#1
Hey guys,
I'm a teenage dude living in Paris and I've got some pretty sweet chops stretching from classical to folk to melodeath. Recently was contacted by a woman to see if I would teach her daughters. Ones is 9 the other is 8. I agreed, because I'm poor. Her daughters apparently have a guitar already and really want to learn. I figured that I would pick up a few guitar books for little kids and ask them which one they liked most. Then I figured I would learn a little Taylor Swift and teach that to them.

My questions are these
1. How do I keep them motivated? they're little girls, how do i teach them that synthpop is more than just a guitar?
2. What artists should I get them into to get their feet on the first steps of the path to technical godliness? For me becomin a technical guitarist was pretty straightforward "I like metal, thus i will practice my ass off until I become a real life metal guitarist". So how do you motivate little girls to keep going after a few basic chords?
3. Do I turn them into metalheads like me?

Thanks a lot guys
\m/
#2
as far as teaching goes:
**** you and your stylistic agenda. teach them what they (or at their age, there parents) want them to learn, as well as stuff that will increase their competance and musicianship. if they want to learn metal, then teach them that to their best ability, if they want to learn taylor swift teach them that, but also how to apply the dryer stuff (scales, arpegios, chord voicings, reading, ear training) to that. if you have to teach them metal, maybe write out a few iron maiden melodies and use them to teach your students to read. you can't make them great musicians (people make themselves great musicians) but you can teach them what they want to learn, and through that what they need to learn.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#3
My advice is to get them to the more technical aspects go with classical - probably the parents would be happier with that and it can be easily translated to metal if the girls' interest is in that area. Have you met them or just assuming they are into Taylor Swift and such? I would say meet them, be prepared to start with teaching open chords and strumming, then move into scales, arpeggios and simple classical pieces, etc.
#4
I'd suggest sticking with the Taylor Swift and all those four chord pop songs (or an equivalent if they prefer a different genre) to keep up their interest for the first few weeks/lessons then start moving into the theory side once they feel confident in what they are playing. As for advice for keeping them motivated I'd say just keep doing songs that they like and don't push them into anything too technical too fast because at their age guitar would be a hobby, not a career. And turning them into metal heads, well that would depend on the parent, unless they're really uptight there's no harm in trying (as long as you don't scare the kids).
#6
ok thanks for the advice guys

I think I am going to spend a few weeks in books so they can strengthen their fingers to the point where they can play chords. Then I will introduce them to simple 4 chord pop. I have talked to the girls and that seems like the kind of thing they would like to do. As for the metal... the mom seems slightly crazy about keeping her kids out of "satanic pop culture" so I think we're gunna go the As I lay Dying: August Burns Red: The devil wears prada route XD.

does this sound like an ok plan to everybody?
#7
Quote by Bluesmetalguy
ok thanks for the advice guys

I think I am going to spend a few weeks in books so they can strengthen their fingers to the point where they can play chords. Then I will introduce them to simple 4 chord pop. I have talked to the girls and that seems like the kind of thing they would like to do. As for the metal... the mom seems slightly crazy about keeping her kids out of "satanic pop culture" so I think we're gunna go the As I lay Dying: August Burns Red: The devil wears prada route XD.

does this sound like an ok plan to everybody?



Satanic pop culture? Metal?

Hmph. Genre doesn't determine satanic stuff.... I bring forth an example: Satanic smooth jazz.

http://www.myspace.com/mormonangel****

^those **** are the umm... f bomb.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#9
i find the biggest difficulty in teaching friends (not even kids) is the "basic" nature of a lot of songs. They always want to play the all the parts or disappointed when the song they want to learn has a 4 chord repeater rythem part which because of their level are stuck playing and makes boring to practice on their own. You might want to go over some basics on song structure and play along with the song so they can see the impact even an easy part has on the overall sound or maybe deal with songs that only have one guitar part.

As for the Satanic parts, parents/ older folk in general hear screamo and assume satanic music, so dont know if ABR or as i lay dying would make a difference, even being toted as "Christian" bands
#10
Quote by Bluesmetalguy
she's the kind of person who takes lady gaga's song "Judas" seriously

"For Today" is a Christian metal band

But, basically, what tehREALcaptain says. Don't push them into metal until THEY ask you to. After awhile to get their chops up come up with a really simple good sounding pop style solo to go over the Taylor Swift songs (or whatever you teach them) and if they seem interested teach them it.

Just by natural progression they'll get better and if they're serious they'll find guitarists on their own time they like.
#11
I think that the idea that you need to alter your teaching regimen somehow "for girls" is kind of sexist and insulting. Girls are not some weird, alien "other" that need to have regular stuff translated into Girlese, and you don't do anything special to keep them motivated. You teach a girl the same way you teach any other young (male) student; find out what they want to learn and give them the foundation they'd need to play it. Not every girl wants to be an acoustic-strumming Taylor Swift or Michelle Branch. Some of them want to be Joan Jett or Orianthi.
#12
Quote by DiminishedFifth

But, basically, what tehREALcaptain says. Don't push them into metal until THEY ask you to.

Just by natural progression they'll get better and if they're serious they'll find guitarists on their own time they like.


This. Really.

