Reply To: Some questions for guitar teachers
Hi John, Although I’m no longer teaching high school I’d like to throw in my “2 cents”
1. Spring trip was always a highlight. Taking your guitar ensemble on an overnight trip has a myriad of challenges but it is such a bonding experience for your students. My advanced class was the only class I took. The beginning and intermediate students would see the pictures in the guitar room from previous trips and it was a motivating factor to get in the advanced class. Other highlights were the “coffee house” performances (“acoustic only” evenings) and the annual spring “battle of the bands”. Also anytime the students were performing outside of the everyday school environment were highlights that the students remember.
2. I think it is imperative that we direct our students to be:
a.) literate musicians (that can read)
b.) able to read a chord chart and improvise
c.) able to go online, read and use tablature and understand it’s limitations
d.) able to play finger-style and pick-style and play appropriate literature using both styles.
3. As in many circumstances there were a few parents who always seemed to do “all” the work but I know it was something that they enjoyed doing. The trick is identifying those parents. I always invited my administrators to accompany the guitar ensemble on our “field trip” performances.
4. The guitar ensemble played in numerous venues. Playing the “Star Spangled Banner” before our local school board meeting to playing at the White House. Being in the DC metro area gave me lots of opportunities to find “gigs” for the guitar ensemble.