suz_guitar1Teachers worry about keeping a class interesting. But when you have a guitar class for a 90 minute block, you need great content!

First, think about the possibilities using the National Standards as an outline. Think, “What will my students do today that includes: singing, playing, improvising, composing, analyzing, reading, exploring world music and other arts and disciplines?” You will never run out of ideas.

1. Organize the class into 10,15, 20 and 30-minute segments.

2. Use the same schedule every day and put it where everyone can see it.

3. Indicate on the schedule daily the material that will be taught, reviewed, played for fun, tested, or discussed.

4. Use DVDs and Videos to teach skills that you may not have, i.e. Jimi Hendrix chords, B.B. King licks, classical guitar solos. (Check out these chord shapes).

5. Every day should include a song they can try to sing (or not), note reading, tab reading, improvisation and chord study

6. Students should earn the right to work in groups on their own music and be required to share the outcome with the class.

Periodically show short excerpts of famous players from YouTube or DVDs that you are collecting for your classroom. “Crossroads” with Eric Clapton is a good one for starters. Introduce students to Flamenco guitar, the Portuguese guitar used in Fado, Indian Sitar, and other world instruments.

Invite guest guitar players to demonstrate their style in real time in the classroom. Guests might include former students.

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