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Making Theory Fun?

Beginners
harleyofdoom  
5 Feb 2011 15:25 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Karma: 10
I have been playing for years and I've never had the need to learn sheet music however I recently took on my first student.
This has given me the incentive to finally fill in all the blanks of my theory knowledge from the ground up.

The student is my cousin; he's about 8 years old and really wants to learn to play (which makes my job much easier) but his mother wants him to learn sheet music...
I have explained to her that I think he first needs to have a feel for the instrument in order to have a frame of reference.
I don't want to suck all the fun out of it for him by giving him lots of overly complicated musical terms to try and understand and memorize straight off the bat.

I have a good idea how to proceed with teaching the practical aspects but how do I make music theory fun for an 8 year old?

Any help would be much appreciated
RA  
5 Feb 2011 16:19 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
I would never start with learning sheet music on the guitar. That would be pointless in my opinion, but there is some argument with people on that. However, that is not an excuse to not teach music theory. The was a thread on Jazz guitar forum a while back (while back to me could be months or years no one knows; my mind don't get time)

but each persons is different and needs to be taught in a different way. You (As a teacher) need to come to terms with the fact you may not be good for him as a teacher. so many teachers don't get this, they just want your money and your worship. I refer you to "The teacher a necessary evil" by Nietzsche (Gooleing it should come up with something if your interested)

but 8 years old? I thinks that's too young personally, sure he is excited today but what about tomorrow, but I guess it depends on the persons. I would still recommend he learn the piano first.

as to making theory fun don't use dumb examples or silly songs (never Mary had a little lamb). There is enough simple pop/rock music out there he would like and maybe even know. Brake them down.

I add again though I (my opinion) teach a new guitarist notation as Gmg pointed out in another thread, for the guitar it's a pain in the ass and just bad.
Empirism  
5 Feb 2011 17:04 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
RA says:
but each persons is different and needs to be taught in a different way!


Can I ask, are you a teacher? :)... that was a very pedagogical line.
nullnaught  
5 Feb 2011 17:25 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
Mabey have him learn the notes of the guitar. Then the notation. Or the other way around.

I dont see how to make it fun though. Thats like saying how do you make learning algebra fun. Mabey it's possible. I dont know.
guitarmastergod  
6 Feb 2011 00:31 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
teach him C major with animals

The Cow goes "C"
The Duck goes "D"
The Elephant Goes "E"
The Fish goes "F"
the Goose goes "G"
the Armadillo goes "A"
The Baboon goes "B"

teach him the circle of 5ths too. that is a tool all musicians of all levels need. when i took theory classes that was the first thing my teacher taught meas well as the order of shapes and flats that are used with the cycle

Order of sharps--->
guitarmastergod  
6 Feb 2011 00:32 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
it seems my post got cut off, this made me sad
gshredder2112  
6 Feb 2011 00:42 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
Licks: 3
Karma: 22
is ok gmg,dnt gt mad,get glad....
gilcarleton  
22 Mar 2012 18:26 | Quote
Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Karma
I would suggest two things. First of all, ask him what kind of music he likes and what songs he likes. Spend part of your lesson teaching him something that he wants to play. If he can learn to do that he will enjoy the guitar and that is what it is all about.

Second, he will not be able to read music until he knows the notes on his guitar neck. Spend a little time teaching his a few notes. Maybe the first 5 fret of a string, then the 1st five frets of another. Keep going until he knows the entire neck. Don't spend a lot of time on it because once you show him, that is his homework along with playing the songs he likes.

Then explain to him that he really needs to understand some theory. Tell him that once he learns the scale, which chords go with each key, he will be able to figure out how to play almost any song he wants in a short period of time. As you teach him something, tell him why he needs to know it and how he will use it. When someone knows the reason for something, they are much more motivated to learn it. After he knows the notes on his neck, and he knows a little theory, he is ready to learn how to read some sheet music.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
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