teach him the basics and treat him like any other student

give him something similair to this

you start wi the major scale

you make it by counting tones W= whole tone H= half tone

a whole tone is 2 frets

a half tone is 1 fret

the formula to make the major scale is :

WWHWWWH

we will use C maj for simplicity. the bold is the scale

C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B C
WWHWWWH

or
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C
WWHWWWH

so the Cmaj scale is CDEFGABC

this is what is know as a diatonic scale. meaning there is 7 notes and each note must be a different letter. there are only 7 different letters but 19 notes in the cromatic scale

intervals

intervals represent a note. and define what is hapening to a note within a scale.

the intervals for the major scale are

CDEFGABC
1234567

when speaking in proper terms we would call these the following

C-1-perfect prime
D-2-major second
E-3-major third
F-4-perfect fourth
G-5-perfect fifth
A-6-major sixth
B-7-major seventh
C-8-perfect octave

and octave is the same note played 1 pitch(i think that is the right word) higher

sometime we augement (sharpen, #) or diminish (flatten, b or bb) various notes to make chords or fit the scale to a chord

C = perfect prime or diminshed second
C#/Db =augmented prime or minor second
D = major second or diminished third
D#/Eb = augmented second or minor third
E/Fb = major third or diminished fourth
E#/F = augmented third or perfect fourth
F#/Gb = augmented fourth or diminished fifth
G= perfect fifth or diminished sixth
G#/Ab = augmented fifth or minor sixth
A = major sixth or diminished seventh
A#/Bb = augmented sixth or minor seventh
B/Cb = major seventh or diminished octave
C = perfect octave or diminished ninth

these intervals continue over and over technically

you will notice the perfect intervals 1 4 5 8 are only flattened(b) once to become diminished where as the major intervals 2 3 6 7 are flattened(bb) twice to become diminished

there is a general rule that you do not double augment an interval. it is ok for a note such as F# to becaome aumented or sharpend to F## but we do not want it to be F###

general chords for a mojor progression are

Major(M) always capital when writing
minor(m) always lower case when writing
diminished(dim0) always lower and supposed to be followed by a degrese symbol but my comp can' do that

now for chords

this is how you form the simple triad chords we will be using staying wiht the key of C

Major intervals 1 3 5
minor intervals 1 b3 5
diminished 1 b3 b5

you must remember that when making a chord in the key of Cmajor only a C chord will use the C major scale. if you wanted Dmin for example you would need to forn the chord with the intervals listed above from the Dmaj scale, b3 giving it the minor tonality

to stay in key with Cmaj we must use the same notes as Cmaj in all our chords(for now cause we are just learning)

there is also a formula to stay in key in a major progression it is

Major minor minor Major Major minor diminished

so to stay in key we would use the chords

CMaj Dmin Emin Fmaj GMaj Amin Bdim0

so using these chords resolving back to Cmaj you would use the Cmaj scale
song stuck in my head today

Start with the stave, treble clef. Explain how the pitches differ and what they're called. Give them rhymes to remember the notes;

Every Good Boy Deserves Football (treble clef lines), F A C E (treble clef spaces)
Good Boys Deserve Football Always (bass clef lines), All Cows Eat Grass (bass clef spaces)

After they learn all of this, start into the basics of scales. Use C major for examples (no accidentals), once they build up a good knowledge of the sound of the major and minor scales, introduce the triads, and work from there, explaining the primary chords and harmony.

I hope this helps, just start REALLY slowly, don't even think about mentioning keys, key signatures, time signatures, whatever. That will come with time, hopefully it will be imparted to them naturally just by playing their instrument.

Take it easy.

According to Piaget's stages of development, it's a waste of time because they can't understand abstract concepts yet.

They could learn notes and the staff and whatnot since that's more of the "language" part of music, but I think they'd have a lot of trouble with learning intervals and real concepts.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.

Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
According to Piaget's stages of development, it's a waste of time because they can't understand abstract concepts yet.

