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  1. #1

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    Hi ther fellow forum members..

    Just wondering if any forum members know of any good books or internet websites that can offer guidance on how to teach music to young kids. I have taught quite a bit here in Ottawa but my teaching practice has been focused on adults. Most of those adults already have the fundamentals down and I mostly work on higher level skills and repertoire with them. it seems to me teaching kids from scratch is a different ball-game and comes with the danger that a few poor choices on the teacher's part can alienate the kids pretty quickly. I know my first lessons (at around 10 years old) went down poorly and almost made me give up guitar there and then.

    Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated.

    Regards

    Rob

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Alfred's kids guitar method is one of the better ones in my opinion. Teaching younger kids is definitely its own skill.

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  4. #3

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    After teaching kids guitar for more than 10 years, after trying different methods, i still have no definite answer. Everyone is different, kids too, what works with one doesnt work with others. Some prefer to just play from a book and have no idea what they like, or dont care...

    Some have a good idea what they want, and those are my favorite. But they are rare. Maybe I suck, but motivating a student always was the hardest for me. If they dont care, why should I? Im still working on that though, doing my best.

    The Alfred book is a good starter, or Hal Leonard. Avoid the Mel Bay!

  5. #4

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    Thanks guys... appreciate the feedback!

  6. #5

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    How young?

  7. #6

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    At the moment between 10 and 15 years old.

  8. #7

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    I owned my own guitar shop for about 30 years and the method book I found worked the best with younger kids was the Classical Guitar Technique Vol 1 by Aaron Shearer for several reasons.

    1 - There are lots of duets that you can play along with them that sound good but are very easy to play.

    2 - The solo pieces are also very easy to play but still sound full.

    3 - Often you can talk them into getting a nylon string classical guitar which doesn't make their fingers get sore so they play more often.

    Here's a link to the Aaron Shearer page on the Chord Melody Guitar Music website if you want to find out more:

    Aaron Shearer Method - Guitar Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

    Hope this helps!
    Steven Herron

  9. #8

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    I did it for a few months, same age range.

    Basically kids are kids. They all wanted to play like Elvis or somebody so we did strumming (at first). I didn't use a ready-made guitar tutor because I thought the idea of just going through someone's book was , for me at least, uncreative and reduced the teaching to a chore and me to a mouthpiece. So I drafted out a beginner's guide (not very difficult!) and took it week by week.

    I had the advantage of teaching them one by one, not taking a whole group, so each lesson was tailored to that student. We started out on simple three finger chords and strummed the beat. Those who could already play a bit had slightly more complex chords up the neck. But nothing they couldn't handle.

    I also started them reading music. About three notes a week on the stave and where to find them on the guitar. Then very simple tunes. It's amazing how many pop songs can be reduced to three chords. In fact, there are books and websites of pop songs using only three or four chords.

    There were the occasional times when I got the 'I forgot my book' stuff so I just sent them off to get it. Or 'I didn't have time to practice' so I just said well, it's up to you if you want to learn the guitar.

    At the end of the term they put on a show with the rest of the school dancing along. Some other students were playing other instruments and we combined them. It went off fine.

    So, nothing pressurised, one to one lessons tailored to the individuals, and steady progress that held their interest.

    If I'd had to take a whole group of different abilities and try to control all that at once then it might have been a complete failure. Luckily that wasn't the case. That was the only time I taught young people. After that it was adults who weren't as receptive :-)

  10. #9

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    I stopped teaching guitar in schools when the new curriculum came in. What it boils down to is teaching kids to play different music in different keys in a room together out of time. And they are spoonfed the tunes and can neither play by ear nor read. Children who can play avoid music in schools, as would I.

    Although the children playing in this environment learn no usable skills they are subsequently incredibly difficult to teach because the have been taught NOT TO LISTEN.

    I was at a dinner party and I met one of the 'educators' who had decided upon this Curriculum for Excellence. He insisted that they had the statistics to prove that it was effective and 'empowering'. I asked what he played and well, he has never played an instrument.

    I was awe struck that he hadn't realised that he was chosen for the committee because his total ignorance would make him credulous and therefore he could be relied on to rubber stamp any hogwash placed in front of him.

    I find it sad that the curriculum for excellence STANDS BETWEEN kids and music. And I find it sadder still that there are now teachers in our schools who have never had a proper music lesson and who cannot play by ear or sight read or play a chart or get by at a jam. They are in the majority and often don't even have the sense to see that they are useless.

    D.

  11. #10
    Sheesh. This thread is just everywhere at once. What are we talking about roberoo? What age?

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  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Sheesh. This thread is just everywhere at once. What are we talking about roberoo? What age?

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    You prefer individual posts to be all over the place ?
    Not sure I do.

  13. #12

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    Sorry folks, for some reason I did not get any notifications about these additional posts!. Thanks to everyone that contributed... As I stated earlier i am wondering about teaching young teenagers. Frankly, my hope is to teach older folks (I had a teaching practice with 12 students (all retirees)) and it was fantastic. Frankly, I am now trying to scrounge out a living with gigs and teaching and, for the time being, it won't be pretty.

    Once again, thanks, I hope everyone is having a good summer. I am in Nice at the moment and looking forward to seeing Olivier Giraudo tomorrow






  14. #13

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    10-15 isn't that young, and there is a big range in that group as well. Roughly speaking, kids aged 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15 are capable of different things. Kids at 10 can do quite a lot, and it goes from there.

    So, if they don't listen to very much music, books will be fine. (Be aware that a lot of parents these days don't know very much about music because they grew up on a steady diet of commercial crap, and the home listening environment may be very impoverished indeed).

    These kids need more direction. Provide them with some listening suggestions - and assignments!

    The ones who know what they want to play and know how they want to sound (because of some music heroes) will probably work harder in many cases, but not in all cases.

    Teaching kids under 10, and especially under 8 or so is another ballgame.

  15. #14

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    All I know is that if Spongebob Squarepants played the guitar, and had lessons etc...
    my 10 year old Grandson would be ALL OVER THAT!!
    measure with micrometer... mark with chalk... cut with axe

  16. #15

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    I've been teaching middle school kids, college students, and adults for about 20 years. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to have a conversation.

    Cheers!