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This forum pertains to "the school" but I am not sure I know what the school is. I assume it relates to the 500+ lessons that are contained in the site. Before I subscribe (even before I take the 24hr trial) I would like to understand the way the school operates. I took private weekly lessons for a few months a decade ago, my teacher was great and it worked well for me. I was making steady progress but since then my vibes has been neglected. I am not in a position to take private lessons now. I tried a few of the video/dvd and book instructions and they have not been very useful.

I fear that subscribing will be the equivalent of being dropped off at kindergarten and working out my own curriculum through college ;-) Are there choices of methodologies of learning? Is some form of correspondence lessons available?

My guess is that my story here is a very common one. I work in the technology business and I am very computer/internet/social networking literate. But I need a structured methhodolgy to follow for instruction.

My skills include: I know how to hold the 4 mallets. I took sax as a child and can read music from a single note perspective. I have a good musical ear and I am an excellent student.

In closing, will this school work for me?


Marie-Noëlle Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:02

Hello Bob,

First, welcome on Vibesworkshop! And thanks for introducing yourself: it help us guide you.

As you saw this site has two 'levels': you can be a member for free, have access to part of the info, discussions and still share a lot. Or you can become a subscriber and have access to all resources, lessons, advice, etc.

Whatever your capacities and knowledge, you could learn a lot by joining us in the 'school', as long as you'd agree in the process: work thanks to the lessons. Then to make it full, record yourself and post what you achieved. You would get feed back, comments, advice and answers to your questions, from the pros and from other students.

It's the principal of a community sharing knowledge, work in common, passion for the intrument and the music. And in the end growing up as musician having fun… together.

We are all very different: masters, pros, confirmed, intermediate or beginners, young and old, fulltime musicians and workers with little practice time, from all around the world (so the 'door' is always open!).

As for the methodology, yes you might have to structure your work. We recently posted some special lessons for beginners, if this is where you think you belong. The 'Lessons' book' is devided by themes. There's also the 'TOTM's (Tune Of The Month): each month (or two) we study a standard and through it get to work on melody, harmony, lines, rhythms and get to a final version.

Be sure you could join us there too: being myself a beginner, I followed all the tunes and enjoyed a lot working on them with my own tiny means. This still quite amazes me as I know that confirmed players would still learn a lot from those lessons, getting deeper in the tune, working on voicings, building lines or getting to a full solo version. All different, but all linked and working together.

You could also ask for private video lessons. You would only need a webcam and a skype account.

We do online gigs and you will receive from now our monthly Newsletter, summing up the main events and reminding you the most important posts.

I hope I answered your questions. Oh yes, I'm Marie, they call me the 'hostess' and I live in France. The creator of this site is Tony Miceli. He's based in Philadelphia and is an incredible vibes player, teacher and a great person!

If you have any question, don't hesitate. - Talk soon,


tpvibes Thu, 05/19/2011 - 10:59

I fear that subscribing will be the equivalent of being dropped off at kindergarten and working out my own curriculum through college ;-)

Well, to some extent that observation might be true. This is much more of a Montessori environment than public school. You'll need to be active and self-driven to get the most of this.

But that being said, we're a very helpful bunch :-). Ask a question and you'll get an answer -- a pointer to existing content or someone will create new material.

I tried a few of the video/dvd and book instructions and they have not been very useful.

One of the things that separates the material here from books and DVDs is the interactivity I mentioned. If you don't understand something, ask, and someone (or maybe several someones) will try to clear things up. If something's missing, ask about it and someone will come up with something.

Another thing is the depth and breadth of the material available. When you get a book or DVD, it will focus on one or a few subjects that may or may not hit what you want. Here, there are over 1,000 videos -- some of them are going to be direct hits to your problems and interests (and some, of course, aren't).

In closing, will this school work for me?

If you're serious and active about learning, absolutely. By the way, I have no financial interest here -- I'm just a well-satisfied subscriber. I had some of the same misgivings you're expressing when I was thinking about becoming a subscriber (more than 2 years ago now). Much of the stuff you see on the web is BS -- no depth or follow-through. But within a few minutes of getting access to the subscriber material I was sure I had made the right decision.

Tom P.

Gary Rich Thu, 05/19/2011 - 16:03

It would be hard to add to what Marie and Tom have already posted, but I would like to comment because your situation sounds similar to mine. I, like you, took lessons with a very good private teacher over ten years ago and it really gave me a good foundation. But then, similarly, life got in the way and my vibes playing was neglected. I only managed to keep the foundation in place but did not grow much. However, my interest in playing didn't fade so I was always listening to vibes CDs, going to hear good players, etc. I don't know when I found this site, but it was quite a few years back. I became a "member" and floated around on the perimeter, trying to pick things up, get a feel for the organization of the lessons that were available to me and check in once in awhile. This went on for a long time and it was all very fine, but it wasn't until I became a subscriber and realized what a VIBrant, (haha) community this site has spawned that I really began to take advantage of what is here. There is excellent support here on a daily basis. Here is an example: recently I posted a question about chord substitutions in the shout box. I had heard of them from a guitarist I play with and had some ideas about them but wanted to know "why" (I always want to know why). Within a day I had many great responses from people with greater skills and understanding. Some of those pointed me to other online explanations which were great, but the kicker was that Tony posted a short video response about these chord substitutions for everyone to learn from, because (of course) I am not the only one out there who needed the help.... just the one who asked. That helped quite a bit because as he has a way of "breaking it down" (as he would say). So I guess the point is that this site provides many levels of depth and there is always something new. Just ask questions, take time to look at your own situation, "break it down" into small chunks and use what works for you. (TOTM is a great way). Take care, see you online.

Bob_DeMaio Thu, 05/19/2011 - 16:20

I will give it a try. You seem like a very supportive group and I work best in teams. I am looking forward to future interaction.

PS- Tom: I am not very familiar with the Montessori teaching methodology. My background is Catholic schools, and Jesuit in High School and College. Learning is a career.

DanaSud Sat, 06/11/2011 - 19:28

In reply to by tpvibes

Rock on Tom!!

I married a montessori teacher. Gives me a kick to hear you talk about the site in terms of Montessori schools. (I think you're right).

Marie-Noëlle Thu, 05/19/2011 - 17:49

In reply to by Bob_DeMaio

You're a subscriber! Congrats Bob!
And yes, as you said: you're giving it a try. You can quit whenever if ever you feel it's not what you expected, or for any reason.
I like your quote: "I work best in team". So... welcome to the team!
Enjoy the place and have fun!
- M