Owner of Rock N' Blues Academy teaches guitar students worldwide via Internet
Owner of Rock N' Blues Academy enlightens guitar students worldwide
With his guitar in hand, Sean Christiansen strummed a soulful sound.
The 41-year-old seemed lost in another world, a place where his connection to the music seemed personal.
Christiansen found a way to turn that passion for music into a business with international reach. He owns Rock N' Blues Academy, 704 1/2 E. Airline Road in Victoria, but his true calling is helping others, he said.
After struggling for 15 years as a self-taught guitarist, Christiansen discovered concepts about the guitar most musicians never learn, he said.
He decided to then rescue guitarists worldwide from musical ruts.
"There's an inherent logic to guitar that isn't in books," Christiansen said.
Upon opening his local guitar shop in 2004, he found himself turning away students because lesson appointments filled so quickly. He then turned to the Internet, to the one place that gives students worldwide access to his lessons.
His site - the Rock N' Blues Guitar Academy, found at www.Rnbacademy.com - teaches students from the comfort of their home guitar concepts in a progressive way.
"A guy who has been here two years will learn more than a guy who has been on his own for 15," Christiansen said. "Functionally, guitarists learn how to play but they don't know what they are actually playing. I come in and really teach students what they are doing."
His students live in faraway places such as Australia, Sweden and China, he said.
Will Moghanloo, 19, is one of his many Victoria students.
"The lessons were really straight forward," Moghanloo said. "I have taken lessons from books, but the way he teaches really just makes sense."
Christiansen's teaching method begins with six introductory lessons. The teacher informs students what they will learn and follows up with diagrams and reviews.
He then assigns homework with suggestions of skills to practice. Before beginning a new lesson, students must first pass a test.
"The lessons online are better than any book you will ever buy," Moghanloo said. "When you take lessons at a studio, you have to make sure you take your notes. With online lessons you can go back over the lessons as many times as you want."
Christiansen said he particularly enjoys watching excitement in students grow and listening to a band filled by members he taught.
"I taught lessons to a man who was disabled. Now, he has something he can continue to enjoy for the rest of his life," Christiansen said. "That really inspires me."
I thought of this idea, in the place where I come up with a lot of my good ideas - the shower.
Allow me to share with you a story. In the mid 90's one of my hobbies was Magic, as in card tricks and bunnies with hats. I came upon a site at the time and made a friend with a man who went by the name White Rabbit. I was just starting to get involved with doing magic shows, birthday parties, and White Rabbit took me under his "paw" and over the internet, shared with me the in's and out's of performing magic for others. Pages upon pages of advice, routines, even sent me VHS tapes of him performing his shows. All from a man I never met face to face. His lessons were invaluable to me, he was my mentor and I looked up to him. The thought that one man would share his lifetime of knowledge with me in this area was both humbling and surprising.
Due to circumstances that I was not aware of the details at the time, WR suddenly was nowhere to be found. Later I learned he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and moved to hospice. Although he was in Everett Washington, and I in Texas, I would have flown there to comfort him and thank him in person for his selfless acts, helping a poor kid like me become a good and entertaining musician. I never did get to do this, for by the time I learned what happened to him, he had passed away. I printed out the letters he'd written, and there were some 30-40 pages worth. I never forgot the man, and his kindness.
I was on the recieving end of such kindness, and now I'd like to thank him by helping others online. I am a mentor to many local guitar players, a fact that I find equally humbling and am grateful for the opportunity, and I have even mentored many online.
So, if you need a friend, a mentor, or advice concerning the guitar. If you need answers to a question, or are having an area of difficulty, if theres ANYTHING at all I can do to help, just drop me a PM. Now there are only a few limitations, as outlined below:
I cannot reveal anything that is a part of my Online Guitar Academy Curricula.
I have students here from UG and locally who pay and invest in good faith to receive advanced instruction from me, and it would not be fair to them to just spell it out to others, so any questions like "How do you teach students to play effortlessly all over the neck?" I will have to decline that answer. I cannot disclose any teaching secrets, that are unique to the Academy Courses that I run. Now if you ARE an enrolled student, I can answer anything you want, and you have that access to.
Anything else is fair game. I can help with concepts, help you locate resources that are taught for free, etc, help with some theory questions etc, and generally help in any other way over a vast number of guitar related inquiries.
If you need a mentor, and have questions, post them below. I will do my best to answer personally and quickly. I truly am here to help any way that I can.
Mentor - Is one who serves as a teacher or trusted counselor; Mentoring is apersonal developmental relationship, in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.
Some days it is very difficult reading the posts in theory asking for help.
If I post I know the answer (its what I teach every day) then I'm seen as spamming because UG has a no ad policy.
If I say nothing, as I often do, I feel like I'm watching someone drown knowing fully well I can help them beyond anything they would have ever imagined.
I wonder if this is how a doctor feels when he has to turn away a patient he knows he can help, and he knows is suffering, simply because the patient has no means to pay, or the insurance isn't accepted there?
Surely he has to be paid, and I understand it, he cant go charging others for the help and give it free the the person sitting next to the person being charged?
Having a light to help others, when your passion is to help others and shine that light, can be a double edged sword ...
When you post for help on this site do the answers that you recieve help you, or do they leave you more confused and frustrated?
What about when you are given a link to a "lesson" in response to your question? When you follow it, do you find that the lesson itself goes over your head, or would require a ton of work to actually make it useful?
When it comes to theory, does it feel like its taken ages to get to where you understand it?
Are you afraid to even try to learn theory, because of what youve seen described or explained in the past?
Id be interested in hearing about your experiences and thoughts.