FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

What are DKO Lessons?

A new education paradigm for focused multi-sensory repetitive learning using a modern multifaceted website. All lessons are created, taught and produced by DKO Lessons Founder – Darren Kramer – and you can learn from dozens of videos in 3 basic categories – Trombone, Jazz & Music Technology. All of these benefits are available in this one convenient location:
• Pre-Recorded Video Lessons with Monthly Membership $29.95/Month – HD video for clear visual demonstration with multiple angles and unlimited streaming on any device
• Live Lessons with Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout or Phone $40/Half Hour $75/Hour – Direct “live” interaction with Darren. Similar to a traditional “face-to-face” lesson but without the driving!
• Written Music – Visual aids including embedded written music examples, iPad apps and PDF downloads
• Audio Recording – State of the art audio for learning, play along & MP3 downloads
• Written Blog – Textbook style in-depth information
• Email Communication – Direct communication with Darren for questions you may have about a lesson
• Video Exchange – Send Darren a video of your practice or performance for constructive criticism
• Community Forum – A place where like-minded musicians can share ideas (coming soon)

Can I watch video lessons on any device?

Yes! All video lessons can be streamed and viewed on any device including home computer, tablet or smartphone. The only requirement is that you have a solid internet connection. (And that you practice!)

What do I get when I become a member of DKO Lessons?

Your monthly subscription of $29.95 gives you access to ALL videos in ALL categories at ALL times on DKOLessons.com. Simply login and learn. Cancel anytime with no cancelation fees until June 1, 2016. New videos are added to the website each month ensuring there will always be something new to explore and learn. Personal feedback is also available when you email Darren a video link of your playing (included with membership) and/or schedule a one-on-one Live Skype Lesson (additional fee of $40/half hour or $75/hour) You simply setup an account which will automatically charge $29.95 every month to your credit card or PayPal account – no confusing tiered pricing structures, yearly packages or limited access. NOTE: Live Lessons, DKO Sheet Music and CDs are not included as part of a monthly membership plan and do require additional fees.

Are Live Lessons included as part of a Monthly Membership?

No. Live Lessons are special one-on-one private realtime lessons with Darren Kramer and cost $40-$75 depending on the lesson length you choose. Purchase Live Lesson Here and choose the subject, length, platform and time for your live lesson. A Monthly Membership is $29.95/month and is intended to auto-renew every month allowing you hassle-free, ongoing, exclusive access to the entire, ever-growing library of pre-recorded video lessons at DKOLessons.com

Is your website secure? I'm concerned about monthly membership charges to my credit card.

I value your business and personal finance security and use only payment gateways that are proven to be secure. First of all, please take note of the website URL. The padlock icon and the “s” after “http” indicates this website is secure and uses a required SSL Certificate. Moreover, I use the globally recognized payment systems of Authorize.net and PayPal to process all DKO Lessons shopping cart purchases. Click to View DKOLessons.com Security Details

Why do you only accept new members periodically? Shouldn't anyone be able to join anytime since DKOLessons.com is mainly just an automated website for video lessons anyway?

I’m a firm believer in value and personal connection, especially these days with so many distractions and expectation for free goods and services. Therefore, I feel it is my obligation to you – my fellow musician and customer – to get you started with a DKO Lessons Membership in the correct way. I am personally involved in every part of this website and I want to make sure that you – a paying customer – are getting everything you need to have fun, learn and improve. To that end, I need to limit the number of new enrollees to manageable groups so I can ensure each new member gets the service he or she deserves. Once new members are settled, logged in and happily learning, I then open up another enrollment period.

Here is a short list of what you can expect from me directly when you join:
• Payment Confirmation – Automatic payment email receipt from DKO Lessons and PayPal.
• Personal Phone Call Welcome from DKO Lessons Founder – Darren Kramer  – Just a quick 5 min call to say hello, welcome you to the club, confirm that your sign up experience went smoothly and briefly discuss your musical ambitions and expectations from DKO Lessons.
• “My Musical Goals” Form – If desired, you can then fill out a “My Musical Goals” form so Darren can learn a bit more about your past musical experience and where it is you want to go! (If you’re not interested in this service, that’s totally fine too and you will be left alone to study the videos at your own pace.)

Why should I pay to join DKO Lessons when I can already find of all this info on YouTube & Google for free?

