In the classroom, I start with setting the students up properly. We spend about 5 minutes talking about proper sitting position and explaining the advantages of sitting and holding the guitar properly. I teach them to sit and hold the guitar in classical position, but immediately demonstrate how I might hold a steel string guitar or stand with an electric guitar. With each, I explain the rationale for good technique and how I’ve adapted my classical technique to suit the position I hold the steel string and electric guitar in. Don’t worry, kids, playing with good posture and hand position can still look cool PLUS you can play faster, better, and longer!
Then, we play some basic finger exercises to get the LH and RH moving together. I like to start out with some ear training right away. After going through some basic exercises, then we’ll do a “Copy me” session. I play four beats, they copy. And we go back and forth, back and forth, for about 5 minutes. Not only do we get to practice good technique (and I’m always calling out corrections in technique to individuals), but we get them listening on the very first day. And, it’s a great classroom management tool. The kids are focused and playing for 5 minutes uninterrupted on the first day!