Vinnie Minotto | Music In Education in lockdown

Our third year BMus student tells us how he found studying Music In Education and his essential online teaching advice...


As ICMP guitarists go, few are as exciting as third year BMus Popular Music Performance student Vinnie Minotto. 

Alongside his close collaborator, and fellow guitar lover Pete Napper, Vinnie has made him a name for himself on the course as a great player and educator. 

The duo's shared love for the guitar has led to them launching their own educational 'Pete & Vinnie Play' YouTube channel full of riffs and insight into getting the best from the instrument. As well as this, both Vinnie and Pete studied the Music In Education module as the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced. 

Here we get Vinnie’s insights into his experiences as both a student and an educator during his recent studies... 

What led to you taking this Music In Education module as part of your studies? 

I've been teaching guitar privately for a few years now. I thought undertaking this module would be a great opportunity to develop my skills and explore the art of teaching from an academic perspective.

Could you talk about your submissions for the module at the end of term? 

The main task for the end of year assessment was to create a portfolio of education-related work. I created a comprehensive lesson plan for a private guitar teaching scenario. The plan had the goal of taking a student from complete beginner to being able to play some repertoire and have a basic knowledge of chords all within 10 weeks. Working on it was very insightful as it pushed me to think about every single aspect of teaching to prepare the lessons, from resources to feedback and homework.

For any students or teachers, what are the most important things to consider when delivering music education? 

I think the relationship you form with the student plays a massive part of it.

I believe if we see ourselves not only as teachers, but as someone who will possibly have a major influence in someone else's life, we're already in a better place as a teacher."

How do ensure you remain engaging when delivering lessons online? 

For me, it is mainly about working hard to prepare engaging lessons. There's little room for improvisation so I make sure I have a strong lesson plan to keep the student engaged. You lose so much from the interaction side of things by not being present so the best possible lesson needs to compensate for that.

What are the biggest challenges within online learning? Are there opportunities this presents which you don’t get when delivering lessons in a traditional setting? 

I think the main opportunity is that as a teacher you can reach and teach anyone in the world.

Apart from that I don't think there are many advantages over presence lessons. I think nothing beats the traditional setting. When teaching online we need to do everything we can to stay as close as possible to that. The biggest challenge I think is to communicate effectively. You need to find a pace that feels comfortable for you and the student. It is definitely a different communication dynamic and we need to be patient with it and adapt as best as we can.

What’s keeping you busy music-wise? And what’s next for you? 

The main thing for my is a project I have with my fellow ICMP student Peter Napper. It's a YouTube channel called 'Pete & Vinnie Play'.

We basically create guitar content and play guitar to our hearts content. We also have an Instagram account for some backstage action and shorter videos. We expect to go back into filming side by side once this whole thing is over, but until then we've been working on some cool split-screen guitar concepts.

I've been doing some online bits with a few artists I work with, mainly with a great country-pop singer called Jess Thristan. She's one of the best songwriters I know. I can't wait to go back to gigging with her.

Apart from that I'll also keep teaching and developing my skills as an educator.

Watch the latest video from the 'Pete & Vinnie Play' YouTube channel:

Become one with your Guitar

If you’d love to become an in-demand session shredder, rock-solid rhythm player, or creative all-rounder, ICMP’s Guitar courses will get you started. You’ll be taught by exceptional tutors, absorbing their knowledge of everything from instrumental technique and performance to production fundamentals, theory, business, marketing and more. You’ll also get access to our studios, practice rooms, masterclasses, special events, and world-class equipment, while building your network of contacts, collaborators, and friends.

Call our friendly Admissions Team on 020 7328 0222 or email and start your career in music today.

Guitar Courses
by ICMP staff writer
June 3, 2020
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