Teaching Tips

Tips for teaching music

When you choose to become a teacher, one of the most important responsibilities is to have a good relationship with your students.

There are many reasons as to why this is a priority but the most important is that if you don’t get along with your students, your lessons won’t get through to them, even if they are well thought out and planned.

Of course there are many teachers out there that keep things very strict and are considered good teachers but it’s also not as simple as being friendly or not.

Having a good relationship with your students is about getting to know them and be friendly without crossing any lines, you have to remember you are a teacher not a friend.

To make things a bit clearer, these are a few tips you can keep in mind that will help you build a good relationship with your students.

And of course, try to remember their names!

Know What Your Students Like

The first impression of a young student is that the teacher doesn’t have the same interests at all, whether it is in music, movies, TV shows or clothes.

One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is a pleasant surprise, and you will, without a doubt surprise them if you show interest in what they like or maybe mention something that they weren’t expecting like talking about a videogame soundtrack or something out of the ordinary in terms of traditional music education.

Of course, connecting through music would be the best scenario in this regard, as it not only helps you make that connection but it also gives you inspiration to develop your class.

Be Ready to Learn From Your Students

Yes, you may be the teacher and it is your job to teach them music but, a teacher that is willing to learn from their students is even better.

Students are always being pushed to think and work around things, so sometimes they come up with amazing ideas or music that cannot be overlooked.

Some teachers dismiss many ideas from their students because they “clearly know less than the teacher” but this is far from the truth.

Having this approach in mind will also make you be more excited with each lesson, with the hopes you might learn something too, and that excitement will be displayed when you teach.

A Sense of Humor

A teacher with a sense of humor makes everything a more pleasant experience, which is a very important thing in order to make students really appreciate your lessons.

No matter what is being taught, it’s easy for a class to get heavy and hard to process, however, these moments of humor to loosen things up a bit helps keeping things fresh.

Students

Story Time

One of the best way to connect with your students is sharing things about you, maybe an annecdote from another group of students or just a funny story related to the class.

This makes the whole experience a bit more human, which is necessary.

Students, especially younger ones, can see a teacher as this big authority that is very far from their world that it’s almost impossible to empathize.

These “storytelling” times can help you avoid this and maybe spark a few laughs or inspiration.

MTH Features

As a part of the MTH team, we recommend that you make the most out of the features we offer in order to help build your relationship with your students.

Remember to use birthday reminders, as your students will appreciate that you are aware of those important celebration dates.

From automatic lesson notes, to easy scheduling, Music Teacher’s Helper will assist with your needs as a music teacher giving you the space and time you need to build a good relationship with your students, based on trust, respect and a genuine love for music anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

 

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Guitar lessons sometimes seem like an easy task, but keeping your students engaged is a very hard task.

Sometimes, exploring is a good way to make your lessons fresh, and while it may seem distant, some youtube creators manage to be great teachers.

Rick Beato is one of those content creators on youtube, he is a music teacher, producer and has been making content on YouTube for quite a while, getting over 2 million subscribers on the platform.

One of the biggest difficulties when it comes to guitar lessons is that beginners find it very hard to play the first notes and chords, but in reality there are a few tips that can

That’s where Rick’s videos come in.

Varied Content

Rick Beato’s channel has a lot of different content, of course, all of it about music but, one of the most interesting things about him is that his taste is hard to define.

You can easily click a video from him and watch him break down a Beethoven piece, one analyzing the top 10 songs on spotify or getting every detail about Phil Collins’ drums.

Why is this important? Well first of all he is able to connect with a wider audience instead of dismissing certain genres. This also reverberates in his teaching and tutorials,  because he knows his audience comes from many different places.

When he gets into the guitar lessons, he won’t teach classical, rock, jazz, flamenco, that is up to the person learning.

Guitar Lessons

Guitar Lessons

There are a few videos on guitar lessons by Rick, but there is one that is worth checking out as he talks about the experience teaching his children how to play guitar during lockdown.

He then proceeds to talk about some of the things that every beginner should remember when starting to learn how to play guitar.

In this video Rick helps solve some of the most common mistakes every beginner makes when starting to play guitar. These common issues are:

Rhythm and Strumming

Most people have a hard time strumming and at first the play the guitar with the thumb strumming down, and then with a bit more time they let loose of the wrist, however there is no rhythm

Finger Positioning

At first when learning chords, it feels like a strange game of twister where your fingers feel uncomfortable, and it may seem like a very common problem with easy solutions, but some of these solutions can really take a beginner a long way with just a few tips.

