Musical U
Achieving Ten Years Of Progress...
... In Just 12 Months!

Case Study: Roger F.

  Hello, my name is Roger Fletcher. I've been playing mainly Hawaiian music on the steel guitar for many decades. 

And for most of that time I would characterize it as "messing around". 

But since retiring, I have taken my music a lot more seriously.

I must say that I wasn't initially drawn to the Next Level Program! I received an email invitation to apply. And wondered for about a week or so, then got another email suggesting I apply. And I still wasn't sure but I applied anyway. 

Next I found myself being interviewed out of the blue for it. And things took a life on their own. And I was quite surprised when I was one of the few selected to actually do it. So I signed up at that point. 

It was suggested that having a personal coach (which I'd never done before) would take me to places that I would never get to on my own. And that has certainly been the case.

The improvements that have occurred over the past year have been quite dramatic. 

I was fairly technically accomplished on the instrument, although I did have worries about my intonation. You appreciate, with a continuously variable pitch, playing out of tune is remarkably easy. So of course my coach is not a player of that instrument, so wasn't able to give me specific coaching on that aspect of it, but my playing improved anyway, with everything else that went on.

To start with I was playing to my own backing tracks, which I recorded using a guitar and a bass guitar. But they were not particularly good. Although perhaps I hadn't realised that myself at the time! A lot of the improvement has been improvement of those backing tracks.

So what started out simply as... if you like, an enhanced metronome has evolved into fully worked-out arrangements verging on composing almost, which was a direction I had never even thought of going in at the start of this.

And that has also helped me because having the other instruments in there, adds punctuation marks, makes it easier for me to know exactly where I am in the track at any time. 

At the start I could get lost in the track and find that I was out of sync with it, and the lead instrument was out of tune with the backing. But that doesn't happen now.

Having a personal coach was a very new experience for me. 

And what I found was that he would put his finger with uncanny accuracy on exactly what I most needed to concentrate on at any particular moment.

And as I said to him in our final call yesterday, he's taken me places in one year that I could never have found my way to in 10 years by myself. 

It is that much of a difference.

When I started one of my aims was to be able to play for the residents of a care home, because my wife spent the last two years of her life in such a home. 

And as it turned out, now I've got bookings to play in two care homes in two weeks time.

And the climax really was on Friday, just a few days ago when I was invited to provide an hour's wallpaper music (that was my term, I think the organiser called it ambient music, which sounds rather better!) on the patio behind our little village hall for family fun day there. 

So I spent an hour doing that, playing 15 songs, one after the other, from memory and it went down very well.

Even one lady sitting nearby said "that was lovely, mahalo!", which is thank you in Hawaiian, so that was a very nice touch. There we are, that's... the sort of journey I've had. 

I've not only been pushed further and faster than was comfortable often, but it's been great fun. 

I've been pushed further than I ever thought I would, and in directions that had never even occurred to me. 

I can understand that people would be hesitant about joining this program. As I suggested earlier, I was in that situation myself. The thought of it does seem a little overwhelming to people who are not used to having had a personal coach before. 

There are moments where you get nervous. Particularly when you consider the caliber of the guest coaches that came along. It can be a little, yeah, overawing, 

But it's nothing to worry about. Everybody's been so friendly. Everybody's been so supportive. They've been through it themselves. The whole reason why people are in Musical U is because they've had so many negative experiences of traditional music teaching in the past.

But there is nothing to be afraid of here. It's all very gentle. It can be pressured at times, but if we want to perform, there's going to be pressure anyway. There's no way of sidestepping that. 

So I would say, if you're wondering about it - go for it!
The team here are so proud of Roger for his accomplishments and excited for how his musical journey will continue from here!

Interested to experience Next Level coaching for yourself?

We'd love to hear from you.
© 2023 Easy Ear Training Ltd. / Musical U. Musical U is not a university and does not issue credentials.