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Advice Please, reading music:

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jblaven, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. jblaven


    Nov 18, 2002

    My question is at the end. I want to give you some background first.

    Dad goes on a mission trip to Jamaica. Takes guitar. The kids love it. Our youth pastor takes note. He asks dad if he would be willing teach the youth of our church how to play guitar. He says sure.

    Now it is nine months later and 30+ kids have learned how to play the guitar. He has taught them everything he knows. Mainly chords written over the lyrics of songs.

    Dad's best friend since childhood is also playing/helping him. This person actually taught dad when they were both 15 years old. Now they are 52.

    His friend bought a Blueridge and dad liked it. So mom calls me up at work asking me to find out more about it. I steer her towards Martin. We buy him a D16-GT (for Christmas).

    Dad has been hinting that he is reaching the end of what he can teach them. He is doing it for free and is enjoying it and is wanting to continue with it but with a "new" way to teach them style, etc. Since all he has now are the chords above the lyrics, he is trying to "make up" a way to express how to play.

    Having just my four years of band in HS, I felt dad might benefit from learning how to read music. I bought him a Hal.Leonard Fast Track instruction booklet. I dropped by Friday and gave him the book.

    He seemed open to the idea until I started to show him how the notes correspond to the staff and how the 1/4, 1/2, and whole notes work.

    Knowing that the kids will soon loose interest if they are not learning new things, and that dad is searching for a way to further the way he presents new music. I felt that learning to read sheet music is a positive step for dad.

    But I also know you can't push something on someone who does not want to learn it. It is easy for dad to teach what he knows, but when he may be required to learn something new/practice, he does not feel he needs to do it.

    I will be getting a bass for Christmas and am thinking about joining the kids for practice, etc.

    Dad is good at listening to music and finding the right chords to play, but he can't read music.

    I can read music, but can't play by ear. So while I feel comfortable with sheet music, I think it intimidates him.

    I do not question his ability/talent, but really wish he would try and learn to read music.

    Am I wrong to suggest he learn to read music, rather than make up a way to express it?:confused:

    What would you do?
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Is there any way YOU can go to Jamaica to teach these kids to read music? That would neaten up this awkward situation.
  3. reachjkh


    Nov 21, 2002
    Lee's Summit, MO
    I'm in a similar situation. I wound up taking a music class for a semester. I think that he should learn it even if he doesn't actually pass it on to the kids right now.

    But is just reading sheet music the answer? If he does, I think that he should also start learning some scales, chord scales, light chord theory or something more than just playing the right chords for a song. It'll help him and then it'll trickle down to them anyway. He will get more enjoyment and so will they if they have some tools to build on rather than just learning songs.

    my opinion.

    btw...I think it's great what he's doing.
  4. jblaven


    Nov 18, 2002
    I should clarify. The kids in Jamaica loved the music, and the youth of the church enjoyed it also.

    Everyone is back from Jamaica and dad is teaching the church kids how to play.
  5. jblaven


    Nov 18, 2002

    I would love to see him further his abilities, but it is not my place to push him. After all, he is putting in the time and effort to work with the kids; not me.

    I would love to show him, but he is not much for learning at his age(old dog/new tricks.... as he said).
  6. Secksay

    Secksay Guest

    Sep 6, 2002
    New York, NY
    you can only get better learning to read music, not worse.
  7. reachjkh


    Nov 21, 2002
    Lee's Summit, MO
    If a kid wants to get deeper and he knows he can't get them there, he's gonna let'em know that and point'em in the right direction, right?

    I sure do understand the thing about your dad maybe not wanting to tackle the music theory. But I guess Ed's quote above is really along the lines of what caused me to post a reply to you earlier. I unfortunately learned the way your dad(and now the kids) did. Twenty years I've struggled and now I have the opportunity to get some training and do it right and it's really boosted my enjoyment of music.

    I still think it's great that your dad's doing this! I just know that most kids want it quick and easy like I did and if he will encourage those who want to go farther with music to actually get some real studies, then I think that would be doing them a great service.

    Wish you well!