You have to teach them what THEY want to learn. You can ask them what type of music they'd like to learn, and if they happen to mention metal for some reason, then go ahead and teach them it. If they mention something like The Jonas Brothers or Taylor Swift, teach it to them. In fact, I'd really suggest you ask them to bring you a list of songs and anything else they want to learn so that you'll have a couple of things to work on and work towards.

A student (especially when in the arts) who isn't learning things they enjoy, is an unmotivated student. They won't make any progress if they don't like what you teach them and they won't enjoy it which will mean a new teacher or quitting all together.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
#13
Quote by Bluesmetalguy
she's the kind of person who takes lady gaga's song "Judas" seriously


I know the singer lady/thing... But not listening to the radio in six years means I have no idea what that song is...
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#14
Quote by CarsonStevens
I think that the idea that you need to alter your teaching regimen somehow "for girls" is kind of sexist and insulting. Girls are not some weird, alien "other" that need to have regular stuff translated into Girlese, and you don't do anything special to keep them motivated. You teach a girl the same way you teach any other young (male) student; find out what they want to learn and give them the foundation they'd need to play it. Not every girl wants to be an acoustic-strumming Taylor Swift or Michelle Branch. Some of them want to be Joan Jett or Orianthi.


Carson,
I totally get were you're coming from and I completely respect that. But I believe that theres going to be a bit of a difference between informal teaching to longhaired teenage guys and giving proffesional lessons to little girls and thats why I need advice.

And I agree that I will start out with what THEY want to do. And thats how I thinks its gunna go for at least a year (if it lasts that long)
#15
Wait, you took on a teaching job even though you have no idea where to start?

Hmm...
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#16
As a few others have said: you really have to drop the notion of influencing students to your musical tastes, teaching them the style that you like - especially if it's something like metal.

I would say that an important aspect of being a good (instrumental) music teacher is to partly taylor things to the interests of the student. Of course, they inherently have to go over things that they aren't familiar with, but there's quite a difference between introducing someone to the mechanics necessary for them to do what they want to do and essentially trying to turn them into the kind of player that you stylistically like most. The developement of style is up to the student, and in some ways intuitive to them - you give them the tools necessary to do it.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 2, 2011,
#18
1. Ask then what they like..
2. Teach them what they like
3. Open Chords
4. Basic music theory
5. Introduce them to some bands or guitarists

so on and so on...............
#19
What you are there for now is to keep them interested and making progress even if its slow. what you needed to do is get them comfortable with the guitar. Just start out with basic melody's that they know or easy parts to a simple song that they would like. Once they are getting confidant you can start build from basic open chords and power chords to learn 3 or 4 should songs. You just need to take it slow to not overwhelm and have patience with them.

I taught guitar to a family friends kid, he was 10. He was more into being a rock star so he wasn't too hard to keep him interested. But i started him off with some basic riffs and melody's which gave him a better feel for the guitar along with confidence. Then we moved into the chords and songs and he showed good progress. Mainly just take baby steps with them and keep them interested.
#20
This maybe hard to believe TS, but some people don't learn guitar to play metal. Instead, teach them the music they want to learn, and most importantly, enjoy listening to.

Otherwise I don't see what difference teaching guitar to these students would be than others. I'd personally be more concerned about their age and keeping them focused than whether they like an incredibly popular pop star or not.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
Quote by fudger
What you are there for now is to keep them interested and making progress even if its slow. what you needed to do is get them comfortable with the guitar. Just start out with basic melody's that they know or easy parts to a simple song that they would like. Once they are getting confidant you can start build from basic open chords and power chords to learn 3 or 4 should songs. You just need to take it slow to not overwhelm and have patience with them.

I taught guitar to a family friends kid, he was 10. He was more into being a rock star so he wasn't too hard to keep him interested. But i started him off with some basic riffs and melody's which gave him a better feel for the guitar along with confidence. Then we moved into the chords and songs and he showed good progress. Mainly just take baby steps with them and keep them interested.

this advice looks good

i think that I'm gunna start them with diminished chords because im fairly sure there hands aren't big/strong/flexible enough yet for power chords and full chords. I do have a book I plan on teaching them with though.
#23
Quote by Bluesmetalguy
this advice looks good

i think that I'm gunna start them with diminished chords because im fairly sure there hands aren't big/strong/flexible enough yet for power chords and full chords. I do have a book I plan on teaching them with though.


Lol. You haven't taught anyone before have you? If you're looking for easy chords, try things like "easy G" (fret the high e string on the 3rd fret, just play the top 4 strings). Diminished chords don't sound very nice to the untrained ear.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#24
Quote by AlanHB
Lol. You haven't taught anyone before have you? If you're looking for easy chords, try things like "easy G" (fret the high e string on the 3rd fret, just play the top 4 strings). Diminished chords don't sound very nice to the untrained ear.

This

If you're gonna start by teaching them chords, do the open chords first, and maybe introduce them to F if you feel like teasing them a bit. I had the open chords down in a month, so their fingers can DEFINITELY handle it.

And yes, they totally could do power chords. Just maybe not full root, fifth, octave chords.
#25
^ +1

Don't start with diminished chords. Their function in music isn't good for beginner songs and the dissonance may sound ugly to them. start with basic melodies or riffs. I.E. the melody to parsley sage rosemary and thyme, the batman theme song(also good for putting some 12 bar is the lessons later on), ode to joy, star spangled banner, Greensleeves, snake charmer melody, etc. Just keep them interested and slowly build on their confidence and skill.