Online music lessons make business buoyant

Emily and Will Goan are travelling trad tutors, offering on-line lessons from land or sea.

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Musical siblings Emily and Will Goan have found a note worthy way of keeping themselves afloat during lockdown.

The brother and sister, who usually live on sailing yachts at Dunstaffnage Marina, set up  a new business as travelling trad music tutors to keep money come in after COVID-19 dried up tourist season work.

Will, 20 who would normally be working at Oban Youth Hostel, and 24-year-old Emily who works on boats in the summer, have signed up a number of clients from as far away as Germany, Switzerland and Denmark keen to learn to play the fiddle and guitar by ear.

Their youngest learner so far is under 18 and the oldest is 60, said Emily who was seven when she first learned to play the fiddle. Will was only four when he received his first guitar.

Lockdown has been spent with their parents near Dunoon, but the pair have been desperate to get out on the water and sail away on their travels again exploring the Scottish coast.

As long as they get a signal, online lessons can go ahead whether on land or out at sea in the middle of no where.

‘We’ve got quite a few regulars now and we’re building the business up slowly but surely,’ said Will who studied at nearby SAMS.

Growing up in a musical family, means music comes naturally to the siblings.

‘We both have a great passion for music and love playing with others, so decided to share it with other people. We hope that with our new business we can pass on this love to others all over the world,’ said Emily.

They chose the name Mac-Talla for their business, it comes from the Gaelic word for ‘echo.’

‘We chose this name as we teach both guitar and fiddle by ear and learning to play an instrument by ear is just learning to echo what you are hearing,’ added Emily.

Lessons run on video call, either through Zoom or Skype, while Emily teaches the fiddle and plays mostly Scottish traditional music, her brother Will teaches the guitar and plays mostly fingerstyle.

‘We teach people how to pick up tunes and play with others without the need to have music in front of you. It gives more freedom that way,’ said Emily.

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