The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 32 of 32
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Yesterday I spent a few hours at my son's school. I talked to the kids as part of the "Great American Teach-In" program (basically the same thing used to be called "career day" when your parents came to class to talk about their job, special hobby, skill, etc.). If you've got kids in school then I highly encourage you to consider doing something like this.

    It was a LOT of fun seeing their eyes light up when they got to strum on a guitar, "make it sound funny" (play with my fx pedals), or as they watched me jam on some blues or hit a big power chord. My son's teacher said she heard several of tell their mom/dad "I want a guitar for Christmas" as they were being picked up in the car line that afternoon. So if I sparked an interest in even 1 or 2 of them, and it actually pans out, then it will be well worth the time spent.

    Last year I did this for just my son's 1st grade class but it was so well received that they asked if I could stay longer this year and speak to all the kids (K-5th grades) during their Music Class times. I had about an hour with the K-2nd and another hour with the 3-5th grades. This wasn't nearly enough time to cover all the ideas that I had in my head but it was just about right for holding their attention span and I DID get to cover enough of the basic that they really seemed to enjoy it.

    Several of the kids actually said they had guitars at home - a couple of Daisy Rock, an old acoustic and one kid is getting an Epi mini Flying V (he hopes) for Christmas. My hope is that maybe my demonstration will help encourage them to go home and actually pick up their instrument and to start to do something with it.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share with you all what fun it was and I encourage you to thing about doing it sometime for a school near you - even if your kids are grown or you don't have any - you can always call the school and ask to speak with the music teacher about how to get involved - I'm sure they'd love the help (especially as funding for "the arts" is often one of the first things to get cut back on as school budgets get tightened).

    And don't think that the "Teach-In" is about music only... in the morning they had somebody's mother who was a hair dresser come in and speak (some of the kids got hair gel Mohawks, etc.). My wife sells Pampered Chef and I'm trying to talk her into doing it next year and do a cooking demonstration (and give out business cards that the kids can take home to their mmoms... but that's just my idea!)









    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    I talked about things like:

    * How I got started (early influences, taking lessons, importance of studying music in school, etc.)

    * "What IS all this stuff anyway" - overview of different guitar types (acoustic, electric, bass, etc.),
    amps, effects, other tools (POD, drum machine, CD trainer, etc.)

    * Reading music vs. playing by ear and improvising (they actually liked my little blues jam and all
    knew things like "Sweet Home Alabama", "Free Bird" and "Let It Be" - albeit, they may associated
    these with things like KFC or Office Depot commercials )

    * Gave a brief history of the electric guitar (took in my "Les Paul In His Own Words", "Beauty Of The
    Burst" and "Encyclopedia Of The Electric Guitar" books - they all enjoyed seeing different pictures, etc.)

    * Value of some guitars - I asked what they thought the most expensive guitars in the world were - it's
    funny how $1000 or $10,000 seemed like unbelievably big numbers to them - when I showed them
    a picture of a '59 Les Paul and said that it costs more than the house I live in they were like "WOW!"
    I showed them the picture of Guitar Center's "Holy Grails" (Blackie, Lenny and the "Crossroads"
    335) and said these were worth a few million. They were simply amazed. Of course, I explained
    that you could learn and play on guitars that cost MUCH less. I showed them the mini-Strat that my
    son uses and told them it was about $100 (or the price of 3-4 X-Box games).

    We then had about 10-15 minutes of "hands on" where they got to come up and hold/strum a guitar.
    They liked making them sound "funny" through the pedals and amps.

    And I wrapped up by giving each of them a page with pics of a Les Paul, Strat and Acoustic and a
    space where they could make up and draw their own guitar and color it in. While this may seem a
    little basic for the older kids, it actually worked well for all ages: the kindergarteners like to color
    and the 4th and 5th graders (at least a couple of the boys) where already talking about designing
    guitars that shot lightning bolts or are "transformers" into something else (maybe they will one day
    get jobs at Gibson designing a future version of Gibson's "Robot Guitar" )















    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Stumbler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,947

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    This is one of the coolest threads I've seen. Bless you for doing something like this. Those pics of the kids are priceless!!

    (Note to self - must check out the Hello Kitty mini-strat...)
    "... just a regular sunburst Les Paul that I bought in one of the shops in London ... " - EC

  4. #4
    Jeff
    Guest

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Most cool!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member clayville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    5,723

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Great stuff!


