Marmet guitar teacher adapts to pandemic

Local News

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Neil Curry teaches guitar lessons from his home in Marmet, while his student, Chris Nagorka, learns from his home in St. Albans. 

Welcome to Zoom lessons: a new way of teaching someone how to play guitar. 

“This is the way of the future,” Curry explained. “It’s the way to go.” 

Curry has been teaching guitar lessons for close to 20 years, but when the pandemic hit, he risked losing his income. That’s when he decided to try teaching lessons via Zoom.  

“I would have to find a new job but praise the Lord I can still do my dream,” Curry said. “This equipment saved my livelihood.” 

Nagorka has been taking lessons from Curry for two-and-a-half years. When everything shut down, Curry told Nagorka he would be teaching his lessons over Zoom. 

“How did that transition work out for you?” asked 13 News Anchor Rob Macko. 

“Well, I have to admit I was really skeptical. I’m like oh great this isn’t what I’m paying for,” Nagorka said. 

But once he got past the learning curve…

“I gotta admit, I gotta admit, once I got used to it, I really like it!” Nagorka exclaimed. 

Nagorka uses a large laptop monitor so he can see everything clearly. 

“It’s not quite the same as having in person, but it’s darn close,” he said. 

Curry used to rent space in Teays Valley to teach, but no more. He’s kept many of his students, and because of Zoom, he’s also picked up students from other states who want to learn how to play. 

And for those who may be skeptical:

“I say try one lesson, and once they do, and the parents realize I don’t have to drive an hour to lessons, I’m saving on gas, I’m saving on time,” Curry said. 

“This is the new normal,” said Nagorka. “I’m used to it. If I had the chance to go back in person unless it was super convenient, I’m not sure that I would.” 

Curry’s zoom lessons cost the same as in-person lessons. 

He says when COVID-19 cases drop, he’s not sure if he will return to teaching in person. He said he’s saving money on rent and gas, and he really likes that. 

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