1. Give us some background on your teaching experience?
I have taught guitar from elementary to college level and I learn new things every year! I love Brazilian music and get an opportunity with my top level students to play and perform some really hot tunes! I also get to teach applications of jazz theory which is smokin’ fun.
2. What are some of your favorite things about Teaching Guitar? Why?
One of the very fascinating things about teaching Guitar in the public school system, is the diversity of the students, especially in the beginning guitar class.
This year my beginning class has 25 students; 4 of whom are special needs, 2 are Band kids who wanted to take a guitar class their Senior year, 3 speak no English, 15 have limited proficiency in English, 1 took private lessons on guitar in China and should be in an upper level class, ALL of them are wonderful and fascinating. The challenge of meeting the needs of each of those individuals forces you to be creative, and that is where the fun is!
3. What is your least favorite thing about Teaching Guitar? How do you deal with it?
I do not like it when the class size is so big that you cannot give individual attention to developing students. I also do not like having all levels dumped together in the same class just because it makes scheduling easy.
There are workarounds. Incorporate some small group activities where you can focus one on one with each student. Differentiate instruction to accommodate the disparity in guitar playing experience, but it is not fun for students and should be avoided.
4. What are your 3 favorite lessons to teach at Teaching Guitar Workshops?
I love teaching upper position reading, free stroke (finger-picking) and any beginning song that uses Cadd9!
Also, Sweet Home Alabama!
5. What are the top 2 reasons for a teacher to start a guitar program?
It reaches an untouched population. The kids are cool! (no offense to Band Orchestra or Choir because they are also cool.)
6. What are the top 2 reasons for a teacher to attend TGW?
The top 2 reasons; great practical pedagogy, cool licks that will help your street cred.
7. What is one thing everyone will walk away with from TGW?
The ability to walk in on that first day with confidence! You will leave with the first 2 weeks of lesson plan ready to go.
8. Did we miss anything?
Whether you are teaching one beginning class or a multi-tiered program, each day will be new and exciting.