1. Is there a classroom management issue that is particular to the guitar classroom for you? How have you dealt with that issue? (or issues)
I find that guitar students want to “noodle” more than my orchestra students and they don’t see the value in reading notes and openly express that feeling. To combat the noodling I institute a “rest position” with the strings facing the floor at the beginning of the school year and as the school year goes on allow student to hold the guitar any way they like during instruction.
In regards to not wanting to read notes I remind them that the goal of the class is not to make them guitarist but to make them competent literate musicians. Some students only want to play songs they know written on lead sheet with chords and/or TABS, or want me to “show them” how it goes rather than reading it. So I compare our guitar class to their english class. In english do you only read comic books about characters you like? Does your teacher read the novel you’re working on to you? That usually puts things into perspective for them.
2. Are guitar students different from other music students that you have taught in regards to classroom management? How?
The beginning guitar curriculum is designed to be a “all comers” class that requires no previous experience. Because of this I get a very wide range of students in the class, freshmen through seniors, honors to IEP, and some playing experience to never touched a guitar before. Students tend to be more egger to learn about new things, take risks, and want to have a good time.