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HOW DO WE PROCEED?
If a student has previous knowledge of the guitar, I firstly gauge their ability by taking them through a few basic exercises that allow me to assess both their technique, as well as their practical development. Once this is done, I go through the same process I do with my beginners, and develop their talent through an integrated curriculum that focuses on technical, theoretical, aural and practical development simultaneously, regardless of the syllabus they pursue. By enforcing this multi-faceted focus, I ensure that a student can feel comfortable when they approach a new piece of music, knowing they have the technical groundwork to fall back on. Additionally, I aim to foster a sense of creativity and fulfilment for my students as they progress through their learning. By learning to understand music technically and theoretically, my students can articulate themselves creatively. With experience performing in band and ensemble situations, I also aim to cultivate a student’s abilities such that they can write and perform in group situations without trepidation.
ABOUT THE GUITAR LESSONS
Learning how to play the guitar should be equal parts enjoyable, and rigorous. With this in mind, I structure my lessons to incorporate music theory as the basis upon which students can learn to read and play music. Thereafter, we move onto technical development through a series of cumulative short exercises (scales, broken chords, arpeggios, sight-reading and technical studies) which teaches the student how to correctly place their left hand along the fretboard, as well as their right hand over the strings. Alongside these technical exercises, I also test the student’s ear by getting them to identify aurally what they are practically doing. Once this is done, we move onto the most fundamental portion of our practice – playing pieces. I like to approach learning pieces in an enjoyable way, as such I teach songs that the students enjoy, alongside pieces prescribed by the syllabus. By breaking down pieces into smaller sections, students are eased into playing by being taught how to play smaller excerpts which gradually form complete songs. Throughout this learning process the student and I discuss technical approaches to certain sections, and stylistic features of certain artists or genres, whilst consistently ensuring the student is comfortable with their instrument. Through technical understanding and diligent practice, I aim to foster my student’s innate ability to be creative with their instrument.