"Flipped" Guitar Classroom?

Frontpage Forums Guitar "Flipped" Guitar Classroom?

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #29198

    Hi everyone, my school site is doing a lot of “flipped” classroom work this year, where teachers pre-record videos of them teaching a concept that students view as homework or on their own time, and then class time can be devoted to application of skills with teacher support – works great for differentiation. My school did some major schedule revamping this year, which unfortunately meant that my popular guitar classes, which used to be offered at three levels (Beg – Int – Adv) are now a complete mixture of skills and experience levels…..I have one group of students with 6 brand-new-never-held-a-guitar-before beginners, 6 advanced students working on finger picking and barre chords, and everything in between. I’ve been REALLY struggling to keep everyone working, engaged, and progressing when there really is very little we can do as a large group, and I thought experimenting with the flipped model might work here. It will mean a lot more preparation on my end, but if I set things up online, students can all be progressing at their own pace and moving through units by watching videos of me/others teaching, then doing exercises at their own pace with peer/teacher support, then preparing pieces to perform/for me to assess. I would incorporate large group pieces/performances occasionally, but this flipped curriculum would be the bulk of our day-to-day.

    Has anyone tried anything like this with a music class, or has anyone heard of others doing anything similar? Anyone familiar with any successful “online” guitar courses that are engaging and are based on music education standards that I might research or reference as I work to develop this new curriculum?

    Or does anyone have any other suggestions for successfully teaching a large, mixed level group of guitar players? I’ve been trying to teach small groups while other students practice and prepare pieces on their own/small groups, but the sheer volume in the room makes it very difficult, and it means I’m not very available to help or coach during class time which I don’t like. Any advice would be appreciated!


    I have been using iTunes university for all of my guitar classes this year and have been using a quasi “flipped” approach. For playing test I have students turn them in using SmartMusic and/or recording videos of themselves paying and up loading them to a shared google drive folder. With this approach I can assign different playing test to each student and/or modify current material to make it more challenging for advanced players. (“Play the notes and the chords at the same time” “make sure melody is rest stroke while your accompaniment is free stroke”)

    Feel free to send me an e mail of you want talk further ckuzmanoff@loy.org


    The mixed level guitar class is the biggest challenge that we face in teaching a school guitar class. So often I hear about teachers who are attempting to teach three guitar classes in one and find themselves running out of options and time. There is a lot you can do with your group without carving the class up into groups that you can’t give adequate attention to. Here are a few things to remember:

    1. Though you may have some genuinely advanced students, my guess is that few of them have the kind of large ensemble experience that a big group can afford. It may require you to look around for literature or to write your own, but I would have at least three large ensemble pieces that will have some challenging parts for the more experienced, easier parts for the newbies, and plenty of solid musical concepts to impart to the group as a whole. Guitarcurriculum.com has lots of material of this kind.
    2. A regimen of scales and exercises done on a daily basis will bring the whole class together in a common activity. No one is so advanced or so inexperienced as not to benefit from a solid warm-up on fundamental things. A good warm up might include the chromatic scale, open position major or minor scales, box scales, blues scales, extension exercises, right hand exercises, (PIMAMI, travis pick, rasqueado, different strum patterns etc.) The thing about the warm-up is that it gives each student a chance to assess their ability individually, and it also gives the class a chance to play together and establish the most basic aspects of ensemble playing. I have found that a consistently applied warm up has been the most beneficial thing I have done with a class of different skill levels. It is also a very good thing to have when looking for things to assess with a big class.

    I have a lot of thoughts about the multi-level guitar class, but the one that keeps coming to me is that we have to get our administrators to recognize the need to skill divide the guitar classes. Providing on line resources can be a very positive thing for the kids, and it can help to jump start things, but there is no substitute for a classroom experience where a student interacts with the teacher in real time.

    I have lots of ideas and strategies to help you with this…I would love to talk to you more. Let me know if you would be interested!

    Best of luck!

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The forum ‘Guitar’ is closed to new topics and replies.