They could learn notes and the staff and whatnot since that's more of the "language" part of music, but I think they'd have a lot of trouble with learning intervals and real concepts.

Hence my relaxed approach, just teach them the language of music; allowing them to apply it to the more "abstract" concepts later in life. For this reason, I disagree with the second poster in this thread (although that is all sound music theory), that level of detail will probably make the child infertile, disabled and more than likely hate music.

Quote by Firstnamesmusic

I wouldn't.

and that is a serious answer.
shred is gaudy music
I wouldn't bother trying, you'd have to force it down his throat relentlessly if you wanted anything to stick. And that would not be nice. If you want to get an 8 year old into music, focus on the fun aspects, let him listen to a lot of music and give him an instrument to mess with in his own time. If he takes an interest or has an aptitude you will realise, and then you can start with some gentle tuition and ear training. But for goodness sake don't try to force the poor boy (or girl) into becoming a prodigy.
Quote by Dante53
that level of detail will probably make the child infertile, disabled and more than likely hate music.

Haha. XD
Gear:

Ibanez SR700
Ibanez GSR200
Yamaha RGX 121Z

Peavey Tour series 450 Head + Peavey 410 TVX Cab

Line 6: Guitarport
i teach 8 year's music theory on weekly basis .
i use the lcm preliminary theory book from , www.booksforguitar.com as a basis for my teaching.

areas to teach ,
scales and keys ,
A and E Natural minor .

Chords : C,G,Am,Em
notes in the chords , how they relate to each scale .

rhythm :
Crochets and minims are a good place to start ( 1/4 notes and 1/2 notes )
Quote by GuitarMunky
I wouldn't.

and that is a serious answer.

Agreed.

Can he/she play an instrument? If so, I would just try to improve their playing. If not, teach that mother piano! hahah

If the child doesn't even have a fairly decent grasp on math (which I doubt it does), it's probably not going to be able to fully understand theory.
Are You a PROG-HEAD? I am.

Quote by z4twenny
if i wanna fart into a mic, run it thru delay and an auto tuner set to the key of E and set it to a drum beat i can and its music.
Quote by Firstnamesmusic
if you were to explain basic music theory to an eight year old, how would you do it?
Isn't that what we are doing the whole the time on this site? Seems like it anyway. The main difference I see is eight-year-olds make less spelling mistakes.

Kids that age actually learn much faster. You just have to find a way to capture their attention long enough. I'd work with more examples, and probably have the piano near-by the whole time. And repeatedly check if they're still with you. Let them fill in the blanks once in a while.

The only problem I see really is keeping them motivated. At that age they usually are forced to learn, and that's not a good basis for theory.

If the kid isn't asking right now, I'd save it for when they're either a) interested, or b) old enough to absorb information even when they're not interested, if you still feel a need to explain it.

Nothing kills ones thirst for learning faster than being drowned in it unasked for.
I have to disagree with everybody who's saying not to do it. I started playing music at a very young age (violin at 4), but I was taught only technique and not theory. So I never really understood what was going on, which greatly limited both my progress and my interest.

I knew songs in the key of G had an F#, but I couldn't have told you why. I understood it like I knew that Boston was the capital of Massachusetts, not the way I understood why 3 x 2 = 6.

So the whole thing just basically pissed me off. 20 years later I picked up the guitar again (I had played a bit in high school) and started teaching myself music theory. A few simple concepts is all it took to blow the lid off the whole thing and make it make sense.

Music theory, at least as far as the basics are concerned, gives a structure to it all and a language to speak in. And it's really not very complicated at all. It boils down to very simple math - no more complicated than anything the 8 year old is doing in school.

Teach them the simple relationships between scales and chords, diatonic keys, and so on. Doing anything else is like trying to get a kid to memorize multiplication tables by rote without teaching them basic addition and subtraction first.
Quote by xtapol
I have to disagree with everybody who's saying not to do it. I started playing music at a very young age (violin at 4), but I was taught only technique and not theory. So I never really understood what was going on, which greatly limited both my progress and my interest.

