ARTICLES

WATCH HERE for posted articles about the guitar, history, and some basic ‘how to’s’, for example how to change strings, you shouldn’t have to wait until class to find out! The information will be informative, fun, and will aid you and your child in developing a love for the guitar. Articles are listed in entered order:

  • Music Ability Helps Reading
  • Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits
  • Changing Strings
  • Parental Involvement
  • HOOPS for Repetition

Music Ability Helps Reading – Wall Street Journal

Playing a musical instrument from a young age appears to create new pathways in the brain that process written words and letters and may help children with reading disorders such as dyslexia…  See article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578306651544504378.html

Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits – NY Times

Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits When children learn to play a musical instrument, they strengthen a range of auditory skills. Recent studies suggest that these benefits extend all through life. See the article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/early-music-lessons-have-longtime-benefits/?smid=pl-share

Changing Strings

Sponsored by Cordoba guitar, this is a logical  step by step method by our selected supplier of guitars for the KinderGuitar program.  By the use of ROPE and a large piece of wood they make this process easy…ahhh YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cw84_0KHTI&feature=related QUESTIONS AND EMERGENCY HELP? Call! 

Parental Involvement

By , July 23, 2010, © Copyright by KinderGuitar
This is a reprint of an article by founder/ developer Leonardo Garcia.  It is time relevant and will aid parents, both new and old to the KinderGuitar©  process. 
Here is a question many parents probably ask themselves when they enroll their children in music lessons: How important is my involvement and how do I do it successfully? The younger the child, the more parental involvement is necessary. Learning to play a musical instrument is much like learning a language or even, perhaps, like learning a sport. If a child goes down to a baseball field on a sunny afternoon once or twice a week and throws the ball around, the child will have fun. But the child will not refine and improve motor skills to be a competent baseball player without constant practice, hard work, parental guidance, encouragement, and unfortunately, some bad days that are no fun at all. A scenario like this one is not metaphorically perfect but you get the idea. Those of us who love music and value the ways in which it enriches our lives want our children to have a positive experience, if not a profound one, during the process of learning a musical instrument. We want our children to experience pride and success en route to developing their abilities to express themselves artistically. So it is up to parents to take care of all the peripheral details to ensure their child continues to grow through their musical experience. To this end, here are some practical ways to help your child at home. More detail and rigor is necessary early on for the younger child (ages 5-10).During lessons:/1/1/ 1) Attend all the lessons. 2) Sit close to your child, keep a journal, and take notes.  Make use of the KinderGuitar Lesson Log. 3) Don’t wait until the end of class to clarify confusion. 4) Observe hand positions and posture to reinforce properly at home. 5) Listen to the language the teacher uses for instruction and become familiar with it for use at home. 6) Keep track of everything the child did well and praise them for it afterwards: “That finger exercise really improved after you played it the third time!” At home: 1) Establish “GUITAR Time” at home at least 4 times a week but strive for 6! Remember the minimum number of minutes. 2) Create a comfortable space with all that is necessary (tuner, music stand, chair, etc.) for successful practice. 2) Keep a journal (perhaps the opposite page from the notes taken in class). 3) Try to create a little routine (left hand warm-up, right hand warm-up, new songs, review, etc…) 4) The more consistent this becomes the less battles you’ll have in the future. It becomes something you just do. Somedays will be great, some not so great. 5) Help in a passive way and only use positive language. Notice what is good and ask your child what could be better. 6) Keep a sense of humor handy to diffuse tension. 7) Praise your child for working hard and trying. 8) Keep a list of games that are fun for when excitement or the novelty of a new song dwindles. 9) Be specific with instructions: “Let’s play that group of notes four times slowly and then we can move on.” 10) Communicate successes with your child’s teacher. 11) Ask your teacher for more advice. The more music making at home the better!

HOOPS for Repetition

By , July 23, 2010, © Copyright by KinderGuitar This is a reprint of an article by founder/ developer Leonardo Garcia.  

Repeating musical phrases, groups of notes, entire songs is extremely valuable in developing precise skills on any instrument. I often use soccer analogies to convince students of the value of repetition: if you practice corner kicks, passes, penalty shots, etc., you become a better soccer player. The question for parents is, “whether convinced or not, how do i get my child to perform repetitions?” The answer: jump through hoops. Sit down with your child, pick a group of notes, and think of whatever you can to make repetitions fun, engaging, and challenging. Here are some ideas and games. 1) have your child play the song and identify a part that was easy and a part that was not 2) pick a few notes from the challenging part (as few as two!) and have your child play them correctly 3) ask new questions to redirect your child’s attention every few repetitions: how many notes are we playing? how many notes are on string one? which note should sound the loudest? what is your pinky doing? when do you cross strings? can you miss the note on purpose? can you play the note on purpose? can you sing what you are playing? and on and on… 4) now let your child pick a note or two before or after the group already practiced 5) repeat step 3 6) after a little while you should have a larger chunk of music that your child is working on and chances are that your child will find this process engaging. however, it is possible that your child’s attention may start to dwindle. Bring in the cavalry: 7) games (serious parental hoop jumping): a) every time you play it through well (specify no buzzes, no pauses, rhythm, etc…) i’ll draw a part of a picture and you get to what i’m drawing. you win when you guess the picture. this is a classroom favorite. b) every time you play it through i will invent funny words to sing with it. c) every time you play it through you get a tally, ten tallies equals a sticker, box of raisins (i know, but some kids go for this), an extra cookie, a quarter, extra ten minutes of playing before bed, etc… d) every time you play it through, i’ll stack these blocks. you win when they come crashing down. e) every time you play it through, i’ll stand on my head, juggle three flaming bowling pins with my toes, and sing the national anthem…. 8) when everything is going well and you’ve reached your time goal or when games no longer staves off waning focus, pack it up for the day with great praise for your child’s accomplishments and remind your child that you look forward to more playing time tomorrow or the next time. 9) it’s not over, yet. spend the next day (or better, later on the same day) reviewing the same group of notes or musical phrases before picking new material to work on. review is crucial. Hand out prizes and hugs!
KinderGuitar New Mexico is now forming classes for children ages 5-12. Beginning classes are in full swing. Reserve your time slot! Contact information is also shown in the Contact tab, or call Rodney Burr, 505.304.0528, for more information.