Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

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Jeffrey Wijnans
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Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by Jeffrey Wijnans » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:15 pm

Classical guitar is great and we know it but when I look at many kids they don't really care much for classical music at all. Most of them just want to shred or play popular songs.
My question is, is it beneficial to let children start with classical guitar which they might "dislike" over playing guitar with the songs they like in the hope they stay intrinsically motivated?

Alan Green
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Location: Little Cambridge, Essex, UK

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by Alan Green » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:06 pm

I start all my students aged 11 and under using "The Guitarist's Way" - a series of books by CG composer Peter Nuttall. At that point they haven't built any prejudices against classical music so they follow the books, learn to read music and take Grade exams.

My older school-age students work with chords, tabs and songs and learn to shred

Todd Tipton
Teacher
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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by Todd Tipton » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:10 pm

Most of my students are adults and I don't prefer teaching children. Regardless, I've been specially trained to do so, and I try to tolerate one or two...lol

With over half of my students, I cross train. After all on the deepest level, everyone is learning the same thing: learning how to work efficiently and effectively and to perform with security and coincidence.

There are minimum fundamentals and foundations I want to work through before moving into other things. It is a great time saver. In such a case, I talk frequently and often in a way they understand about how what we are doing related to what I'll be showing them very soon.

Adults are often no different. It is a mind game. But it isn't a mind game of deception or dishonesty. Rather it is an important factor in building trust and showing a sincere passion and desire in helping them to, sooner rather than later, begin working on material and achieving goals that are important to them.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)

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AndreiKrylov
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Location: Canada

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm

Jeffrey Wijnans wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:15 pm
Classical guitar is great and we know it but when I look at many kids they don't really care much for classical music at all. Most of them just want to shred or play popular songs.
My question is, is it beneficial to let children start with classical guitar which they might "dislike" over playing guitar with the songs they like in the hope they stay intrinsically motivated?
Motivate?
Why not motivate them by teaching them to play what they love already?
Whatever it will be.. pop..children...cartoon music...?
Why not to motivate them via opening all possibilities for their own creativity, so guitar learning will be fun and exciting process, rather than learning of some dull, "technically" oriented studies and pieces only?
And in this process they may be introduced and may like classical music as well.

But!!!
do not force classical music and technical stuff on them...
Maybe some may benefit even been forced... but majority probably will HATE classical music after been forced to love it...

Another thing that somehow not every teacher could really be great teacher for kids...
Some able to establish special connection and some do not...
This connection is somewhere very deep... on genetic and sub conscience level.
One could not really learn it in academy... it is different from just transferring certain technical data from one person to another...
but it is about transferring of love to guitar from one person to another...
and not everyone have this gift.
and if one do not have it?
then
Classical guitar will not be foundation for kids...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

CathyCate
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Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by CathyCate » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:34 pm

I think it is important to pay attention to the frequently changing wants, desires and needs of the child. Intrinsic motivation may be missing in action when there is extensive work to be done. A lot of it difficult. Much of it tedious. It's called playing an instrument, but the fun involved is a moving target.

Mary Poppins said it best: a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
If an arrangement of a pop song or a movie theme holds a student's interest and keeps them motivated to practice, does it matter that the word Etude or the name of a classical composer is absent from the sheet music? Hopefully, an attentive and responsive teacher will be helping the student master necessary skills & techniques while unlocking full potential by using some unlikely resources along the way.

All's fair, especially where the goal is fostering love of music (in all it's variety)! Not everyone is destined for the conservatory or the concert stage. If they are not turned off at an early age, they may mature into avid consumers...even of classical music. What you want to avoid is any responsibility for helping to turn the student into another person who used to play guitar.

If these are your own children or if they are preschool age, avoid arguments, play it safe and maybe go with piano for now?

ElRay
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Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by ElRay » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:06 am

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm
... Why not motivate them by teaching them to play what they love already? ...
Teachers' unwillingness to step outside the standard repertoire is a frustrating point. Our oldest stopped playing piano in a large part due to this (Fortunately she's still playing flute). What is especially frustrating is when Suzuki instructors take the Suzuki repertoire as dogma. Suzuki himself said, "Play beautiful music, beautifully" and emphasized the importance of learning through playing songs.

The only real "gotchas" we've seen are the tendency for beginning players to not realize how difficult some of their preferred pieces are, and the difficulty in finding an instructor that can (or is willing to) teach a non-standard piece.

ElRay
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by ElRay » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:06 am

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm
... Why not motivate them by teaching them to play what they love already? ...
Teachers' unwillingness to step outside the standard repertoire is a frustrating point. Our oldest stopped playing piano in a large part due to this (Fortunately she's still playing flute). What is especially frustrating is when Suzuki instructors take the Suzuki repertoire as dogma. Suzuki himself said, "Play beautiful music, beautifully" and emphasized the importance of learning through playing songs.

The only real "gotchas" we've seen are the tendency for beginning players to not realize how difficult some of their preferred pieces are, and the difficulty in finding an instructor that can (or is willing to) teach a non-standard piece.

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ameriken
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Location: Westminster, Co USA

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by ameriken » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:51 am

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm
Jeffrey Wijnans wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:15 pm
Classical guitar is great and we know it but when I look at many kids they don't really care much for classical music at all. Most of them just want to shred or play popular songs.
My question is, is it beneficial to let children start with classical guitar which they might "dislike" over playing guitar with the songs they like in the hope they stay intrinsically motivated?
Motivate?
Why not motivate them by teaching them to play what they love already?
Whatever it will be.. pop..children...cartoon music...?
Why not to motivate them via opening all possibilities for their own creativity, so guitar learning will be fun and exciting process, rather than learning of some dull, "technically" oriented studies and pieces only?
And in this process they may be introduced and may like classical music as well.

