Owner of Rock N' Blues Academy teaches guitar students worldwide via Internet
June 22, 2010 at 1:22 a.m.
With his guitar in hand, Sean Christiansen strummed a soulful sound.
The 41-year-old seemed lost in another world, a place where his connection to the music seemed personal.
Christiansen found a way to turn that passion for music into a business with international reach. He owns Rock N' Blues Academy, 704 1/2 E. Airline Road in Victoria, but his true calling is helping others, he said.
After struggling for 15 years as a self-taught guitarist, Christiansen discovered concepts about the guitar most musicians never learn, he said.
He decided to then rescue guitarists worldwide from musical ruts.
"There's an inherent logic to guitar that isn't in books," Christiansen said.
Upon opening his local guitar shop in 2004, he found himself turning away students because lesson appointments filled so quickly. He then turned to the Internet, to the one place that gives students worldwide access to his lessons.
His site - the Rock N' Blues Guitar Academy, found at www.Rnbacademy.com - teaches students from the comfort of their home guitar concepts in a progressive way.
"A guy who has been here two years will learn more than a guy who has been on his own for 15," Christiansen said. "Functionally, guitarists learn how to play but they don't know what they are actually playing. I come in and really teach students what they are doing."
His students live in faraway places such as Australia, Sweden and China, he said.
Will Moghanloo, 19, is one of his many Victoria students.
"The lessons were really straight forward," Moghanloo said. "I have taken lessons from books, but the way he teaches really just makes sense."
Christiansen's teaching method begins with six introductory lessons. The teacher informs students what they will learn and follows up with diagrams and reviews.
He then assigns homework with suggestions of skills to practice. Before beginning a new lesson, students must first pass a test.
"The lessons online are better than any book you will ever buy," Moghanloo said. "When you take lessons at a studio, you have to make sure you take your notes. With online lessons you can go back over the lessons as many times as you want."
Christiansen said he particularly enjoys watching excitement in students grow and listening to a band filled by members he taught.
"I taught lessons to a man who was disabled. Now, he has something he can continue to enjoy for the rest of his life," Christiansen said. "That really inspires me."