Help needed on music theory

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Sooper8, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    Hi All,

    Long time guitar player and musician but I have never really paid any attention to theory or notation or even anything beyond what I needed to play songs in bands.

    I am also a teacher and this year I have been asked to teach music to children in a school until Christmas. However, I am not a trained music teacher , I just got the job because they know I play guitar.

    So - I can teach pretty much what I want (the children are age between 8 and 13 years old), I have a few schemes of work but nothing is set in stone and I can adapt and change and make up new things.

    First of all- any theory books for music that you could highly recommend? (or web sites)
    Secondly , any music teacher types around here who could offer some lesson ideas or general thoughts on great teaching ideas?

    I just bought a few ukeleles for the department and plan on using those as well as guitar.

    Thoughts appreciated
    Thanks
     
  2. brewwagon

    brewwagon Poster Extraordinaire

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    hows your dog?
     
  3. Steveareno

    Steveareno Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't get too hung up on theory with the kids. Learning to play easy songs, they're familiar with will encourage them to advance with natural enthusiasm. A good chord dictionary book, with clear diagrams is a great investment and will be something they turn to time and time again. I still refer to a Gene Leis chord book, I've had since the late 60's. Theory comes with the territory as you learn jazz standards, swing, ballads and R&B tunes with the "candy changes". Getting hip to tablature is also a big help. Mi dos centavos.
    Swang on,
     
  4. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

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    Steveareno's got the right idea, keep it fun. I think starting the class strumming and then introducing a goal to work toward might also help. Get the kids making a noise then try and work it into a performance they can put on for their families.
    Linking their study to something simple musically that they're familiar with will be a good starting point. Break that down into simple parts and as you learn it, so will they.
    I reckon you're going to have a great time, you're a lucky bloke.
     
  5. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle Tele-Meister

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    Best of luck. My guess is that you're going to be in for a classroom management nightmare. :)
     
  6. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    Cheers guys.Thanks for those thoughts.

    The room is a bit of a problem for multiple sources of sound as every surface is hard and reflective. Therefore it sounds awful when more than one person speaks or plays as the sounds reverberates around off the hard floor, table, ceiling, windows and walls.

    So, fun times ahead!
     
  7. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Agreed, no need for theory...but if you can teach them to read and count simple rhythms, that's a gift for life...
     
  8. brewwagon

    brewwagon Poster Extraordinaire

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    "My Dog Has Fleas !"



    You may have heard the phrase My Dog Has Fleas about ukulele tuning. It's a little song, or phrase, that can help you tune your ukulele really quickly! Pluck each of the strings, unfretted, starting with the "G", and sing a word of that phrase to the note each string makes. (G)My (C)Dog (E)Has (A)Fleas! Try this little song every time you've become satisfied that your uke is reasonably in tune - it will become "stuck" in your mind. Sing it out loud, get it more stuck
     
  9. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I say first teach the kids how to tune up their instruments. The find and make copies of the easiest and most popular songs, such as Christmas Carrolls .... something the kids all know... Then write the easiest chords, [ C-F-G.... or 1--4--5 ], for them in the key of C to start.. When they learn that, add songs with 4 or five chords. Teach them the numbers of the notes in a major scale. . And how to play a minor by dropping the 3rd a half step.... If they want more, just change to the easiest guitar keys.. E--A--B ------G--C--D--------- A--D--G---------D--G--A---- and show them how each key is still the same in numbers.... all those triads are the same in relation to each other and it is the same relationship in all the different keys. This should keep them having fun and learning..... If you have some more advanced students, you could ask them what song they want to learn and show it to them... Each kid would get a copy of the songs as they are introduced to him, her. Heavy on HAVING FUN!!!! Hope this helps... Christmas is coming and it is a good time to use easy Christmas Carrolls. Good luck..
     
  10. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would agree with forgetting theory until they are High School aged. If you try to explain the Dorain Mode to a room full of 8 year olds, you will have a 10 munchkins armed with uke clubs coming at you.

    I would agree with a good solid KISS method and learn a Bieber song on the Uke and before you say a word to them, fist day of class, rock out 'Baby' you will automatically be cool and get their attentions form minute one.
     
  11. brewwagon

    brewwagon Poster Extraordinaire

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    face egbdf whole 1/4 1/8 notes triplets rests stops treble and bass clef c major Am pentatonics & blues scales circle of fifths I IV V some chord posters on the class walls and heaven forbid -a metronome
    lol several select classic jazz albums and a turntable- stereo (classfull of rolling eyes)
    the simple words "Attention Class!" & maybe wack a big pointer on the desk (like a rim shot for effect)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  12. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    Really appreciate your answer...having fun will be my aim and hopefully learning will come naturally.
    Thanks for that specific advice!
    I'll let you know how I get on
     
  13. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks...I will try my best to find an alternative to Bieber while still being cool.
    My own kids are now grown up so I can't ask them what the early teens are in to in the UK at the minute
     
  14. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    I took my Beatles LP covers in last week for a project I started with them and they looked at them in a mixture of wonder and bizarre curiosity.
    They loved holding them and checking them out.
    It made me miss the days of the 12 inch album with a proper cover.
    Strange to find that they were not enjoying the Lennon songs as much as the McCartney ones. The opposite was true for me at age 12.

    I'm already making up uke chord charts for the wall!
     
  15. Sooper8

    Sooper8 Tele-Holic

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    Cheers- I am familiar with 'my dog has fleas' and can 'hear' that when it's already in tune, but once it's out, it doesn't seem to help me greatly.
    Luckily I have my macbook on the table with the on-line uke tuner loaded.
     
  16. Bellybuster

    Bellybuster Tele-Meister

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    I'll be the one to dissagree with others, someone has to do it.
    Theory is the backbone and if learned early will stick with them forever. My daughter and heres friends learned allot of theory in grades 5 thru 8 and now have started the music program in high school.
    They thought they hated the theory portion but turns out that now they are miles ahead of everyone and are now able to pick up almost any instrument and make some form of music with it. They also now have a burned in "musicality" (could be a word) that the others don't.
    In discussion they all agree the boring theory they put up with early on is the reason they are as able as they are now.

    Just another side for you to think about.
     
  17. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    bellybuster, what do you consider theory?
     
  18. Budda

    Budda Tele-Holic

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    What ages are the kids?
     
  19. rave

    rave Tele-Holic

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    Try the One Direction song, you dont know your beautiful, its three chords E A B. Good luck
     
  20. andrewsadlon

    andrewsadlon Tele-Meister

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    Dude... You could've picked a million other songs with only 3 chords.
     
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