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Do you have your students play the 1st day in class?
I didn’t used to, but I saw a prompt on the NafMe website asking that question, and I thought ‘Why not?’ By the time the kids got to me (Guitar is their last class), they’d had it with hearing about class rules and homework requirements, and were relieved to get to actually do something. Did some very rudimentary things, but I felt good about it, and I think they were excited to come back the next day.
I always have the kids play on the first day of class. I provides a nice change of pace for them and sets a good tone for the year.
I always do rules and procedures for the first 20-25 minutes, but use the instruments as a carrot – “If we can get through all of the important details quickly, the more time we will have on the instruments!” Usually works like a charm : )
I do like to make sure I get the guitar in their hands on the first day though – they are excited about having it, and I like to be able to harness that energy on the first day. If I need to, I’ll save some of the procedural stuff for the second class to be sure this happens.
I didn’t before so that I could go through the syllabus and then usually a day or two of basic theory to get started. I changed that a couple of years ago and I teach them a basic warm up exercise that I want them to use daily and it at least gets their fingers on the guitar that first day.
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