practice

There are many new young musicians this time of year, probably because their parents got their children a new guitar, they are filled with excitement and wish to be the best right away, if you know someone, or have children that are desperate to be profesional musicians this tips are for you.

Fingers on Strings

It may be a siple thing, but in the beginning, no one can press a string fully without feeling a little bit of pain, this is normal due to the lack of exercise of the fingers, flexibility and endurance. With time the skin on the tips of the fingers become harder, and pressing strings becomes much easier, to practice this, the best thing to do is to start with one string at a time, just getting the feel of it and play whatever comes to mind.

Scales

After some time of getting used to what it feels to have a guitar and playing it, comes something that is not only useful for beginners, it will be useful for the rest of a musician’s life.

Scales are in many ways, part of the bases of music, but it’s important to remember that these tips are about training before music school, so the idea is not to go too deep with music theory, the idea is to find some easy scales to practice such as.

Covers, Interpretations and Inspirations

If a young kid wants to learn how to play guitar, it’s obvious there must be an inspiration, someone that he or she looks up to, and this part is very important, because in art, everything begins with a little imitation.

Learning songs from big artists and trying to get around the difficulties of the performance should be one of the steps towards becoming a musician, not just because it helps you learn how to play, but it also carves your musical map, this is, the influences that will come later in early compositions.

However, learning how to play songs doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is fully learning how to play guitar. One of the biggest issues with children learning an instrument is that they get caught up in learning how to perform and play other people’s music, sometimes because they chose to do so, sometimes because of their parents, or going to early to a music school. The most important thing for children that are interested in music is having fun, this will make them build a connection with the instrument and will make them feel more confortable.

Commitment or Fun?

Guitar

Everyone knows that as a kid, there is no real goal or strong commitments, there is just a big playground and some rules to learn how to live, but many times different disciplines and activities enter the playground as something new and exciting that only lasts for a while. This happens with lots of things, and there are in fact many guitars around the world collecting dust in a bedroom because of this, which is not bad, everyone needs to try different things.

Parents get their children musical instruments in Christmas, mostly guitars, and there is a lot of excitement but sometimes makes them fall in love with music, others it doesn’t work. If it does, the best thing a parent can do is encourage it, because there are many benefits for a very young kid to start playing guitar such as discipline, concentration and even meeting new friends.

If there is love for music, then eventually a music school or a music teacher could be of help, but not before there is a connection with the instrument.

Read More

Goals, assignments and parental involvement

Motivating younger students to practice —  how do you do that?

My new year’s resolution this year was to get my younger students learning more quickly by motivating them to practice much more between lessons.

This was initially started by setting their goals, getting parents on board to help, and by weekly assignment ‘to do’ lists.  Many helpful sheets are available online to fill in to help with all of that (*).

In my opinion, all of these are very important in order to start creating a suitable practice environment for the year. However, practicing their instruments between lessons was a challenge for most of my younger students.   [···]

Read More

parents-and-music-lessons

How well do you know your students’ parents? Most of my students are dropped off on the fly, so I seldom see their adults. If someone else drives them to lessons, sometimes I don’t even meet them until a recital.

Parents care. They pay tuition for me to teach their children. Obviously they want a good musical experience for them, and hope and trust I can do for their youngsters what they cannot. Many of them would like to be in on the process, if they only knew how.

 [···]

Read More