Last year around Christmas time, I posted a blog entry about purchasing a tuner for your child's guitar or ukulele. I encourage you to consider purchasing one, as it will be one of the most useful and vital pieces of equipment that your young musician will invest in.
I prefer a clip-on tuner such as the Snark (pictured below; click for link to purchase) with a large digital display. I have demonstrated in class how I tune the instruments, and will be tuning your child's guitar for the first several weeks of class. However, independent tuning is a skill that needs to be honed throughout the year through much practice.
I will be making a tutorial video about tuning the guitar and ukulele so that both you and your child can do it successfully. If you have any questions, please let me know!
Hello, fantastic music students!
MIDI for Kids classes are starting up around the corner, and now is the time to register and get your instrument (if you haven't done so already).
You can register for classes at www.midiforkids.com. Just click on the little red schoolhouse in the upper left corner. If you need help, please let me know.
Also, if you don't currently have an instrument (guitar or ukulele), please try to have one before our first classes. My best advice is to go into a reputable music store such as Danny Ray's Music, Kenz Guitars, or Guitar Center, and speak with one of the salesmen there. There are lots of options for instruments at a number of price points, so you will need to decide what you are comfortable spending. Just remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is (in other words, stay away from places like Wal-Mart and Target, and other big box stores that are not actual music stores; they sell sub-standard instruments and do not support repairs, etc.)
If you have any questions, please let me know!
I hope you all have a wonderful break! When you can, please try to make use of some of your time for practicing :-) It would be a shame to come back all rusty.
Speaking of rust, now would be a good time to consider getting some new strings for your guitar. Over time, normal wear and tear will cause your metal strings to oxidize as well as lose their stretch and tone. There are a number of brands and styles of strings available, and my best suggestion is to take your guitar into a music store and ask their advice. Most stores will even put them on for you for a fee (I think Guitar Center re-strings for about $11.00). For kids, I prefer "light" or "extra-light" strings (I just put some extra-lights on my wife's guitar and she loves them).
Additionally, now might be a good time to consider investing in a good tuner for your child's guitar. There are many available at a wide variety of price points. I just got this one, the Snark Tuner, very inexpensively from Amazon. Your child will be learning to tune by ear during the second semester, but a digital tuner is a fantastic investment.
Please continue to practice your Christmas carols (if you lost yours, check out the post below). Also, continue working in your books; try to get ahead. If you need more materials or more ideas, feel free to email me or comment below.
Thanks a bunch! Have a Happy Christmas and a great break!
In class we have been working on some Christmas Carols. This week we will be finishing up with these, but you can still practice at home over break! Click "read more" for some songs to practice :-)
Be sure to check back for more pieces to practice :-)
One of the great things about playing the guitar is that, since it is such a popular instrument, there are thousands upon thousands of books, papers, manuals, and websites devoted to helping you learn how to play. Regardless of what kind of music you are into, there are nearly unlimited resources available to take you where you want to go; the only determining factor is you and the time you would like to invest.
As the year progresses, I will let you know about more and more resources, websites, and downloads, to make your practicing fun and worthwhile.
ChordBook: This site includes instructions for tuning, playing chords, and playing scales, all in a compact, interactive format that is easy to follow. Select a chord, and the site plays it for you. Select a scale, and you get to see and hear all of the notes. Go to the tuning page, and you get great pitch references for all of the strings. We will be referring to this site a lot in class.
Guitar parents and students,
What a great first week! Beginners learned a bit about the parts of the guitar, the numbering of the strings, how to hold it, the frets, plucking, and strumming. Progress will end up being pretty quick.
Returning students reviewed songs from last year, and should be working on a few of our latter ones, specifically Fujita Rock, Walk and Rest, and Arpeggio Valley.
Parents, you should have received an email from me with a PDF copy of our class book as well as audio recordings. For the time being, please use these as your child's at-home practice resource.
Because our beginner class is quite full, I am going to encourage students to keep bringing their own guitar to class when possible. That way, we won't run out :-)
Thanks, folks! As always, please feel free to contact me at any time, either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-704-1924.