When a student has an instrument in their hands, they want to use it! Making unwanted sound at inappropriate times can be distracting. A student might noodle out of embarrassment or to show off. One important rule to establish right away is “NO NOODLING!” How do you deal with it?
1. Explain what noodling is and why it occurs.
2. Explain why it is distracting. A student may not hear the instructions you are giving and you will have to repeat yourself – all of this slows down the class.
3. Teach two commands to deal with the noodling and to create silence.
a. “Hands Down” – Student fold their hands together and then put the hands on the upper part of the guitar body. Now you can deliver instruction in a quiet classroom. Inevitably someone doesn’t hear the ‘Hands Down’ command and you have to take it to a new level.
b. “Face Down” – Students roll the guitar forward in their lap so the face of the guitar with the strings is now resting on their legs. Ahhhhhh…….silence ensues…….
TIP: By the way when guitars are in ‘FACE DOWN’ position, the back of the guitar can serve as a desk in a crowded classroom. However, you must make sure that students place a book or magazine between the papers they are writing on and the back of the guitar. Otherwise what they are writing will be etched into the wood of the back of the guitar – permanently.
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