GUITAR teacher Stuart Sidney came up with in ideal way to keep lessons going for his pupils.

As soon as the social distancing measures began to be implemented, Stuart offered lessons on Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp to make sure his pupils didn’t miss out.

“I have done a couple of online lessons in the past, but now it’s just down to circumstances,” said Stuart.

“In total I have over 120 students in schools. In primary schools I teach in groups of four or five, and in secondary schools it is one on one. Quite a few of them are going to carry on doing online lessons.

“I thought I would have to do something to keep them going, and to keep income coming in.

“I had a look into it, and I thought Skype was the best to use but apparently it is not.

“A lot of people say Whatsapp is better because it doesn’t lag as much. And there is one called Zoom for musicians to teach, so I am going to have a look into that.

“As a teacher you can’t play at the same time as a pupil due to latency issues, so there are a few things I will have to adapt around.”

But Stuart admits that he hasn’t had as much luck encouraging his own children to take the guitar up!

“I was trying to get my children to learn, but they are not interested in the guitar. Lennon is 10 and plays at school, but I think he might try the drums!”

Stuart also has son Hendrix, five, with wife Martina.

He also teaches privately outside schools, although they provide the vast majority of his pupils.

“I started playing when I was 15. I used to practice literally four hours a day,” he said.

Stuart is from Keswick, where he attended Keswick School as a youngster, and has been a full time guitar teacher for around 10 years now.

He spends time teaching at St Herbert’s in Keswick, West Lakes Academy in Egremont, and Ullswater Community College in Penrith.

Outside teaching he plays in a duo with well known West Cumbrian singer Cory Spedding, of Whitehaven. “All the gigs have stopped now. We were doing three or four a week, and weddings as well.”

And he organises an open mic night at Bar 26 every Wednesday in Keswick - which is now postponed due to coronavirus - and He also plays in a band called Water’s Edge, made up from school teachers at St Herbert’s in Keswick.

“We are a melodic indie rock band, and a bit poppy as well. We do all originals, there are five or six albums on Spotify,” he said.