Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits and Alicia Karlin of AEG Presents have announced a new venture called Live Lesson Masters, an online program designed to connect musicians, fans, and more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pairing of the Disco Biscuits bassist and Vice President of Global Touring and Talent at AEG is the latest spark of entrepreneurial ingenuity to emerge from the crisis facing the live entertainment industry as the novel coronavirus spreads around the world. As a touring musician, Brownstein had his entire calendar cleared as gigs were canceled across the country and Karlin’s entire position has been put in jeopardy as there are no tours to manage nor talent to supervise.
Brownstein, like many musicians, recently began teaching online music classes. Eventually, he encountered inherent problems with attempting to teach dozens of different people around the country of varying skill levels, all with different schedules.
“We wanted to provide a seamless platform for musicians and instructors to interface directly with the people,” Brownstein said. “With the industry grinding to a halt, musicians across the country are eager to find new ways to connect with their fans. I have personally booked over 20 lessons with my fans in the first week of the quarantine, and immediately realized how exciting this opportunity could be for both the fans and my fellow musicians.”
Karlin saw the potential in Brownstein’s idea to not only provide a service to fans and keep musicians afloat during uncertain times, but also as a way to foster a real connection between fans and bands at a time when the gap between the stage and the stands has never been further.
“In a world where artists and fans are accustomed to using social media as the hub for their communities, Live Lesson Masters’ unique one-on-one offerings take the possibilities of connection much further,” Karlin said. “Right now, we are all feeling anxious about the current state of things. We hope Live Lesson Masters creates a space where engagement happens, and where people can use this time to further their own creative pursuits and leave their troubles at the door for a while.”
Live Lesson Masters features classes from over 20 different instructors including all four members of The Disco Biscuits, as well as members of Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, STS9, Trey Anastasio Band, Ghost Light, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and many more. The classes aren’t just limited to music either, as the service also offers courses in yoga and cooking. The organization is also committed to helping musicians affected by the spread of COVID-19, and has pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations that offer relief to musicians and touring personnel in need.
The website allows users to schedule a lesson, ranging from 40–60 minutes, at the time of their choice with a given musician for a nominal fee. Some musicians have also included the option to just “chill”, rather than providing actual instruction, allowing fans to spend quality time with some of their favorite artists. This new service joins other recently-announced online instruction programs from bands including Lettuce and Snarky Puppy.
Head to the Live Lesson Masters website for a complete list of course offerings, and see a full list of instructors below.
Live Lesson Masters Instructors
Alana Rocklin STS9
Allen Aucoin The Disco Biscuits
Andy Frasco Andy Frasco & The U.N.
Aree Khodai Yoga – Arees Army
Aron Magner The Disco Biscuits
Brendan Bayliss Umphrey’s McGee
Danny Mayer Eric Krasno Band / Star Kitchen
David Phipps STS9
Deb Brownstein Yoga
Hannah Muse Yoga
Holly Bowling Ghost Light
James Casey Trey Anastasio Band
Joel Cummins Umphrey’s McGee
Jon Barber The Disco Biscuits
Kam Franklin The Suffers
Lindsay Lou Lindsay Lou
Marc Brownstein The Disco Biscuits
Melissa Harrison Chef
Mike Greenfield Lotus
Robert Randolph Robert Randolph
Robert Walter The Greyboy Allstars
Ryan Stasik Umphrey’s McGee
Tom Hamilton Ghost Light / Joe Russo’s Almost Dead