I always encourage everyone to explore all of their options when making any investment, especially when it comes to their education and self improvement. However, this unique video lesson platform is provided for those who value their time, education and desire quality, organized content presented by a skilled and experienced professional. Moreover, this valuable and highly diverse information is provided in a convenient, interactive platform which is also void of any commercial breaks or distracting pop-up ads! I’m sure you have experienced this frustrating waste of time on YouTube while waiting for your “free” video to begin. Lastly, as I’m sure you know, nothing is really “free” in this world as you always “pay” in some way or another with money, time, energy, or aggravation. I have personally “paid” with all four of these “currencies” during the creation of this website and these lessons, so that you don’t have to! I take pride in my music, and my work ethic, and I hope that you’ll find tremendous “value” in the nominal monthly fee of $29.95 in exchange for the depth, variety and possibilities which these useful video lessons represent and provide. Please consider that  one month membership provides you a full 30 days of exclusive access to dozens of video lessons for the price of just one 30 min face-to-face lesson. Consider these valuable points:
• Time Saver – Easy access to highly categorized information in one convenient, reputable and secure location.
• Quality Content – Clear, concise content in a consistent format
• Quality Focus – NO distracting or annoying pop-up ads, surveys, review requests or upsells
• Quality Feedback – Email communication and video exchange directly with Darren

Each video lesson follows this simple agenda for easy comprehension and repeatable learning:
• Listen – Lessons always start with a short demo of the subject content goal or desired end result
• Learn  Break it down into small easy tasks (usually accompanied by a downloadable PDF and/or MP3)
• Practice – Slow repetition with relaxed concentration…always!
• Review – Recap of specific acton items that will accelerate your learning and retention rate while practicing
• Ask – Email questions, send video url for feedback, or Skype/Phone for private one-to-one lesson with Darren
Plus there are bullet points listed of clearly defined goals, prerequisites, and next suggested lessons.

I currently pay $60/hr for face-to-face lessons at my local music store. Why are these online video lessons so inexpensive? How can they be as good for only $29.95/month?

First of all, I wanted to make DKO Lessons affordable for all. I’m particularly excited about the possibility of reaching many rural areas around the globe where budding musicians may not have access to high quality learning materials.

I have taught in many different scenarios over the past 20 years including one-on-one private lessons (1 student), small group sectionals (4-10 students), large ensemble rehearsals (10-20), school classroom courses (20-30) and large lecture presentations and masterclasses at conferences and festivals (100+). I’ve weighed the pros and cons of each setting and I’ve found that most people learn, comprehend, and retain new information best when these certain parameters are present:
• Relaxed – At home or practice studio at a convenient time (not in a classroom or conference)
• Comfortable – Room temperature, food, drink, restroom, no people (not a hot crowded room while hungry)
• Clear Simple Info – Learn one task requiring only a few steps (not taking notes for dozens of subjects or ideas)
• Short Attention Span – 20 min max (not hour long class or full-day conference)
• Repetition – Ability to see and hear new content numerous times – not just one listen
• Action Items – Review the few pertinent steps necessary to retain new info (not confusing long presentation)
• Short Q&A – Ask a few questions to clarify any confusion and define tasks (not part of large faceless crowd)
• Nominal Fee – If you pay for something, it becomes more important and valuable to you (not like YouTube or a free seminar or webinar)

Therefore, I have created these lessons with all of that in mind. You pay a small monthly fee to increase your commitment to learning from these lessons (live and pre-recorded) and I commit to my passion of teaching, creating, refining, and producing new videos. Plus, neither of us has to schedule, reschedule or confirm lesson times…and no one has to drive! DKO Lessons are typically about 10 min each but some extend to 25 min and you watch/play while I teach/play. I provide a written example PDF and/or listening example MP3 to encourage multi-sensory repetitive learning. And don’t forget, you can start/stop/rewind the lesson again and again until you comprehend a challenging concept. Finally, you can email your questions and I will answer them personally. It’s a typical Jerry Maguire “help me, help you” scenario…a basic win-win situation for everyone which is always the best outcome. Music is fun and learning is fun. My primary goal is to share my knowledge in order to increase enjoyment of music while having it enrich all of our lives.

What do the different skill levels mean?

