As we’ve been mentioning in previous blog posts, Lessons.com is very excited to present a new feature: Live interviews of guitar teachers. Today we’re pleased to provide a transcript of an interview we recently participated in with Janet Ogg, a guitar teacher giving guitar lessons in Dayton, Ohio area. To see the interview, check out Janet’s guitar teacher page.
FindaGuitarTeacher: We’re here with Janet Ogg. Janet, welcome, and thanks for talking with us about your guitar teaching.
Janet Ogg: Thank you.
FindaGuitarTeacher: First off, can you tell us where do your lessons take place? What city? What region do you teach in?
Janet Ogg: I live in Huber Heights, Ohio, which is north of Dayton, Ohio. I teach in my home; I also teach at Guitars Etc., which is on North 48 in Clayton, Ohio. And then I also teach at Wittenburg University in Springfield, Ohio.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And do you also offer Skype guitar lessons? That’s something that is more and more popular these days. So, people come to you and you teach at these other locations. But, do you also offer lessons over the internet?
Janet Ogg: Yes, I do. I do offer Skype guitar lessons, so anybody anywhere in the world can take lessons.
FindaGuitarTeacher: That’s wonderful! In the Huber Heights – Dayton – Springfield area what is the guitar lesson climate?Are there a lot of people who are interested in learning guitar? And also what styles are your students most interested in learning?
Janet Ogg: Yes, I do find there are a lot of people wanting to take guitar lessons in this area, and it has been that way for a long time. I’ve been teaching steadily for the last fifteen years; I’ve always had a lot of guitar students. I also teach drums, I have found that I’ve had a lot more guitar students than drum students. But the styles they want to learn? Most of the students I get – if they do know how to play at all – they’re already playing – most of the time – rock. I teach from a beginning aspect of music … I teach how to apply pure music onto your guitar. And when I get children, or beginners at any age, I start with learning how to read music, progressing into chords, scales, theory, understanding how music works on your instrument, so that you can be able to do what you want on the guitar. Once you learn what music is on your guitar, you can do whatever you want with it. I also teach songwriting and I also teach recording in Garage Band, and I have examples of all these things on my website JanetOggMusic.com.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And do you teach both adults and children?
Janet Ogg: Yes, I teach children, starting at age seven on up. I’ve had many children that I’ve taught, and I also have taught many adults. So, yes, it doesn’t matter.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And, can you tell us a little about your fees and your scheduling format? How often do you work with students when they work with you?
Janet Ogg: Most of the time it’s one-half hour guitar lesson each week. I charge $15 per lesson, and I like to start out with a minimum of three lessons, and then, if people like me, they’re still interested in what they want to learn on the guitar, then I try to go month to month, taking a monthly payment at the first of each month.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And when you say, you’d like to start with three lessons, you mean three lessons in the first week – or three guitar lessons over the course of three weeks, just to let people get more of an experience for what you offer?
Janet Ogg: Just normal lessons, like one guitar lesson per week for three weeks.
FindaGuitarTeacher: Got it. But you recommend that students try at least three lessons to get more of a feel of what you’re doing?
Janet Ogg: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s a good idea. You don’t want to have one lesson and then, you know, stop before you have the chance to make up your mind totally. I mean, it’s not adamant that you take the three lessons. I just like to put it out there that way, because I think after people have taken the three lessons, they know whether or not they’re going to want to continue for a while. Taking guitar lessons, especially for beginners, I always say: “give yourself a year, because it takes time to get started on playing the guitar. It takes time to get started, you know, fingering the notes, becoming dextrous with your hands, getting a grip on just the whole idea of what it takes to play the guitar. A lot of times, it’s a little bit harder than what people think it’s going to be, and you need to give yourself, in advance, time to get started with the guitar. And the main thing that causes people to learn how to play the guitar is practicing. It’s really hard to progress on the guitar, if you don’t practice, so that’s something people should prepare to do.
FindaGuitarTeacher: I think that’s very true, and I think your idea about taking a few guitar lessons before making that decision is a very wise one. I wanted to ask you a little bit about your equipment. When you’re teaching, what kind of guitars do you have? Do you teach with both acoustic and electric? Do you ever use bass guitar? And you mentioned that you use Garage Band in your lessons …
Janet Ogg: Mmm hmm. I have an acoustic guitar. I have an electric guitar, and personally, I can play the same way on either guitar. I don’t have a different approach for the two different guitars. I know there are certain things that you can do with the electrics, you know, like effects and different … well bends and things like that when you’re playing leads that you wouldn’t normally, or necessarily, do with acoustic. So there are some slight differences, but, in the end, all the music is going to relate to no matter which type of guitar you’re playing, and, with recording, I have recorded salable products using Garage Band. I write my own music. I’ve been writing since my early twenties. I’ve written many songs – my latest cd is called Emergence, which is all original songs, and I also have written a cd with multi-tracks that I created digitally in Garage Band and then added live drums to the tracks to showcase my drumming.
FindaGuitarTeacher: That’s very interesting! And one last question before we say goodbye for today: Do you offer advice to your students about what kind of guitars to buy?
Janet Ogg: Absolutely. I love to do that because I know so much about guitars, and, especially people that have never taken guitar lessons before, or their parents, are out there trying to buy them a guitar. A lot of times, it’s too late; they’ve already made a bad purchase, and I wish I could have talked to them about it, because usually people who are starting out – they don’t want to spend a lot of money. Guitars can get very expensive, but, on the other hand, you can get a really nice guitar for a reasonable price – acoustic or electric … or, you can get a really bad guitar for a reasonable price. So, you just need a little bit of help on – you know, guidance. I’ll meet you at a music store, or I’ll help you online, if you want to order offline … however you’d like to do it.
FindaGuitarTeacher: That sounds great, Janet, and I want to thank you for being part of this interview. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you about your guitar teaching, and I want to wish you best of luck in your future.
Janet Ogg: Thank you. My website is JanetOgg.com, and you can find me at FindaGuitarTeacher. Click on my Skype, and send me an email.
FindaGuitarTeacher: That sounds, great, Janet. Take care and good luck to you.
Janet Ogg: Thank you. Thank you so much.