GuitarCoach was launched at the BETT 98 show in January. It is a well-constructed, all-British product, teaching elementary classical guitar through a multimedia format that provides 50 hours of tuition in 25 lessons at five different levels.
The program is simple enough to be usable within minutes and provides a solid introduction to chords, finger style and playing technique. It shows clearly both the levels and content. Guidance is provided in a series of tutorials employing spoken word, simple on-screen text and audio clips practice pieces. There is a selection of useful tips for a range of abilities, written in plain language.
Even more powerful is the use of video clips, below and right, which incorporate some clever footage shot from inside the guitar itself, allowing a good view of finger work from two angles. "Strummer time, and the lesson is easy . . ."
Jon O'Connor is the headteacher of Parkside First School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire