Listening component in guitar class
January 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm #34701
I like to have students listen to different styles whether I’m teaching choir, band or guitar. Trouble is, I’m not that familiar with how to approach it in guitar. I like it to be active listening, whereby the kids are listening with an objective in mind. What are some pieces (all styles appreciated) I should begin using, and where can I learn more about the style the kids are hearing?January 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm #34709
I’ll play the original versions of a song we’re working on, so they can hear how the guitar fits in. This works for any genre. For example, we usually do Surfin’ USA pretty early on, and I play the Beach Boys version after we’ve learned to play it for a bit. With certain songs they can listen for the strumming pattern (which they may or may not be able to replicate).
I also love playing the “Axis of Awesome 4 chords” video from youtube (be careful, a bad word near the end) for them once we’ve learned a number of progressions. They can play the progression used for the songs easily in first year once they can play G – C – D – Em. Google “pop-punk progression” and you get a list of the billion pop songs that use the progression. The kids love it because they are songs they recognize, and I find it motivates them to practice more.January 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm #34738
To your first question
I’m not that familiar with how to approach it in guitar. I like it to be active listening, whereby the kids are listening with an objective in mind.
I have music playing for the kids as they are entering the room and they have a section in their guitar note book to fill in for each example. Guitarist/Group- Song-Any additional info (I have them fill in the genre) and a “rating”. They rate the song on a scale of 1-10 “1” being I never want to hear that again and “10” being that is going in my on the go playlist. For other “active” listening activities I will have students compare and contrast different artist’s versions of the same song. For example compare “rocket man” by Elton John to “rocket man” as preformed by William Shatner. Make sure that they are using vin diagrams and/or any other writing devices the english department are implementing and it makes for great cross curricular learning.
What are some pieces (all styles appreciated) I should begin using, and where can I learn more about the style the kids are hearing?
I have a long list of guitarists of all styles that I like to play for the kids. I can find all of them on spotify so I don’t have to buy a whole bunch of tracks. Shoot me an email and I will send it to you. Ckuzmanoff@loy.org
As far as the kids have them bring in listing examples for the rest of the class to hear. My rules are, it must be school appropriate, no cursing, nothing overly violent, and nothing sexually explicit.February 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm #34742
Playing music as your students come in to class is a great way to expose them to different guitar styles. Instrumental artists that come to mind include; classical/nylon string finger-style: The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Martha Masters, Andre York; steel string finger-style: Alex Degrassi, Laurence Juber; 12-string: Leo Kottke; pick-style steel string: Dan Crary; resonator guitar: Mike Auldridge; steel guitar: Doug Jernigan; electric guitar: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai; Jazz guitar: Joe Pass, Frank Vignola, Vinnie Valentino; slide guitar: Ry Cooder; a favorite of mine that combines nylon and steel: Strunz and Farah. These are examples that I think your students will appreciate.
I taught in a suburb where we had numerous nationalities represented in our school. Students would bring in some of their favorite music from their home countries. I would get the foreign language department to help me check the lyrics. Sometimes I had to find a restaurant to help (Turkish, Korean). I would figure out the chords and away we would go playing it in class. The best were the Spanish tunes we played in class were used in the Spanish classes for vocabulary lessons. They would print the lyrics and remove various words that the students would have to fill in.
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