The following is an excerpt from WSJ.com | October 23, 2012 |
Guitar teacher Erich Andreas works from a basement studio in Nashville, Tenn. His classroom, though, is the world itself.
Across one hour, Mr. Andreas may be giving free video lessons to up to 1,500 people who stream his yourguitarsage.com broadcasts to points across the globe—Chicago, London, Bucharest, Manila.
The current hype is that ubiquitous Internet connections and tablet devices will emerge as a competitive threat to real-life teachers, kill the textbook business and bring low-price learning to billions around the world.
Such big changes may take a generation, as problems at many for-profit colleges are showing today. But these forces are already at play, in their full smashup glory, in what has happened to the simple guitar lesson.
The Internet already has devalued some musical knowledge—musicians have been swapping song cheat-sheets on the Web for 15 years. Cheap and easy-to-use online video and a new generation of teaching apps have refined and broadened the scope for sharing similar know-how.
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