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 Post subject: Guitar in the classroom
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:55 am 
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Koa
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So this post is a LITTLE off topic ... maybe a lot, but I forgot my pw to all the other forums haha.
A few months ago I was offered a professor position at a local university to teach beginning guitar to mostly music ed majors.

I have to admit I’m loving it!
My question to you guys is this... have you seen any videos about guitar in the classroom? This isn’t really luthier related I know.

Just looking for something to help break up the 100 min guitar class (btw that’s a LONG time to do group lessons haha)




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Koa
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First name: Brad
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What are you covering now in the 100 minutes? Theory? Do they bring instruments to play?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
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State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
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Very cool! How many students are in your class?

One thing I've learned teaching guitar full time over the last several years is to recognize I have a tendency move faster than what a student is comfortable with, and that it's always beneficial to provide more space and time for students to digest small amounts of information.

Teaching the guitar to people who already have a firm understanding of how music works is an interesting challenge. But there are some really interesting things about the guitar that are unique to a strummed/fretted instrument that will be totally new to people who have a background in voice, piano, orchestral instruments, etc. Things like how rhythm works on a guitar, the mechanics of playing a fretted instrument, how to access all that theoretical information they may already have on a fret board with six strings all tuned to different notes, etc.

If I was in your situation I'd likely structure the 100 minutes like this... First 10-15 minutes settle into class and review the previous weeks work. Then I'd break the remaining time into two blocks with a small break in between (peoples fingers will be sore!). One block would then be used to cover some sort of theoretical concept (ie. How to tune the guitar, what the chromatic scale is, and what it means for the fret board). Then provide some exercises to reinforce that information. The second block would be a more practical block, something designed to get people playing. I like to use songs for these sorts of things, preferably ones that are generally familiar. So I'd pick a song that includes some of the information you're wanting to present, maybe that's a new group of chords, or a unique rhythm, and then work on playing it as a group together.

If you can get people working on something in pairs or threes it will give you the space to wander around and answer specific questions and help people individually.

Finally, I'd encourage you to sing as much as possible, I'm always singing in my lessons. It really adds a cool dimension to the lessons and imparts and reinforces my personal philosophy about learning the guitar, that it should be fun, and its for everyone!

I don't know if that's helpful at all, or even an answer to your question but if you want to chat anymore about teaching guitar feel free to get in touch. I love talking shop about teaching!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:56 pm 
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I'm assuming that, if they are music education majors, then they are the folks who will eventually go and teach music at the elementary/middle/high school level. So, you are teaching beginning guitar to teachers who will teach beginning levels of music education in schools. Is that a fair assessment? The reason I ask is that it might affect what folks recommend to you as a video classroom aid.

I have not given a guitar lesson in decades, but I used to give them every day, one-on-one. For people who already have basic music theory and competence on at least one other instrument (I have to assume these are givens for music education majors), I actually would make sure you are splitting your time into two types of learning: The single note, learn the fingerboard types of lessons (which they will be familiar with from their education on other instruments); and the cowboy chords, here is how you strum and treat the guitar as a rhythm instrument types of lessons. I'm constantly shocked at how many classically trained musicians have no sense of rhythm and flow, and are just counting notes in the measure. You can help them with that.

Good luck! It sounds like an interesting challenge.


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 Post subject: Guitar in the classroom
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
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To shed some light on the situation:
Most were strait up beginners at the start. I have to say at mid semester these guys have been quick studies.

I’m actually doing what someone suggested. We have the class split up two parts. First we practice 5 note scales moving up in half steps ... followed by work book work, it’s the Hal Leonard and does a decent job of introducing the notes... play through the examples.
Because part of the expectation is that they be able to sit AND play (it CAN be a feat for a beginner) we always follow by playing the example while singing the letter names.

The second half of class we work on simple songs and strumming patterns. So far we’ve covered I IV V G, C and E. We also divide up the workbook examples and have half the class strum the chords and the other play melody and swap.

Part of why we’re doing the class is so they are able to do lessons with their kids with a guitar. That’s where I fall short. I’m not an education guy.

I’m really enjoying the opportunity to do this:).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Koa
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Conor... working in pairs is a GREAT idea!!!! I’ll employ that!!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:27 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
SnowManSnow wrote:
Conor... working in pairs is a GREAT idea!!!! I’ll employ that!!


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Awesome! Glad I could help. I use the Hal Leonard guitar method too. That's what I learned with originally, and I haven't been able to find anything else that introduces note reading in a guitar context as well as that book does.

I would concur with your original statement, 100 minutes is a really long lesson! I'm glad you're enjoying it so much.



These users thanked the author Conor_Searl for the post: SnowManSnow (Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:53 am)
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