Pick Up & Play with Mel Biggs: Let’s Get Started – UPDATE!

I am beyond excited for the launch of my very first online teaching course: Pick Up & Play with Mel Biggs: Let’s Get Started! My team in America, Johan (film genius) and Pamela (marketing and online learning expert), and I have been working like stank behind the scenes to get it ready for launch in early April 2018! Keep watching this space for exact launch details and let your budding melodeon/diatonic button accordion playing friends know!

I thought I’d update you all on our progress so you know just what’s been going on and why we’re slightly behind schedule with the launch. I had been working on a logo identity for the course and after muchos stressing and tweaking it just wasn’t working. All it took was for Pamela’s fresh insight into my design woes and her to say “well if this is the best you can do, and it still aint right, hire someone to do it for you”. Words of wisdom. She’s full of them!

“Working with others was a tough but necessary decision at this point in my career. The results are fab – I have no regrets!”

I decided to work with a graphic designer. It wasn’t an easy decision at first. Everything I’ve built with my business up until this point – teaching material, stylistics, logos, promo material, marketing, a lot of the imagery – has been all my own work. Opening this essential part of my business up to someone else took A LOT of courage! I endured a couple of crappy interviews with graphic designers with BIG EGOS who just didn’t get me or my work (how about not starting by telling me you don’t like my music?!). Third time lucky though and I found the marvellous Marvel Creative Design through the recommendation of my web tech support guru, Trudy.

I worked with Marvel designer Nicki on the logo you see at the top of this post. Isn’t it great?! I was SUPER keen to have the instrument featured in an illustrative way rather than in words because it goes by many different names across the world. Commonly known as a melodeon in the UK, but that refers to a 1-row Cajun instrument in the States where it’s known primarily as a button accordion but as a diatonic accordion on the European continent… ugh! Too much confusion and inconsistency to take a chance with words! I’m after straight-forward recognition. All I want is for prospective students to see my logo and go “YES! That’s what I play and oh, I can do this course? Cool!” Let’s hope it works out that way…!

“One of my #DreamBig goals for 2018 is to propel my online teaching into the stratosphere. I hope Pick Up & Play does just that!”

Now it’s full steam ahead with finalising the course structure and the video content. The course is built straight into my website via a plug-in called ‘Lifter LMS’. The course aesthetic matches that of my website – visually it blends seamlessly which makes me really happy! The build process couldn’t be more simple. It works in the same way as creating a WordPress ‘post’ like with a blog. Each ‘lesson’ is a separate ‘post’ and Lifter LMS holds all those posts in order with neat links forward and back through the course. It keeps track of where a student gets to in the course with a completion bar. With Pamela’s proof reading and expert assistance on how to build an effective and ‘to-the-point’ course, we’re so close to having all the text elements completed!

Johan has been finalising the videos and I’ve now seen all the first versions. I’m dead chuffed with how I come across! Both Johan and Pamela (who do a lot of these online courses) both said straight away at the start of filming that I was a natural in front of the camera, didn’t waffle, and got straight to the point. This is definitely how I strive to come across in my face-to-face teaching so I’m really happy! Since getting the logos back, I have been able to get the graphical elements for each video together so Johan can add a title screen to each video, mix in the audio and do the colour corrections and we’re good to go!

That’s all for now! Don’t forget to tell your friends and share this post!

Dream Big, my friends,

Mel x