But!!!
do not force classical music and technical stuff on them...
I agree with Andrei here. ^^^^^^^^^^

Here's my experience back in the early/mid 70's as a 15 year old when I decided to learned rock guitar.

I really didn't even know what classical guitar was. I went for lessons to learn rock/acoustic and the teacher started me with some Mel Bay books which included sight reading of each string up to the 3rd fret initially, some basic chords, and soon I was able to sight read and play Mr Bojangles, which I was thrilled with the idea of actually being able to get through a song.

Now maybe a year later I got a second teacher, he was taking me through some more advanced theory and introduced some different styles (blues, jazz, etc) as well as something classical, just to widen my horizons a little. Of course, I was able to play some 'rock' stuff now and my mind was now more open and receptive. He showed me something short, maybe just a few measures that was in a classical guitar piece. And then we continued on learning rock/acoustic, which is what I was there to learn.

But something about that little taste of classical really piqued my interest. Even though I continued on learning rock, I had this little seedling that liked the classical style of play. Then around that time I came across a Gianinni cutaway classical. I liked the sound and feel of it. I actually wanted to buy it but didn't have the money. So I continued on learning rock and some blues on a cheap acoustic guitar. But now I started recognizing when I heard a classical guitar on the radio. Seeing the Deer Hunter and hearing Cavatina a few years later piqued that interest even more.

Anyhow life took over and my wannabee rock star aspirations fell by the wayside but I continued playing acoustic on and off, just solo for my own enjoyment. But that little taste of classical still held this appeal to me. Then one day in the early 90's I felt I had to satisfy this desire to play classical. I started on an old Alvarez Acoustic I had. Then I bought my first Yamaha CG-something .I was thankful for the sight reading and theory because I was able to pick up some books and starting learning and playing classical.

My point: had any of my teachers decided I should learn classical guitar first because HE loved it so much, I would have just gone elsewhere. But he and the next teacher obliged my request to learn 'rock', while still teaching me the basic foundations of theory and sight reading and learning some chords, as well as those little tastes of other styles.

So from my view, get them on the road properly toward whatever style they're interested in. Teach them the basics that can be used in any style of play and let them go down whatever road they want to travel.
Amalio Burguet 1A Spruce
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YeramYoon
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:39 am

Re: Classical guitar as a foundation for kids

Post by YeramYoon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:36 pm

ameriken wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:51 am
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm
Jeffrey Wijnans wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:15 pm
Classical guitar is great and we know it but when I look at many kids they don't really care much for classical music at all. Most of them just want to shred or play popular songs.
My question is, is it beneficial to let children start with classical guitar which they might "dislike" over playing guitar with the songs they like in the hope they stay intrinsically motivated?
Motivate?
Why not motivate them by teaching them to play what they love already?
Whatever it will be.. pop..children...cartoon music...?
Why not to motivate them via opening all possibilities for their own creativity, so guitar learning will be fun and exciting process, rather than learning of some dull, "technically" oriented studies and pieces only?
And in this process they may be introduced and may like classical music as well.

But!!!
do not force classical music and technical stuff on them...
I agree with Andrei here. ^^^^^^^^^^

Here's my experience back in the early/mid 70's as a 15 year old when I decided to learned rock guitar.

I really didn't even know what classical guitar was. I went for lessons to learn rock/acoustic and the teacher started me with some Mel Bay books which included sight reading of each string up to the 3rd fret initially, some basic chords, and soon I was able to sight read and play Mr Bojangles, which I was thrilled with the idea of actually being able to get through a song.

Now maybe a year later I got a second teacher, he was taking me through some more advanced theory and introduced some different styles (blues, jazz, etc) as well as something classical, just to widen my horizons a little. Of course, I was able to play some 'rock' stuff now and my mind was now more open and receptive. He showed me something short, maybe just a few measures that was in a classical guitar piece. And then we continued on learning rock/acoustic, which is what I was there to learn.

But something about that little taste of classical really piqued my interest. Even though I continued on learning rock, I had this little seedling that liked the classical style of play. Then around that time I came across a Gianinni cutaway classical. I liked the sound and feel of it. I actually wanted to buy it but didn't have the money. So I continued on learning rock and some blues on a cheap acoustic guitar. But now I started recognizing when I heard a classical guitar on the radio. Seeing the Deer Hunter and hearing Cavatina a few years later piqued that interest even more.

Anyhow life took over and my wannabee rock star aspirations fell by the wayside but I continued playing acoustic on and off, just solo for my own enjoyment. But that little taste of classical still held this appeal to me. Then one day in the early 90's I felt I had to satisfy this desire to play classical. I started on an old Alvarez Acoustic I had. Then I bought my first Yamaha CG-something .I was thankful for the sight reading and theory because I was able to pick up some books and starting learning and playing classical.

My point: had any of my teachers decided I should learn classical guitar first because HE loved it so much, I would have just gone elsewhere. But he and the next teacher obliged my request to learn 'rock', while still teaching me the basic foundations of theory and sight reading and learning some chords, as well as those little tastes of other styles.

So from my view, get them on the road properly toward whatever style they're interested in. Teach them the basics that can be used in any style of play and let them go down whatever road they want to travel.
I’ve had similar success. Started with blues/rock with various teachers for several years.
As my family relocated, I switched to a “fingerstyle” teacher at a local music store. He eventually introduced me to various genres outside of R&B including the classical repertoire. The classical stuff he was showing me piqued my interest. I soon became attached and decided to pursue it seriously about a year later with a different teacher.

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