Help! I’m Presenting

Nicholas said: May 7, 2013
Nicholas ScholzGuitar
Madison, WI
2 posts

I am fortunate enough to present my new studio to an elementary school in my area on may 24th. They want five sessions each being 50 min each for 12-18 children(yikes). They also want it to be hands on(double yikes for guitar). I really don’t want this to be a train wreck. Does anyone have some ideas to make this a success. Obviously I am not bringing in 15 guitars and I have one ukelike 6 string that is impossible to stay in tune Also have a second adult size(not ideal for kids). Any suggestions please! Thank you

Barb said: May 7, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
685 posts

Cardboard guitars? It would be good if you did have one child sized guitar …

Of course you will perform something. Is it possible to bring your student along?

Show a video of a kid’s guitar group?

You can have hand-outs for them to color and maybe label parts of the guitar. (Presumably with your name and contact info on it.) Maybe while they are doing that have small groups come to have some hands-on-the-instrument time.

How about doing rhythms, and have them walk in a circle, each taking a turn plucking the rhythm on your guitar string while you change the notes with your fingers… they can clap, snap, pat the rhythms with their hands until it’s their turn to walk by you? Or maybe better, you walk around and take the guitar past each of them for a turn.

Or for some of your performance have them listen for cues … e g Pop Goes the Weasel—they get to jump up, or older kids can listen for a certain cadence and do the wave or something.

Have a few rhythm instruments for the kids to take turns on, playing with you.

Are there any schools there with class sets of ukuleles you could borrow?

Definitely have a Q & A session.

Look forward to hearing more ideas—good to hear you have this opportunity!

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Kiyoko said: May 7, 2013
 95 posts

They can learn the names of the strings and guitar parts as they make the cardboard guitars. Older kids could make their own guitars and help younger kids make theirs. You may want to pre-cut the templates. Here’s a cardboard guitar project guide:

Do the kids already get some sort of music education at the school? You might want to check out the pre-twinkle threads and resources for teaching ideas to adapt. 50 min sessions are actually pretty long for kids, so you could break it up with some music the kids can sing along to in the middle and share guitar music from around the world.

Christine said: May 8, 2013
Christine GoodnerInstitute Director
SAA Staff
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
102 posts

How exciting!

You’ve gotten a lot of good advice already!
From my experience presenting to kids groups:

  • map out your activities for the session down to the minute (and include more activities than you think you’ll need). There is nothing worse than using up all your ideas and having more time to fill. After you do this a few times you’ll get better and better at planning how long everything will take. For now, error on the side of having too much to do!

  • provide a lot of variety to keep kids engaged. Have an activity that has kids up on their feet moving to music & then sitting down and listening etc. The more varied each activity is (as far as energy level/sitting vs standing etc) the more I keep the kids attention.

Let us know how it goes!

Christine Goodner

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Suzuki Licensed Book: Beyond the Music Lesson: Habits of Successful Suzuki Families

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

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