My 7 year old daughter Sasha (yes I had the same naming idea as Barack and Michelle Obama around the same time that they did) recently has been enthusiastically saying “Dad, I want to play guitar”.
This was a great sign to me, because when I was 7 I told my parents I wanted to play piano, and between then and age 41 piano has consistently been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments. I told Sasha she’s going to need to learn acoustic guitar, not electric, to which she agreed. I told her she’d need to take guitar lessons, to which she disagreed. Now I could be firm and try to force the human guitar teacher situation, but I thought about how many resources there are online, not to mention how the youngest generations’ DNA is basically fused with computers, and got her buy in to at least learn from video tutorials online.
I went to an Apple Store in San Francisco and asked about the new feature in iLife 09 Garage Band that includes some basic piano and guitar lessons (also see CNN ). I knew there’s no way Apple software is going to provide infinite free guitar lessons so I asked about the options. To my amazement, Chris mentioned that one of my all time favorite famous artists Sting gives a guitar lesson on how to play Roxanne, sort of a new kind of App (like iPhone Apps) that one can buy for $5.00 USD. See Apple.com for more information. My understanding is that it integrates with Garage Band for the student’s viewing experience and that the Garage Band features include being able to slow it down, skip to sections and other controls.
Since we have an iMac Intel I thought wow- this is cool, just buy iLife 09, the Leopard operating system which is required to install and use iLife 09, a guitar, and five dollar lessons at our own pace (at this point I’m picturing our whole family might as well go ahead and start learning guitar with my daughter!)…
I’m almost about to purchase a package deal – iLife 09, Leopard OS, iWork, all for $169 from infinitely patient Chris, when it crossed my mind that my very old versions of Photoshop 7 and Dreamweaver MX, on which I rely heavily for my online music ), MIGHT not work on the Leopard operating system. Photoshop 7 was the only version that had worked on both ancient Mac OS 9.2.2 AND OS 10 versions prior to Leopard. Here’s me in front of our previous Mac G4 that had OS 9.2.2. Luckily I didn’t buy Leopard yet, because after I left the Apple store I found some pretty angry comments in forums such as this one and Dreamweaver frustrations such as this.
Okay- so here’s the upcoming decisions I have to make if I want my daughter to have access to cool Leopard OS based, iLife Garage Band 09 guitar lessons: Either spend about $1,869 before tax ( iLife09/iWork/Garage Band deal for $169 + Adobe Web Premium which includes CS4 versions of Dreamweaver, Photoshop + many other great programs I need like Flash for the best deal of about $1,700 ) OR buy a new iMac that our family can use as a dedicated internet usage and guitar lessons machine, for $1,200 What’s so appealing about the latter less expensive option is the extra space and time it buys our family. Currently my wife documents our family’s life with thousands of pictures with her skilled usage of iPhoto , Photoshop and various web sites. Not to mention she loves online games. Then there’s me- I need to produce music on Apple Logic Studio , update web sites, compose new music, and create album covers. She and I literally need to schedule time with each other for our usage of this fun iMac workstation. I LOVE the idea of my children being able to use another iMac while we’re on this one, especially if they can be learning good things like music.
But something tells me that I’ll be trying to schedule time on the iMac with the children too. After all it’s me, not my daughter, who wants that guitar lesson from Sting.