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An interactive learning experience with your ocarina & the power of the internet.
An interactive learning experience with your ocarina & the power of the internet.
An interactive learning experience with your ocarina & the power of the internet.
292 backers pledged $12,965 to help bring this project to life.

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How to Play Ocarina - a Method Book & Video Series

$12,965

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UPDATE: Now that we're fully funded, we're raising money to help donate FREE ocarinas and method books to public schools around the US! Checkout the stretch goals below for more information.
 
Hi, my name is David, and I love the ocarina. Since starting my Youtube channel back in 2006, I've posted over 300 videos dedicated to this unique instrument; not only playing my favorite songs, but teaching viewers how to play their own ocarinas with a series of free tutorials. 

As a classically trained musician, I have a HUGE appreciation for music education. Though growing up, I had no idea what I was doing with music. It seemed I had a natural ear for it and my parents provided piano lessons during middle school, but it wasn't until I studied music in college that I actually began to understand the theory of it all.

An impromptu ocarina lesson!
An impromptu ocarina lesson!

After college, I began performing and teaching ocarina for a living. And after taking on several dozen private students from around the world (through the magic of Skype), I became frustrated by the lack of learning materials for the instrument. And I wasn't alone. 

There have been three, maybe four ocarina learning books published in the West over the last decade for 12 hole ocarina, arguably the most popular ocarina type today. That's why in 2014, I began developing a book/video series that can be quickly and easily accessed from anywhere in the world. Introducing...

 "How to Play Ocarina" is a two-part project: a 44-page, physical and digital method book and 16-part online video series, written specifically for 10 and 12 hole ocarinas. While I am creating this project with completely new musicians in mind, it can be used by anyone who is new to the ocarina and would like to grasp beginner and advanced techniques for the instrument, as well as teach you how to read traditional sheet music.

Also to be covered in the book and videos:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the full range of 12-hole ocarinas, specifically the Alto C range (A4-F6) 
  • Memorizing the note names and their placement on the music staff 
  • Illustrations and photos to show precisely how each technique relates to your ocarina 
  • New exercises and popular songs for every lesson to help you fully comprehend each music principle 
  • Basic music theory concepts and symbols to help you play any sheet music you can find!

A very cool feature that ties the book and videos together is the inclusion of QR codes embedded at the beginning of each lesson in the book. Scanning that code with your smart phone or tablet device will take you straight to the corresponding video on Youtube.

And what I am most excited about is offering this book digitally, as there are currently no method books for the ocarina in digital form. This will allow you to use the book on most computer, tablet, or smart phone devices.

The biggest frustration I've encountered from new ocarinists is the lack of "ocarina tabs", which are designed to help beginners learn songs quickly and simply. The main problem with tabs is that they do nothing to improve the student and the information relayed is minimal at best. And the tabs that are widely available mainly cover the same popular Zelda songs.

Tabs give no rhythm/duration or visual indication of melody
Tabs give no rhythm/duration or visual indication of melody

The solution is using your ocarina to read standard music notation ("sheet music"), which has been used to transcribe thousands of songs to date, many of which can be played with your ocarina. This book will not only teach you note-for-note how to translate these songs to the ocarina, but also give you the tools to transcribe many of your favorite songs yourself!

Though the book was what originally started this project, I began producing the "How to Play Ocarina" videos for my Youtube audience in January 2015. The first half of the series is already online with over 300,000 total views and the response has been positive and encouraging:

By reaching this Kickstarter goal, I'll have enough funds to publish the book and complete the second half of the videos that have already helped so many people. I hope that this series will not only provide you the tools to play anything you wish, but also inspire you to push your music limits, giving you confidence to share your love of music with all those around you!

Risks and challenges

This will actually be the second music book I've published, since I created a very similar book as a reward for my 2013 Kickstarter project: a sheet music book for my original album, including an introduction to music theory. Most of the material for this book has already been written for the video series, but it will still take time to compile the book and add the last 20-30% of content to complete it over the next 4-6 weeks, leaving me enough time to get the rewards printed and sent out by May.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Crash course: Have an ocarina and don't know how to use it? Everyone who backs at least $1 will receive a one page PDF showing you the notes that a standard transverse (10-12 holes) or pendant (4-6 holes) ocarina can play using ocarina tablature and some general tips. It'll be just enough to get you started!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    DIGITAL BOOK: For about $1 per lesson, you'll receive a PDF download of the entire book, packed with everything you need to make you proficient with the ocarina, including music theory and terminology, exercises, and songs you'll be excited to perform for others!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DIGITAL BOOK + AUDIO: In addition to the PDF download, you'll also receive a download of all the audio samples I've recorded to demonstrate various exercises throughout the book, as well as backing tracks I've personally recorded for you to play with. It'll be like we're jamming together!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    PHYSICAL BOOK: While the digital packages are great, there's nothing like having the physical book right in front of you during your practice sessions or when you're on the go. They also make great gifts for new ocarina players, and will make you look 50% more scholarly and studious.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PHYSICAL BOOK + CD: Yes, CDs are going out of style. But like records and cassettes, CDs will be cool again in 20-30 years, and you'll be one of the cool kids to own this CD with all the audio recorded for the book. Some people say CD may even stand for "Cool Dude". Be a Cool Dude. Get the CD.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SIGNATURE + PERSONAL MESSAGE: Not only will I sign the book, but I'll also send a card with a personal message just for you. I may even include a little drawing inside, and I'm horrible at drawing. But it will be the most heartfelt, ugly drawing you'll ever see. That's how much I appreciate you.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    COLLECTOR'S SONGBOOK: Now that you're learning to read sheet music, get your hands on David's 40-page songbook from his 2013 album, Leave Luck to Heaven. These books were exclusive to his first Kickstarter project, and include all of the sheet music to his original songs (Together, Leave Luck to Heaven, Storm's End, Three Jigs, etc), plus his arrangements of the public domain songs (Salut D'amour, Be Thou My Vision). This book will most likely not be printed again, so get them while you can! (Also includes $50 tier rewards)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK: You'll receive the book, CD, thank you card, AND your name will be listed at the beginning of the book, for all future ocarina players to see! Doesn't that make you warm in your heart feelings?

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    OCARINA STARTER KIT: Don't have an ocarina? In addition to everything above, you'll also receive my favorite starter ocarina, the Focalink 12 hole Plastic Alto C in the color of your choice (Blue, Green, Purple, or Pink), and I'll sign it too! (US Only)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SKYPE LESSON: In addition to the $100 PACKAGE, we'll also have a one-on-one skype lesson to help you draft up a personalized plan for your music education, tips on how you can improve, and we can discuss any other questions you might have about playing the ocarina/music.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    OCTALK EPISODE: In addition to the $100 PACKAGE, I'll also dedicate an entire episode of my weekly Youtube series, "OcTalk" to an ocarina/music topic of your choosing and mention you in the video!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    GROUP STARTER KIT: It's the OCARINA STARTER KIT x5! Five ocarinas and five books w/CDs. It'll be your own ocarina class for you and some friends. (US Only)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    GROUP LESSON: I love teaching people about the ocarina, especially in a group setting, so I'll give an ocarina presentation/demonstration for you and your friends, class, school, etc! Also includes the $100 PACKAGE. (US Only)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SCHOOL SPONSOR: Help a school-in-need by sponsoring 10 method books and 10 ocarinas to be donated to a US public school. David will deliver personally and give an ocarina presentation/workshop to teach the kids how to get started and a brief history lesson. You'll also receive a thank you card and video made especially for you from the school!

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Funding period

- (30 days)