Each lesson title is followed by a letter in parentheses. This indicates the skill level that I feel the material of a particular lesson represents: Beginner = (B) Intermediate = (I) Advance = (A). This rating system is highly subjective and should be used simply as a guideline. In fact, this skill level topic is complex and potentially confusing. I mention this because it could be easily argued that every lesson could be marked as “Advanced” level because the subject matter is something that you haven’t yet learned! Conversely, every lesson topic may be new to you and could also justifiably considered “Beginner”. However, I have simply assigned each lesson a skill level which I feel is representative of the complexity of the material being presented in that lesson for that category. For example, “Intro to Live Looping (B)” is marked as such to indicate that it is a beginning level lesson for learning how to do live looping as a new student of “Music Technology”. That being said, it is expected that you already know how to play your instrument and have a general knowledge about recording and improvising – which you’ll notice are indicated as “Prerequisite” on each full-length lesson page. If this were not the case, each lesson could be considered “Advanced” as there are generally numerous musical skills being required or assumed for most of these lessons. A “Beginner” skill level doesn’t mean you aren’t already a proficient player. Quite the contrary. It just means that if you haven’t ever tried this new topic, in this case “live looping”. Therefore, the “Intro to Live Looping (B)” is a great place to start learning a new skill. Another example: a beginner level jazz improvisation lesson assumes you already have a basic proficiency on your instrument of sound, intonation and articulation, and have a basic understanding of music fundamentals like rhythm, intervals and major scales. A typical music student generally begins by learning those necessary techniques for their instrument, and also some music fundamentals like reading music, but not usually jazz improvisation. So again, “Intro to Jazz Improvisation” is recommended for newcomers. If you are unclear about where to begin:
1. Email me your questions or concerns, and I will do my best to set you on an appropriate path.
2. Visit the Music Fundamentals Lessons to become familiar with the basic building blocks of music, which is always a good approach when wanting to develop any musical skill.

Why are there always missing videos on most pages?

Well, they aren’t technically “missing”, but more like “coming soon”! I feel obligated to the DKO Lessons Members to always be transparent about what I’m working on for you, as this website will always be in a continual state of growth and expansion so that you always have something new to learn and work on. So although the video lesson pages may appear to be “under construction”, the empty spaces are actually a way of letting you know what’s just around the corner. Consider it like marketing for the hollywood movie industry:
Video Title = Coming Attraction
Preview Video = Movie Trailor
Full-Length Video = Feature Presentation
…but more like a DVD with bonus features such as behind the scenes and commentary from the director (me!)

You can refer to this page under the “News” menu to see what video lessons are currently in production and their expected release date
New Video Lessons Coming Soon!

So what's with all the different T-shirts?

It’s fun! I simply have a moderate collection of unique music t-shirts and thought it would be fun to match my wardrobe with relating lesson topics. I guess it’s just another outlet for my creative nature, but I hope you enjoy it as well. (Sorry if you find it distracting at all as that is not the intent!)

Am I automatically added to the DKO Lessons Newsletter when I buy a membership?

Yes! But you can unsubscribe from the monthly newsletters at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every newsletter email.

Can I cancel my membership?

Yes, of course, you can cancel your membership at anytime at no additional cost, but please proceed using these steps:

1. Please Provide Some Feedback – It is of great concern to me as to why you are considering quitting DKO Lessons. Is there something I can do to help you or improve your experience here at DKO Lessons? I am very eager and willing to help address your specific needs. Please contact me and express your feelings about why you are dissatisfied. I value your business, but I also value your suggestions and feedback which can in turn help others members who may feel the same way you do. Contact Darren

2. Consider “Freezing” Your Membership Instead – An easier and better option than canceling your membership is simply to “freeze” it. Freezing your membership allows you to “suspend” your monthly payments for up to three months while keeping your account “as is” regarding all of your login credentials, payment info, purchased items and downloadable materials. I realize we all are very busy these days and even sometimes run into financial challenges which require us to focus our time, energy and money in other places. No problem – I’ve been there, done that! Therefore, I gladly offer each member the option to freeze their account one time every year for up to three months. Once the 90-day grace period has expired, your account will then be “reactivated” which will once again allow you full access to the website. Your next monthly payment will then be charged on the same day of the month as before. (The exact date of the month you initially joined DKO Lessons)

3. “No, I Definitely Want To Cancel My Membership!” – OK no problem and I’m sorry to see you go, but please consider this option carefully as you will lose all of your member privileges and exclusive access to the website including all the full-length video lessons. All cancellations are final and effective at the end of your monthly cycle (The exact date of the month you joined DKO Lessons). DKO Lessons will always continue to grow and improve with new videos and features, and should you decide to rejoin again in the future, I will welcome you with open arms but you will be added to the waiting list until an opening is available. (Generally every 6-12 weeks)

Be aware that your membership will be cancelled with 72 hrs of written request, BUT you will still have access to the website for the duration of your membership cycle. For example, if you joined on the 9th of the month and you cancel on the 27th, you still have access a monthly member until the 8th at which time your next billing cycle will NOT process on the 9th due to your cancellation. Furthermore, please know that your account will still remain in place and allow you to continue to make purchases of Live Lessons, DKO CDs & DKO Sheet Music.