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School is full of rules, most of them unspoken. However, if there’s one takeaway from music, it’s that you have to break the rules to make something beautiful. In shaping growing minds and life-long music makers think outside of the box and try breaking some of the unspoken rules.
Don’t Have Just One Teacher
Bring in guest artists from your community. Having a new (guest) teacher will show your kids that individuals making (and teaching) music sound different. Notes on a page are transformed through the hearts minds and hands of individual musicians.
Use Social Media – Go Online in Class
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Don’t be upset if your guitar class calls sharps “hashtags”, social media can be your friend. Use Sound Cloud and ask your class to comment on some music tracks. Use YouTube in class to learn a new guitar skill. If your young guitarists like what they see, Like the video and leave a comment on behalf of your kids.
Play Guitar on the Outside
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Guitarists are like most musicians, they learn informally by playing together and talking about music. Encourage your kids to join bands, ensembles or just jam together off campus. The more they learn outside, the more they will want to learn in your classroom.
Play the Music You Want to Play
Guitarists love to figure out new songs and licks. Encourage your guitar class to play/figure out the songs on their iPod. There’s no better way to find out you love an instrument than to play the music you love.
Let Your Guitar Students Express Themselves
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Give your guitar students a chance to make their interests into learning projects. Have your guitar class name their guitars then ask them to play a piece by that artist. They can also develop presentations about the artist.
Fail, Big Time!
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Being a musician involves playing a lot of wrong notes and practicing for the brief, few minutes that you have to make something sound good. Be sure that your students understand that they are in your guitar classroom to learn – not to be perfect. Class time is the time to let go, push out, and…fail. Sometimes you can learn more from failure than from success.
Are you breaking the unspoken rules? Tell your story in comments below.