    ...and wise man to leave the 356 at home!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by clayville View Post
    Great stuff! ...and wise man to leave the 356 at home!
    Thanks. I thought about bringing the 356 (as it is my "best looking" guitar IMO) but with lots of little hands and feet and cables around I didn't want to risk it. But the kids were very good (as good as they can be at that age) and got in line and took turns, etc.
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  7. #7

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    That's great! Too bad you don't have a guitar with a trem to really get some "cool sounds" -lol. But it looks like that pedal board did fine.
    How do you avoid tone loss with that many pedals?

    I've been wondering what a '59 burst goes for these days, now I know - $500K!! Crazy.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods986 View Post
    That's great! Too bad you don't have a guitar with a trem to really get some "cool sounds" -lol. But it looks like that pedal board did fine. How do you avoid tone loss with that many pedals? I've been wondering what a '59 burst goes for these days, now I know - $500K!! Crazy.
    Thanks... I actually thought about having a guitar with a whammy bar (but I sold my last Strat a year ago). As for the pedals, I do have some tone suck and am working on trying to find (or build) a loop switcher than I'd like (and that doesn't cost a fortune). I am probably going to build my own as I have DPDT footswitches, the case, etc. - I just need to find the time to do it. For now I tweak my amp and the pedals to get the best sound I can out of 'em.

    That $500K figure isn't hard and fast, it is just based on what I' ve learned on this and some other forums thanks to guys like TW59, etc. Crazy I know... the teacher couldn't believe it when I told them that 1 guitar can cost more than a couple of houses! The price estimates I gave them were simply ballpark figures to help them understand that guitars can be VERY valuable.
    Last edited by mmcquain; 11-15-07 at 04:16 PM.
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Adwex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    On the move.
    Posts
    3,494

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Awesome. It's very likely that you may have shaped some kids future.
    Very cool.

  10. #10
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass moonpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Somewhere between right and wrong.
    Posts
    9,781

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    You da MAN



    IF YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE, YOU'RE JUST ASKING FOR IT!




  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Thanks MoonPie... I DID have to leave the house for this one but I think it was worth it
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member William Payne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wanganui , New Zealand
    Posts
    825

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    not trying to sound rude but why do you need so many pedals and why does that les paul have an sg neck?

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Twinfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    565

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    It's a Les Paul Classic Antique - it has a Les Paul neck with an SG inlay as standard.

    I'm guessing that many pedals are needed for a large number of sounds!

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    William Payne - Twinfan nailed it... it's a 2007 Classic Antique (several of the Guitars of the Week, etc. also use the crown inlay nowadays - it's no longer just an SG or 33x thing).

    And as for the pedals, yep I was trying to show them several different things. I currently have 3 pedalboards - 1 stays at church, a big "everything" board that I can use for anything that comes up, and a small one (tuner, direct box and a few basic things like Delay) that I can use with my Taylor T5 (which usually runs direct out to the PA, completely separate from my Gibson/Board/Amp setup).

    I am actually in the process of streamlining my church setup (fewer pedals, possible true bypass looper, etc.). Once I am done tweaking that setup (I use it each week) then I've refine the others. It is always a work in progress for me.

    I've went from just Les Paul into amp to 1-2 pedals to about 14 pedals on a board and back again several times. It really depends on what type of music I'm playing and what sounds I may be called upon to do. I also have a POD, V-Amp and have tried multi-effect floor units from Korg, Boss and Digitech over the years - but I always come back to individual pedals as I find that much simplier - on the all-in-one units I can never remember whether it was preset 45 or 95, etc. and I can't be bother taking my hands off of the guitar to bend down and tweak knobs when trying to play. Of course, something like a POD is great for headphone jamming and can be really helpful when recording.

    And no you didn't sound rude at all... we all have to find what works best for each of us.
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Cooltone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Duluth, MN
    Posts
    334

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    I'm seeing this trend with the popularity of the "guitar hero" video games of younger people associating some kind of 'musical talent' with their ability to play that game well. It bothers me a little.

    What you may have done is given these young kids a 'reality check', which I think is very cool. I have two young kids in school and I will follow your example at some point and get involved with something like this.

    Good for you, mmcquain, It makes me proud that you did this and you deserve to be proud of yourself!
    No, thank you. Fifteen is my limit on schnitzengruben

  16. #16

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooltone View Post
    I'm seeing this trend with the popularity of the "guitar hero" video games of younger people associating some kind of 'musical talent' with their ability to play that game well. It bothers me a little.

