I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube. It started with my desire to play the bodhran, a traditional Irish drum. A wonderful drum teacher, Michelle Stewart, who teaches bodhran in Scotland, has 51 videos explaining and demonstrating how to play, tune, and care for a bodhran. She even conducts an online class I might look into and take, depending on the expense. She’s amazing, and I’ve learned so much from her already. Thanks to her, I can do triplets! I also have learned a couple of hornpipe patterns, a killer jig pattern, and just started learning a reel. All because of YouTube and someone who lives across the pond.
Yesterday I spent some time watching instructional videos on YouTube for Irish dance. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that, too, even if it’s only a few simple steps. After watching the videos, I can tell you there are no simple steps, so my dream of being an extra for Riverdance ain’t going to happen. I did, however, watch enough Irish whistle videos to have a big “Aha!” moment. I’ve been playing my whistle like I play my recorders, and whistle players do not tongue like Renaissance and Baroque recorder players do. I will have to completely change my style, but now I will sound more authentic. Thank you, YouTube.
Besides instruction, of course, there are many more wonderful things YouTube can bring us. For instance, when I heard that Van Cliburn had died, I went to YouTube to hear him play and watch old media coverage of when he won the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958. I’ve also watched old comedy routines of Bob Newhart and Victor Borge. I might check to see if YouTube has Smothers Brothers videos, too. I bet they do.
Those of you who have been watching YouTube for a long time now must be laughing at me that I’m just now catching on. If you aren’t one of the laughing ones, then you must be like me. Go catch up.