Sometimes it’s about the transitions between one chord to the other, and other times it comes to scales, but there is no denying that finger positioning is something that is very easy to get wrong, and because it is something so basic, it’s easy to feel discouraged from learning the instrument right away.

Not Muting Strings Properly

Many beginners don’t pay attention to what they are actually supposed to play, what this means is that they may get the strumming and finger positioning, but if they are playing notes that shouldn’t actually be played, it’s going to sound messy and bad.

This is also due to the fact that the strings that should be muted are usually the open strings, this makes it so that, if it is played, it’s going to be very present in the chord.

From one Chord to Another

It feels so hard to finally get every finger in place and then they have to change in order to play another chord.

This is often one of the first hardest things a beginner guitarrist face.

It’s not just about doing it, it’s also about maintaining the rhythm of the strumming intact while doing it.

The solution to these beginner guitar issues can be solved in many ways.

Today the recomendation is to watch Rick Beato’s tips, not only because it’s not a very long video, it’s because every minute of it will be useful when confronting your new guitar.

Why Are His Videos Worth Your Time?

Rick is an experienced teacher, but he manages to show so much in so little time that it makes for perfect content for YouTube.

Today, many people of all ages start to learn how to play instruments and get into music through YouTube and this can be a very interesting learning process.

Getting to this channel can be quite good for a beginner not just because of guitar lessons, but the way he approaches every music genre and respects every different type of sound.

This can be seen in other videos where he breaks down songs or goes through music in the form of video essay/class and it can be a very interesting and fun learning experience for a beginner musician.

 

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One of the most common misconceptions about music education is that you can’t learn how to play an instrument as an adult. While it can be a bit more difficult, it’s not impossible at all, it’s actually a very good idea, because many people want to get into music at a later time in their lives.

There are some things that make wanting to learn an instrument as an adult kind of intimidating, this includes, time, a lack of that learning spark we all have when we are young or even what other people may say.

In order to get a confidence boost to hop into learning an instrument, here are a few musical instruments that are quite easy to get into.

Piano/Keyboard

Learn

Of course the piano has so much depth in terms of sound and potential but there are two main reasons as to why it’s an instrument that’s is actually easy to learn. First of all, if you have no prior knowledge of music, the keys of a piano makes it easir for a beginner to structure musi

It’s a case of easy to learn but hard to master but it’s one of the most satisfiying musical instruments to learn.

There is also the option to purchase a keyboard, which is a lot more accesible than a piano. This however comes with the fact that every keyboard has its strengths and weaknesess, so depending on the approach you’re looking for.

Aside from the sound there is also the keys on the keyboard. What this means is that some keyboards have weight on their keys just like a piano does, but some don’t. This may not seem like much but the feel of the instrument is important so imagine being a beginner and starting piano classes, you buy a keyboard and it feels different, but you have more time with the keyboard than the piano, and everytime you play piano you mess up and you don’t know why.

In conclusion it’s a small but important thing, even more so as a beginner.

Ukelele

The ukelele it’s a good option to get into the strings side of the musical instruments, due to the fact that it has that strumming easy to go part from the guitar, but it’s actually way easier because of it having only four strings instead of four. You could argue that the bass also hass four strings, but when it comes to the bass, there is a more rigorous way of playing in terms of rythm. It’s also not as “free” as the guitar or ukelele, melodically speaking, and for someone that is just picking up an instrument for the first time, pressing a bass string it’s a lot harder than pressing a ukelele string, so there is that minor detail.

Harmonica

The harmonica has many things in favor as an easy instrument to learn. First of all it’s quite small, so there are no limitations as to where you could practice.

This is an instrument that almost always sounds good, sure if you are just playing it like crazy it may sound just like that, but it’s not hard to start from zero and get some easy tunes.

It is important however to have in mind that there are different types of harmonicas and depending on what type of music you like, there is a specific type of harmonica for it. It’s not hard to do the research and you can even ask before buying, it’s all about exploring what fits you.

Of course that in the end any instrument is an option, no one should be forced to choose one instrument or the other just because it’s easier to learn, however it’s good to have some ideas of what some of these instruments offer when it comes to the first approach.

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