    What you may have done is given these young kids a 'reality check', which I think is very cool. I have two young kids in school and I will follow your example at some point and get involved with something like this.

    Good for you, mmcquain, It makes me proud that you did this and you deserve to be proud of yourself!
    +1,Cooltone.
    mmcquain, you've given these kids a lifetime of memories, and hopefully enough encouragement to find their own voice through an instrument.
    You may be in trouble with the parents of kids whose only request for Christmas is a $2,000 Lester!!!

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bluesland,Texas
    Posts
    7,007

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Bless you mmquain!
    Was talking just the other day to a guy at work about how when I came up they gave us Music Classes starting in the first grade and going throughout elementary school and of course choice of course after that.

    Music is part of our everyday lives and culture and a lot of education on it is ignored nowadays, as you said among the first in budget cuts.

    I'll bet those kids were very excited! I know I would have been- I'm excited hearing about it!

    So I guess with the headsup you gave them on Vintage pieces they can start saving right away too.

    Good work!
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    QUEENS NEW YORK
    Posts
    236

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    hey mcquian that was a great thing ya did for those lil people.. very cool..i hope santa is very good to you this year..happy thanksgiving to you and yours. and to all forum bros as well...
    early morning sunshine tells me all i need to know..

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Thanks guys for the comments... it was very cool getting to do this for the kids. And last Friday I got the coolest Thank You cards from the kids. Several said that it was the "coolest thing" they'd seen (poor kids need to get out more ) and at least 2 asked if I'd teach them to play the guitar... my wife says that one of these days I should consider working with kids (just have to find the time).

    Of course, after last night's "flood" I may need the extra money... long story involving an overflowing laundry sink in the middle of the night, followed by a day full of calls to insurance, lots of ripped up carpet, 16 industrial strength dry fans, a trip to Home Depot to price new flooring, etc. But that's another story...
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bluesland,Texas
    Posts
    7,007

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    So sorry to hear about the indoor flood!
    I hope all of your gear is OK.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Seoighs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Florida West Coast
    Posts
    5,264

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Mike: You truly are a Good Citizen!

    My wife teaches in Pinellas Schools and asked me to do the same last year, but I was too chicken to bring more than an old Univox acoustic...You've shamed me now.

    ...and I took your advice and went to Sam's to check out the low-end gits...enough to foster a kids' interest, and not a bad bargain.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesjuke View Post
    So sorry to hear about the indoor flood! I hope all of your gear is OK.
    Yep, it all made it OK - only a couple of cases got wet on the outer edges but didn't go through to the lining. All guitars were up off the floor on stands or wall hangers (thank God).

    Now as I type this we have 16 industrial strength dry fans blowing and 4 dehumidifier units. We have no carpet or pad at all left in the living room, half of its gone from the dining and family rooms, and the baseboards are off in these rooms plus the kitchen, hall, laundry room and half bath. The water damage clean-up people cut holes behind the baseboard areas so that air could get inside of the walls to dry/prevent mold/mildew. Tomorrow I have both the insurance adjuster and the room measurer (for new flooring) coming (so much for my plans to work Mon-Wed of this week!). They plan to remove the fans Wed. morning (which is none too soon as it sounds like a wind tunnel in here right now).

    As to what happened, the short version is that the laundry sink overflowed when the 2 filter/water softner units ran their backwash cycles last night (they normally drain into this sink but it was plugged). The longer version starts earlier in the day when my wife decided to repaint the master bathroom and includes almost 1" of water in some spots and it even made it out the front down and down the driveway (trust me, it's a long story!!!)

    The good news is that when it is all said and done, we will have all new flooring down in the entire downstairs, stairs, upstairs hall and bathroom (basically the whole house minus 2 bedrooms and the office)... I think she secretly planned this as she's wanted new flooring for a while!

    The bad news is that it may be up to 3 weeks of bare concrete floors and piles of furniture before they can get it all installed (just the last thing you want to hear as you're trying to get ready for the holidays, my mom coming to visit, etc.

