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Starting to teach - Guitar!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Deacon_Blues, Sep 10, 2008.


  1. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    Hi,

    Last week I got a phonecall from the headmaster of a local church's music school to give some guitar lessons to mostly beginners, taking over this from the previous teacher who is suffering a severe case of cancer and his future looks very uncertain. I thought of this teaching thing a couple of days and decided to try to see how it would be. Luckily, they are not "formal" lessons with exams as the goal. If that would have been the case, I would have declined.

    So... now I am the guitar teacher to seven persons in the age range 6 to 30 (6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 14 and 30) and have had one lesson with each of them.

    The two youngest children (boys) will be most challenging ones for me I guess. They hardly dared to touch the guitar and they didn't really seem to have grasped the concept of music yet... I'm thinking about having them learn to play really simple melodies with one finger on one string at first, then slowly move to use more fingers and then start teaching them some basic chords. What do you think of this approach? Furthermore, I don't want to be too demanding, not too easy-going either. I just don't know how fast it is realistic to think they will learn, with absolutely no experience in music making from before.

    The 11-12 year old boys knew some chords and some songs, but were on two different levels. One of them had been playing a while, while the other one was a beginner like the youngest kids.

    The two teenagers were very different but have both played for some years on and off in the music school. One of them is my ex GF's little sister. :eek: She plays mostly chords, not any melodies. She didn't know how to play a C major scale. The other teenager have learned to play mostly melodies (obviously learned by tab) but he seemed to have no sense of timing at all. Or then he just was a bit too nervous. Anyway, I failed in getting him to listen to the beats of the metronome before starting to play.

    The oldest one will be the easiest to teach I guess. I don't think I will have any bigger difficulties with her. She's a beginner, but have learned already most of the basic open chords by herself and is more lost with the right hand.


    Actually, I don't really know if I have any other specific questions, but I'd appreciate if you could share your thoughts about how I should proceed with teaching the youngest kids, how to make the 11-12 year old boys listen more to what I say (the girls are good listeners) and how to teach them to use a metronome without killing their interest in playing. Again I want to find the narrow road between being too demanding and too easy going...


    I just want to add that I have accepted this job and I really do think I have something to learn these people. I will not give it up too quickly, and it gives me some extra cash as well that I need. My mother have always thought I would be a good teacher, and she's a principal. I think I have some talent for it as well. In addition to that, it brings me one step closer to my dream - to work more closely with music, and people. I just lack the experience, having only given a few guitar lessons to one person in my life before this.

    These will pretty much be my "leading stars":
    - Be encouraging
    - Keep it fun
    - Experimenting is all good
    - Timing is as essential as playing on a tuned instrument
    - Theory is important in order to know what you're doing (I'll start with teaching them the names of the notes, scales, chords and chord progressions).
    - Theory does not dictate the music, it's the other way around

    Just wanted to share this with you. Perhaps I'll come back later with more specific questions. I'd appreciate any comments though you might have. Thanks for reading the over-long post also.. :)
     

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