Classroom Guitar Diary – Guitar Sub Plan

Keep Your Students Learning in Your Absence

By GuitarEduNet Editors, Teaching Guitar Workshops

Article Originally Posted On Teaching Guitar Workshops


The big question… What do I do with a sub? You could pop in a movie… But, I know that when kids come to my room, they expect to play instruments. Also, there are a ton of resources out there that can instruct anyone to do anything. So, here are some options for you…

Our district has purchased eMedia Guitar Method. This program has quite a bit of instruction and videos that can be helpful to students…there are even activated necks that go with the songs if you wish.

If you have iPads you might be interested in an app called FourChords. This program is sweet! Students choose a song, and learn to play the chords. They can video themselves playing the song along with the music and mail it to you! You can even change the key. This could be an activity students could partner up and do together with a substitute. You could choose the music for them.

Here is what I left for my substitute:
5th Grade – In other classes I would be there to help instruct students. They should know enough to follow the directions on the videos below. They should only play when instructed by the video… This is an issue with students sometimes – they like to “noodle”. Other classes are learning the Easy G and D chords. So… Next week, they will need these chords for the music.

Also, you’ll need the “Guitar Unit” Smartboard lesson open. You’ll find it in the common drive. All of the music they will be playing along with is attached to the slides. The G chord slide starts on slide 47. But show the videos below.

The video will go through a lot of stuff they already know… But, they will get the G chord and D chords and that is the main objective for this week.

The G chord or “Easy G” Video


(I choose this because the man uses the finger I want them to play the G chord with. Other videos used different fingers.)

This is easy. You may still have to play it a few times. In their case they may find the “G” chord in the book on pg. 22. Open the Smartboard Guitar Lesson found in the common drive, at… And play “ABC” with the kids. (slide 47) There is a video link of the Jackson 5 singing this when Michael Jackson was 11; about their age. They’ll need to switch between G and C. You may have to do this a few times.



Next, move on to the D chord Video…


Then play the song on the “D” Chord page. (Slide 48) The “D” chord is not activated on my slide. If you touch where fingers 1 and 2 are they will appear.

Back on the Smartboard pages… Have students turn to “This Land Is Your Land” and “You Are My Sunshine”, pgs. 24 and 25. Have students play through each a few times. (slide 51.

Repeat any song that you have time for. Slides 43, 44, and 45 are fun to play. (those are my review songs from the start.)

Pack up about 5 minutes before class.

Tell them that I want the guitars to be put back neatly otherwise, I’ll take points from their class when I get back tomorrow.J

My substitute left a little note saying they didn’t have time to play through the “fun” slides at the bottom. I think she was playing along with the students! Since I know she is not a musician – I am pleased that she was able to get through this much. Excellent! Sharing the music!


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