    Well, that's latest from "the waterfront"... Hope everybody has a Happy Turkey Day!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Seoighs View Post
    Mike: You truly are a Good Citizen! My wife teaches in Pinellas Schools and asked me to do the same last year, but I was too chicken to bring more than an old Univox acoustic...You've shamed me now....and I took your advice and went to Sam's to check out the low-end gits...enough to foster a kids' interest, and not a bad bargain.
    Thanks - and yes, next year you'll have to take some more guitars and stuff in to show the kids. Was it overkill with what I took in? Yes (from a what I had time to show them/how much they could absorb stand point) but I do think that at that age (actually maybe any age) there is a certain WOW factor when they see lots of cool stuff spread out in front of you... the beginnings of GAS pains in some future guitar picker's head

    And as for those beginner guitars at Sam's, Wal-Mart, etc. I am curious to see if any of the kids end up getting guitars for Christmas.
    Last edited by mmcquain; 12-01-07 at 10:50 AM.
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Seoighs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Florida West Coast
    Posts
    5,264

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    [QUOTE=mmcquain;1681089]

    Thanks - and yes, next year you'll have to take some more guitars and stuff in to show the kids. Was it overkill with what I took in? Yes (from a what I had time to show them/how much they could absorb standpoint) but I do think that at that age (actually maybe any age) there is a certain WOW factor when they see lots of cool stuff spread out in front of 'em... the beginnings of GAS pains in some future guitar picker's head [QUOTE]


    Are you kidding? I got GAS just looking at your pics!

  24. #24

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    a guitar teacher/blues player friend teaches an elec guitar class at a local public mid-school. he got epiphone to donate a bunch of gear to the school and he donates his time. he picks up students for private paying lessons though.
    i am sure he teaches them the correct tone or tries too.....

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member redb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Land of the Pears, in Texas
    Posts
    683

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Man thats a great gesture! Im curious, how do you get the kids to practice? See, I first started the guitar all of 8 years ago at the tender age of 11, and I had a problem with practicing, especially because Ive always been bad at that sort of thing, same with homework, when I was at the lessons I would work very hard but that was only once a week, at home it was hard for me to practice.

    Now though, that I bought my gear with my hard earned dough, I find to practice every day until my fingers just cant do it any more. I had slipped actually, what got me back to the practicing every day was something I heard harry chapin say on one of his collections, a peice called calouses, that really made me think. Every day now I realize just how bad I am, and how much worse I was the day before, but that if I keep practicing everyday maybe one day I can look at myself and say "perhaps Ive got something going on here".

    And I think its unfortunate, but most parents set their kids up to fail. Mine did, they started me on an accoustic for one, with 13s or some business like that, it was damn near impossible for me to even fret a chord at first, much unlike when I bought my first electric in march (when I was easily able to fret some open chords). I think parents are scared they will be wasting money, and some of them may be right, but there are a few things I think you should instill in the parents:

    1. Get the kid an electric, preferably with a short scale (e.g.mini-may has a 17 inch, its 200 bucks too, and not bad if I do say so myself), and have the damn thing set up with 8s. Kids do not have the strength in their hands to play on heavy gauge strings, and the easier it is to actually play the instrument, the easier it is to practice! You dont want your fingers to bleed the first 2 weeks you own the instrument (again, my parents didnt really think about it very much). Humans tend to do whats easy, and if playing the guitar is a chore, they wont want to do it. My guitar teacher had a very nice custom shop fender, and when he let me use it, it was so much easier to play that I bitched at my parents to get me an electric guitar (hahahahaa, my rents WANTED me to fail, it was never going to happen) so I could have an easier time practicing.
    2. One of the parents should pick up the instrument. And no bullshit about "theres not time", if its a single parent house, fine, but even my parents, who went to work before I woke up and got home after I went to bed had time to spend with me on the weekend. Every kid wants to do something with their dad, even if its just practice! If there is a parent who says "do you want to practice with me" as opposed to "you need to practice that expensive instrument I just bought you". Even if it just means Mom is going to make the kid learn some songs so she can sing along while she does the fucking dishes.
    3. Make the parents understand that even though there is a possibility their kid will quit, they need to not stingy out, they need to be supportive, and even if they think the kid will quit, they need to make that kid feel good about playing the instrument, they need to tell their kiddo how proud they are, and how happy it makes them to see them playing the guitar and having fun doing it.

    :: Funk 'em ... just to see the look on their face :: Hotleg - great music, great. ::

  26. #26

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Great thread!

    I wish someone (a veteran guitar player) had taken me under their wing or even shown me what was out there when I was in elementary school.

