothing really needs changing anymore - that's a sign of great achievement! Equally, I guess there are lots of things that could in principle be amended, upgraded, but that's always the case; like a work of art, which is never actually finished, merely, abandoned!

Re scales; that sounds like an ideal way to learn them, by ear, singing first? ... can't see an easy online equivalent being possible. Its one of those things you get in personal tuition, and I wouldn't worry about having to fall back on old fashioned printed ways of providing them for the forum materials.

Re nails; sounds like a job for Rob, or his French clone if there is one! Where the springboard comes in I'm not sure ... could that be playing nail-less on a Torres copy? Is that the issue that was raised in a thread ages ago where volunteers were requested to help with the workload of recording and videoing lessons materials? Did that dry up?

From my experience, here the thing is to be really straight up and say what you, JF, want out of the situation. I was once in a similar place, and a sabbatical was suggested. I took it and it worked great but in end was just a postponement of the inevitable, because nothing had changed, because I hadn't felt able to ask for changes. Maybe I hadn't been clear enough in my own mind about what the problem was, but then, it wasn't a universe I had created from scratch! - like this one.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Smith » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:29 pm

Vive Le Kayak!

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Teodora Despotovic Kosanovic » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:52 pm

Dear professor Delcamp,
whatever you decide to do I would like to thank you for creating this special place where enthusiasm and love for classical guitar
music live.
Forever grateful

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by DaveMoutrie » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:44 am

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

After being indoors at the conservatory all day it is quite understandable that you should want to get out and enjoy some fresh air and exercise, especially living in such a lovely area of France. I must confess that when I first saw the web site I was amazed that one man had created so much - all the lessons, videos and so on in addition to a full time job at the conservatory.

I completely understand what you are saying about trotting out the same lessons each year, but for those of us who have not seen your lessons before, they are pure gold.
It is unfortunate that you have no way of knowing the way your students wait with eagre anticipation for each new lesson that comes out. You introduce us to new composers, new pieces of music, and then there are your own compositions - each one of them quite splendid in its own right. We also see something of your enthusiasm and sense of humour in your videos.

We watch carefully the way you delicately caress the strings of guitar, the patient way in which you slow down certain sections to demonstrate particular techniques, and you give us motivation to aspire to playing as well as you do. As far as I am aware your site is unique in the way it allows students to interact and learn from one another, and I am eternally grateful for the way my fellow students have helped me with my efforts to learn classical guitar.

Splendid as they are, if you would like to revise your lessons, some sort of collaberative effort could be in order. One idea might be (if it did not disturb your classes too much) for some of your on line students to visit the conservatory, quietly observe your lessons while taking notes and then produce revised versions of your lessons - of course to be approved by you before posting on line. I am sure also that many of us would be happy to make recordings of any additional pieces to be included in your lessons.

I do hope that this wonderful resource for classical guitar will continue, and if there is anything I can do to assist, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

It is my dearest wish that some day I may have the pleasure of meeting the man who has done so much to further the interests of the isolated classical guitarists to thank him in person. In the mean time, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you Jean-Francois.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Salvatore Lovinello » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:48 pm

Dear Maestro Delcamp,

Your contribution to classical guitar study is very hard to quantify. In the short two years I have been involved I've seen your lessons touch every corner of the globe. You have enriched me personally. You have enriched an entire generation of guitarists. There are plenty of online resources that teach guitar. I have seen none that are as comprehensive as yours nor do they involve peer review. The peer review is the impressive part of your program. When presented with playing for a teacher or my peers I will say that my peers make me far more nervous in a good way. It promotes a kind of friendly (at least it should be) competition that promotes growth, competence, and confidence that I don't think is possible in any setting other than formal brick and mortar schooling. My guitar skills have improved more in the last two years than the last ten.
I would like to propose, if you are amenable, that your students create a crowdfunding campaign for the express purpose for our Maestro to travel the world to both personally meet and play with and for your present and former students. Obviously, Maestro Delcamp, you didn't create this wonderful site for financial gain. Any money raised would be but a small token of our appreciation.

Bonne chance, Maestro Delcamp. You will forever remain a positive force in the universe.

Salvatore Lovinello

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