This Fall, my 14 year old suddenly became interested in playing the guitar. She pulled the guitar out of the closet, and began searching the internet for information. She taught herself a few chords, and we took the guitar in to be re-strung. We knew that Jean Welles' Worship Guitar Class was on the review list for TOS Homeschool Crew this year, so we waited to see if we would receive it before investing in lessons or materials. We were hoping we'd be selected to review the course, and were thrilled when we were chosen.
We received volume 1 of the Worship Guitar Class DVD lessons. Our DVD came with a DVD and the accompanying book. The DVD course includes:
- an introduction
- a lesson on the parts of the guitar
- a lesson on tuning a guitar
- 7 lessons that teach chords, how to change between chords, and how to play 7 different worship songs
- 7 practice lessons with more tips and a slower paced walk-through of the song in the lesson
- a booklet in the DVD case with just the song lyrics and guitar chords
- a lesson book that includes the guitar chord charts, written tips from the lessons, and sheet music for each song.
- lessons in either Spanish or English
The Worship Guitar Class DVD sells for $24.95 per volume. Each volume contains 7 lessons. The entire set would include 28 lessons, for the combined cost of $99.80, with additional e-books given free. When Jean Welles gave private lessons, she charged $50 per lesson ... so the cost of these four DVDs would have only been 2 private lessons with Jean Welles. The Worship Guitar Class has the added benefit of being a reusable, non-consumable product that can teach multiple students.
You can view samples of the first lesson HERE. She also has a free newsletter with tips, chord charts, and encouragement. You can sign up for the newsletter in the right top corner of the Worship Guitar Class homepage. Jean Welles also has courses for piano, drums, and voice.
The ElCloud Opinion?
I think this is an affordable introduction to guitar for yourself or your older children. The $24.95 volume 1 DVD would provide a simple beginning for someone interested in learning to play the guitar. Rather than jumping right into private lessons, it allows parents to really see how interested and motivated their student is. They can practice with the DVD, learn to play several songs, and decide if they can continue to teach themselves ... or if private lessons would be beneficial. Or they might discover (as many parents do) that it is just a passing phase, and the student isn't really interested in working to learn to play the instrument. Purchasing the 4 volume set would be a wise investment before considering private lessons.
With that stated, my 14 year old found the DVD lessons frustrating, although more for personal reasons than actual problems with the product. She didn't want to learn the songs on the DVD, but wanted to jump ahead to learning songs that interested her more. She was frustrated that her guitar didn't sound as nice as Jean Welles' guitar. She struggled to learn to tune her 12 string guitar, when the DVD course only teaches you how to tune a 6 string guitar. She didn't like that she could not pause the DVD on our DVD player ... she could only stop it, restarting it in the same place.
In reality, none of those were problems with the Worship Guitar Class itself. But, you should consider whether your child is likely to balk at learning worship songs when they'd rather be playing something else before purchasing this course. I reasoned with my daughter that these songs are just a tool to learn the chords ... that will allow her to play lots of other songs with the skills she learns. I'm still working to overcome her bias, however.
After my daughter began to balk, I viewed the DVD lessons myself. Although each lesson is short and moves quickly, they can be replayed, paused, and the additional practice sessions can be viewed, as well. As with any lesson, most of the learning will occur separately in practice time. Where this DVD course will be lacking is in the supervision of an experienced guitar player. I can't look at my daughter playing and point out things she needs to improve. I can't move her hands into the correct chord position. Jean Welles does a good job of trying to point out these things on the DVD, but she isn't standing next to the student in real life. That is why private lessons cost more than DVD lessons ... the human element.
Although the Worship Guitar Class lacks the human supervision, it does provide ease of use. Lessons and tutorials are immediately available, rather than searching the internet for appropriate tutorials. The DVD lessons also provide a visual demonstration and audio for comparison, which a book alone can not provide. And lastly, the teacher's tutorials can be viewed whenever you desire, rather than waiting for your once a week lesson time.
For the beginning guitar student, the DVD course provides a good foundation to build upon. I highly recommend the Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class DVD course!
This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion. Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.
Trusting In Him,