    The "extra cool" factor was that you took Career Day to the next level and ended up being an Artist in Residence, for a day at least. If you go back to school on a regular basis, you will rise to the level of "mentor" or "sensei". No joke! Get yourself approved as a volunteer by you local Board of Education and spend as much time with your kid and everyone else's kid in a classroom. Bring the guitar as a "hook" and help out with reading or math.

    As for Career Day speakers, the kids will really get excited about seeing a guitar player, much more than hearing about a career as a school administrator/principal. Trust me, that's why I've got an entire confererence room filled with acoustic and electric guitars at my school. Guitar - the hook, the look, the sound.

    Mark

  27. #27

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Nice work! Working with kids is fun, isn't it?
    Currently I'm driving them to school as part of my Zivildienst, it's nice to joke around with them and have a little fun. I'm playing my music in the bus now and the kids get to know who "the mighty zep", "the stones", "YEAH! AC/DC!" and all those others are.

    Oh and yeah: I bet Todd wants a purple guitar strap like this one, too!
    Last edited by MrNugget; 11-30-07 at 03:31 PM.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    The Mad Hatter's Tea party MERRY OLDE ENGLAND
    Posts
    6,534

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Great thread mmcquain..

    I do a lot of stuff like you are doing, only in the UK, but I believe it's different over in the States. I go in to the shools and colleges to give guitar tuition during the school day, as music is part of the curriculem, but I believe in the US they don't allow that and the kids can only have lessons after school.

    Why is that?

    Yeah kids can be great can't they.
    A year or so back I did a demo in front of the whole school at assembly and when I'd finished, the headmaster asked all the kids who wanted to learn guitar to put their hands up.
    Well the whole 360 of them did and the teachers creased up laughing.
    It would be great to get together one day. I bet you and I would have a ball demoing guitar to classes of kids. One day when I'm next in the States perhaps.
    Great thread and great stories. Keep em coming. It's nice to see a fellow old pro at work..

    Phil.
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Thanks guys... yes Phil I would love to get some of us "old pros" in front of the kids some day. Like your story, the kids pretty much all said they wanted to learn to play the guitar. They made the nicest Thank You cards and several of them asked if I would give them lessons.

    As for your question about music instruction in the U.S., most schools offer some type of music class at different grades levels. My 8 y/o son is in 2nd grade and this year they are learning to play the recorder (we called them flute-o-phones when I was a kid). They are learning the different notes/rests and how to read the basic G treble clef. He is at a private school that goes through 5th grade and I know they will have some type of music class each year as he progress through elementary school.

    After that, I'm not exactly sure what is currently offered/required in the public sector for middle school (Jr. high school we used to call it) and then in high school. I know that an older friend of my son (age 13) is learning to play the French Horn at school.

    When I was that age we had elective courses for choir and marching band in both Jr. high (grades 7-8) and high school (grade 9-12). I also remember taking a required music class in either 7th or 8th grade. That class focused on music history and appreciation more than reading/playing/theory.

    I was in the high school choir and stage band (guitar) so I got some instruction there for reading/playing. However, these were both electives and so a lot of kids don't get that kind of instruction. It wasn't until college that I really got training in music theory and such.

    I'm glad to hear the British school system sounds a little more open about musical instruction. You are correct that things like guitar lessons are usually done outside/after school hours in the U.S. That's why I'm happy to be able to at least go once a year and help expose the kids to these kinds of things. If I inspire even just 1 kid to go ask his parents to get him guitar lessons then I'll feel glad that I was able to help "keep the music alive"... hmm, maybe I need to go do a day on "the blues"... I really think that as we lose the old timers, the tradition of blues music runs the risk of (as Elwood Blues once said) ending up "in the classical records bin of your local library"
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    The Mad Hatter's Tea party MERRY OLDE ENGLAND
    Posts
    6,534

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmcquain View Post
    Thanks guys... yes Phil I would love to get some of us "old pros" in front of the kids some day. Like your story, the kids pretty much all said they wanted to learn to play the guitar. They made the nicest Thank You cards and several of them asked if I would give them lessons.

    As for your question about music instruction in the U.S., most schools offer some type of music class at different grades levels. My 8 y/o son is in 2nd grade and this year they are learning to play the recorder (we called them flute-o-phones when I was a kid). They are learning the different notes/rests and how to read the basic G treble clef. He is at a private school that goes through 5th grade and I know they will have some type of music class each year as he progress through elementary school.

