Reading Notes from the Staff Line is an OPTION, Not a Requirement.
Thanks for coming to the Guitar Lessons page. Here, you can find out all about how and why Mike teaches guitar the way he does. Mike had played by ear (no instruction at all) for eleven years before meeting Terrill Gardner. Mike had been in bands and jams and played rock, only. Terrill taught him not only guitar and music, but more importantly he taught Mike how to teach. After several hour-long lessons on starting to teach, Terrill started Mike out with three six year old students. He said, "Their hands are small, their fingers are tender, and their attention span is short. This will teach you patience." It did.
BEGINNERS: After getting to know the student some, Mike gets into the parts of the guitar and how strings make different notes in different frets. He shows them the way to hold the guitar and how to press strings against the fretboard. When they get comfortable with those things, he shows them two very easy chords that they will use in their first song. We start with easy chord songs and not by playing individual notes from the staff line. Reading notes can come later.
Mike tells all of his students that he never practiced. He played. It didn't sound very good, at first, but the more he played the better it sounded. This is supposed to be fun for the students, not boring or like work. At first, their fingers will get sore, so Mike tells parents that thirty minute practice sessions each day are not required. Beginners should play twice per day, a little each time.
Music Lessons for the 21st Century
There are eight short basic songs, each increasing the dexterity and ability of the students. After that, they bring Mike songs they like and he chooses which ones are best for them at their level. There are no recitals where students play in front of strangers.
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