I knew songs in the key of G had an F#, but I couldn't have told you why. I understood it like I knew that Boston was the capital of Massachusetts, not the way I understood why 3 x 2 = 6.

So the whole thing just basically pissed me off. 20 years later I picked up the guitar again (I had played a bit in high school) and started teaching myself music theory. A few simple concepts is all it took to blow the lid off the whole thing and make it make sense.

Music theory, at least as far as the basics are concerned, gives a structure to it all and a language to speak in. And it's really not very complicated at all. It boils down to very simple math - no more complicated than anything the 8 year old is doing in school.

Teach them the simple relationships between scales and chords, diatonic keys, and so on. Doing anything else is like trying to get a kid to memorize multiplication tables by rote without teaching them basic addition and subtraction first.

There is a reason your teacher only taught you technique at that young age. You shouldn't be upset at your teacher for having the experience to know you weren't ready for theory at 4 years old.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 6, 2009,
Quote by GuitarMunky
An 8 year old simply isn't ready for theoretical concepts in most cases.

There is a reason your teacher only taught you technique at that young age.

8 year olds can handle simple abstract math problems - they do it in school all the time. That's all this is.

Give them a clear connection to a real world concept and they can handle it fine.
Quote by GuitarMunky
There is a reason your teacher only taught you technique at that young age. You shouldn't be upset at your teacher for having the experience to know you weren't ready for theory at 4 years old.

No, certainly not at 4. But at 6 or 8? I definitely would have benefited from some of it.
Quote by xtapol
No, certainly not at 4. But at 6 or 8? I definitely would have benefited from some of it.

Id say in MOST cases..... 6 or 8 is far too young.

Personally, as a teacher, I wait until a student...

1) has some experience playing music (they should have a repertoire)

2) can proficiently read music (standard notation)

3) shows an interest and the ability to comprehend

I can see how you think starting them off that young on theory would be good. I mean it sounds good right... the earlier the better. If you had some experience teaching though, I'm sure you would realize that it's rarely, if ever appropriate to teach music theory to an 8 year old.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 6, 2009,
I would wait until at least age 11 or 12.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.

Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
Quote by Firstnamesmusic

In my series I have taught music theory to kids as young as 6. Its a stepwise approach. But what I do, is begin with common ground. The Alphabet.

Kids know the alphabet.

Now without giving up the things that I do, because they are a part of my online lesson program as discussed here:

I then have them learn all the natural notes on the neck, and then proceed to enharmonics. The WAY the information is presented, determines if they get it or not, and that's what separates a good teacher from a non teacher. Think from the point of building on what they already know, and look at it from that angle and youll come a lot further, then trying to get them to understand things at YOUR level.

Hope this helps.

Sean
Having a 6 1/2 year old that plays guitar on and off, I'd say that it's probably a little too young...though there is quite a big difference in development between 6 1/2 and 8, so maybe just a little would be ok, as long as it is tied into something he already knows how to do on the guitar as a way of explaining how it works.

For my son, we went the no pressure route, and just let him pick it up whenever he felt like it and let him discover it on his own. We've played the "guess the note" game, but that's been about it for theory. For parents there is a tendency to want to live through your kids. Imagining how bad ass you would be if you had gotten your first guitar at 2 and stuck at it, then realizing "my son could do that!". The problem is it usually ends badly, with the parent placing a lot of pressure on their kids.
Quote by se012101
Having a 6 1/2 year old that plays guitar on and off, I'd say that it's probably a little too young...though there is quite a big difference in development between 6 1/2 and 8, so maybe just a little would be ok, as long as it is tied into something he already knows how to do on the guitar as a way of explaining how it works.