    After that, I'm not exactly sure what is currently offered/required in the public sector for middle school (Jr. high school we used to call it) and then in high school. I know that an older friend of my son (age 13) is learning to play the French Horn at school.

    When I was that age we had elective courses for choir and marching band in both Jr. high (grades 7-8) and high school (grade 9-12). I also remember taking a required music class in either 7th or 8th grade. That class focused on music history and appreciation more than reading/playing/theory.

    I was in the high school choir and stage band (guitar) so I got some instruction there for reading/playing. However, these were both electives and so a lot of kids don't get that kind of instruction. It wasn't until college that I really got training in music theory and such.

    I'm glad to hear the British school system sounds a little more open about musical instruction. You are correct that things like guitar lessons are usually done outside/after school hours in the U.S. That's why I'm happy to be able to at least go once a year and help expose the kids to these kinds of things. If I inspire even just 1 kid to go ask his parents to get him guitar lessons then I'll feel glad that I was able to help "keep the music alive"... hmm, maybe I need to go do a day on "the blues"... I really think that as we lose the old timers, the tradition of blues music runs the risk of (as Elwood Blues once said) ending up "in the classical records bin of your local library"
    That's a shame about the U.S system mmcquain. Over here there is a great emphasis on performance and school and college music blocks are full of pratice rooms with specialist music teachers in each one.
    For instance, on say Tuesdays, after doing an hour or so at a local middle school, I poodle of down the country lanes to a private school which is a massive old English stately home in 100's of acres of grounds. I'm there from 11.10 to around 4.pm. The pay is very good and you are free to grab coffee when you want and they also supply you with a free meal. Lessons are from 20 per pupil to 40 mins per pupil. Most are individual and they have electric guitars, amps and a full drum kit in the studio. Down the corridor from me to the left is the vocal tutor and to my right the brass tutor. Then down stairs is the flute teacher. On other days the drum teacher comes in, as do woodwind and string teachers. Each one an expert in thier own field.
    It's not the sort of job one can just walk into though ( Luckily for me ) It usually goes on recommendation and you have to have squeaky clean police clearances etc. (Yeah even me. ). The larger state schools mostly either recruit from the private sector or hire county registered tutors who have had experience with the teaching sector.. I tend to work for all of these bodies and duck and dive wherever the most work is.
    A few weeks ago, I got a whole bunch of kids rehearsed up for the school concert. You know, the usual flute ensembles and out of tune violins etc.
    We had our secret weapon though. We'd been working on 'Knocking on heavens door for the past few weeks. I had an acoustic guitar playing quite chords with the piano playing arpeggios for the intro and first verse. The second time around the bass player came in simply with the drummer, just tapping out a quite rim shot. Then on the second chorus, in came an electric guitar dirtied up, this time with full drums and bass. Oh wow! You wanna see these little guys go. The bass player is only 12, but can pop and slap like there's no tomorrow.
    The night of the concert came, and they just blew everyone away. The Mums and Dads loved it, especially after having had to sit there for an hour listening to yet another flute ensemble.
    One of the little guys on guitar has recently been working on his major pentatonics which we used to great effect on his improvised solo.

    That's what I love to see..Education working.. I tell the parents and teachers ( Who think I'm a bit eccentric ). I'm not interested in bits of bloody paper with tick boxes..I want to see your son/daughter up there on stage.
    It's funny to watch. All the classical tutors are up there on stage waving their arms around and keeping thinks running.
    I just say OK..The stage is all yours kids , you don't need me ..Get that bloody intro count right Johnny.

    Hell I feel so proud of them when they are up there... It's like watchings fledglings flying the nest for the first time...
    Off course I tune all their stuff before they go on, but at the edge of the stage I leave them , only after we all give it five. "What are we going to do out there"?. Rock and kick arse ( Just don't tell your Mums I told you that last bit ) ... "Louder I can't hear you..What are we gonna do out there....ROCK AND KICK ARSE!!!........ " Then let's do it".

    We have a very big county concert in a huge theatre for all the schools in Feb.. And guess who puts on all the misfits and noisy buggers?

    Hell I never did grow up did I?


    What I like about your approach mmcquain, is that it goes with the old saying..

