Spring time at the MHES after-school group guitar lessons

What a crazy cold winter so far, but at the moment it almost feels like Spring!

After an exciting first session, I’m very pleased to be invited back to teach at the after-school group guitar lessons at Morin Heights Elementary School. While the last session had eight lessons, the up-coming one will last ten weeks. Teaching children in a group has been an intense learning experience for me. I’ve decided to make a few changes to make it more fun.

The manual has shrunk.
There still is a mini-manual with an introduction to guitar parts, rhythm notation, proper warm-ups and techniques that we will quickly go through in the first two lessons, but the rest of the material will be given on an on-going basis to make the lessons flexible enough to keep up with the children’s pace and to focus more on their interests.

There will be more peer-to-peer teaching.
This is an off-shoot from last session of asking students to share a song with guitar in it. Within a few minutes, the kids were talking about different musical genres. This session, I will be asking students to teach something—anything—they can do on the guitar. This can be something we’ve covered together or not. It can be showing the group how to play a chord or riff. I firmly believe that teaching helps us learn. For example, if a student decides to show the group how to play an E-minor chord, he or she will have to specify which fingers to use, on what frets and strings. Without noticing it, they will assimilate and use guitar vocabulary that sounded mysterious a few weeks before.

There will be one lesson dedicated to the electric guitar.
Being exposed to and getting a chance to experiment on an electric will teach students about the strengths of other musical genres. Whether or not students are drawn to the electric guitar, understanding basic concepts like power chords and electric strumming with a pick will open to them a new part of the guitar world. Today’s guitar pioneers are experimenting with the techniques of one kind of guitar and playing them on another. This has resulted in new genres and has blurred the lines of traditional ones. It has even had an effect on guitar design. Maybe there’s a guitar pioneer in the group just waiting to bloom…

I’m looking forward to another set of MHES after-school lessons! The Spring session starts March 13.

Looking for a guitar teacher? Contact me for more information.

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