For my son, we went the no pressure route, and just let him pick it up whenever he felt like it and let him discover it on his own. We've played the "guess the note" game, but that's been about it for theory. For parents there is a tendency to want to live through your kids. Imagining how bad ass you would be if you had gotten your first guitar at 2 and stuck at it, then realizing "my son could do that!". The problem is it usually ends badly, with the parent placing a lot of pressure on their kids.

Very good points.

But to be honest these assumptions that are made, are really ones Ive found not to be true at all. I could teach a 5 year old theory - truthfully. I believe that if the kid does the homework, I can teach any kid 5 and up all the notes on the neck AND do it in 6 weeks, regardless of their background. Which is how my online course starts off.

The secret is how you present the material. Thats the secret. Understanding how the brain collects and makes use of the data is a huge step, and most people simply teach the way they learned and so they assume you need to be a certain age to get it.

Ive done it countless times through my method which is unique to me, and is now being released online.
2 of these notes are not like the other, 2 of these notes dont have sharps!
Quote by ehlert99
2 of these notes are not like the other, 2 of these notes dont have sharps!

Exactly - its all in how you present the material, whats made complex is we tend to complicate it, because for the vast majority of people that have tried to self study this, it IS complicated.

And it need not be that way
Quote by Sean0913
Exactly - its all in how you present the material, whats made complex is we tend to complicate it, because for the vast majority of people that have tried to self study this, it IS complicated.

And it need not be that way

I believe it's also a matter of appropriateness. A student with the proper background and a desire to learn theory will have much more success than a student that doesnt.......regardless of the teachers approach.

I find that students who..

1) have a repertoire

3) have developed an interest in music theory

Have a much higher success rate than those that don't. Most 8 years kids simply aren't there yet.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 7, 2009,
Quote by GuitarMunky
I believe it's also a matter of appropriateness. A student with the proper background and a desire to learn theory will have much more success than a student that doesnt.......regardless of the teachers approach.

I find that students who..

1) have a repertoire

3) have developed an interest in music theory

Have a much higher success rate than those that don't. Most 8 years kids simply aren't there yet.

Isnt that the case for anyone playing guitar in the first place? For example those who have a desire to learn guitar tend to do better than those that dont.

Well, its the teachers job to make theory musically relevant for someone regardless of age. This way the student can see the benefit. That question I think, becomes centered around... is the topic a dry and boring one, or is it made exciting, fresh and relevant?

I can only speak from my method and my experience teaching people from age 5 to 80. I cannot speapk for anyone else. I think sightreading and notation and all the things you list above are viable indicators of being ready to learn, as well.
Quote by Sean0913
Isnt that the case for anyone playing guitar in the first place? For example those who have a desire to learn guitar tend to do better than those that dont.

Yes, ofcourse it is. It's the case for pretty much anything in life. The fact that it's painfully obvious doesn't make it any less relevant.

Quote by Sean0913

Well, its the teachers job to make theory musically relevant for someone regardless of age.

It's also the teachers job to know what's appropriate for each student. You said you agreed to my indicators or when someone is ready to learn theory. How many 5 year olds do you know that are in that position? or even 8 year olds?
How relevant is music theory to person that can't play a song yet?
shred is gaudy music
Quote by GuitarMunky
Yes, ofcourse it is. It's the case for pretty much anything in life. The fact that it's painfully obvious doesn't make it any less relevant.

It's also the teachers job to know what's appropriate for each student. You said you agreed to my indicators or when someone is ready to learn theory. How many 5 year olds do you know that are in that position? or even 8 year olds?
How relevant is music theory to person that can't play a song yet?

Through my lesson system, which I developed, I would estimate I have taught 300+ people in person. My best guess is that 15 of them were between the ages 5 and 8.

My students can play songs also. But, your point is well taken. Here's a general overview of the steps to music theory -

1. Alphabet, musical
2. Notes on the neck - all of them.
3. Writing out any major scale.
4. Teaching them to work out the chords in any Key