    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

    Phil.
    Last edited by phil47uk; 12-01-07 at 01:52 PM.
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member mmcquain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,646

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Thanks Phil... I think maybe I got a little of seeing the importance of education from my mom, who was a high school business teacher (typing, shorthand - back when they did that, and general business classes) for 35 years. My dad, while not a teacher, was in fact an incredible teacher about life in general and my biggest role model. He always talked about the importance of mentoring and helping kids so I think some of that must live on in me.

    Sounds like the English school system is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to music and the arts. I wish it were different here. That is one reason we send our son to a private school... I think they do spend more time helping the kids develop BOTH sides of their brains. As parents, we'll just have to make sure our son continues down this couse in the years to come. The fact that I play guitar and my wife sings each week with our church praise team I think helps him to see the importance of music in your life. My wife also plays a little piano and we've talked about signing our son up for some lesson this coming year.

    Well, gotta' get back to work clearing out my office since the new flooring will be installed this coming week. I'll talk with you later...

    Oh, keep up the good work you're doing with those kids... sounds like Gene Simmons and Jack Black aren't the only ones with a "Rock School"
    .
    MMCQUAIN * Rock, Blues, Christian player * mmcquain@mcquain.com
    Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute, Breedlove Acoustic/Electric
    Egnater, Dean Markley, D'Addario, various effect pedals
    http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain * http://www.facebook.com/mmcquain

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    The Mad Hatter's Tea party MERRY OLDE ENGLAND
    Posts
    6,534

    Re: Showing/talking to kids about playing the guitar...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmcquain View Post
    Thanks Phil... I think maybe I got a little of seeing the importance of education from my mom, who was a high school business teacher (typing, shorthand - back when they did that, and general business classes) for 35 years. My dad, while not a teacher, was in fact an incredible teacher about life in general and my biggest role model. He always talked about the importance of mentoring and helping kids so I think some of that must live on in me.

    Sounds like the English school system is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to music and the arts. I wish it were different here. That is one reason we send our son to a private school... I think they do spend more time helping the kids develop BOTH sides of their brains. As parents, we'll just have to make sure our son continues down this couse in the years to come. The fact that I play guitar and my wife sings each week with our church praise team I think helps him to see the importance of music in your life. My wife also plays a little piano and we've talked about signing our son up for some lesson this coming year.

    Well, gotta' get back to work clearing out my office since the new flooring will be installed this coming week. I'll talk with you later...

    Oh, keep up the good work you're doing with those kids... sounds like Gene Simmons and Jack Black aren't the only ones with a "Rock School"
    Funny you should mention private schooling mmcquain.
    Generally the state schools here have much better equipment than the private schools. The private schools have to buy it in themselves and don't like spending money, whereas the state schools get lots of government funding. One very expensive private school I go to has two electric pianos in the music rooms, and that's it, and on the other hand one of the state schools I go to has a whole fully equiped sound proofed recording studio, complete with Marshall amps. Bass guitars Acoustics and electrics etc.
    I was talking to some teachers the other day about successes with pupils from both backgrounds. I don't think over the years I have ever had one outstanding pupil from a private school and they asked me why that was. I said that in the private system over here, many kids have one thing lacking that some of the kids from poorer areas have.. Hunger... The eye of the tiger.. They really want it at opposed to some at the private school kids who think that somehow they have been blessed and whatever effort they put into a subject they'll always come up smelling of roses.
    Now obviously I am not comparing your private school kids to the English system.. Hell! You know what a class ridden society we have had over here, and unfortunately still do.
    I was at a bonfire night party at one of these private schools the other week with my wife and daughter and you should have heard the accents floating around. Absolutely terribly terribly darling.. Spiffing good show old chap..And all that. They all turned up with their uniform on.. A four wheel drive, or Aston Martin.. The men with peak caps.. Green waterproof jackets and the women in body warmers and silk scarves. I think they all model themselves on the Royal family..Yuk..

    I'll see if I can dig up some pics of the types I mean for you all to have a laugh.

    Here's a few..


    And of course you recognize this pair?





    And a couple of videos for you to enjoy..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3LJY...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqkd...eature=related


    Watch this patronising UK 50's documentary narrated by one of the plum in mouth public school boys of the time explaining to the average working class person how to ride on a fucking bus...How I ever survived as a kid getting to and from school on my own I'll never know.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBOcLnyMX-M
    Last edited by phil47uk; 12-02-07 at 07:07 PM.
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!



i