“The sounds of the guitar”
Basics on the guitar are very important before accessing grades. In this delicate transition, it is essential that children do not lose enthusiasm. When I started to think about this method I was searching for a new fun repertoire for children made up of easy but interesting tunes. Through these pieces, children can enjoy and explore the guitar by playing percussion, harmonics, and tambora etc.
As per my experience, children have fun playing pieces with particular effects (i.e. percussion, glissandos etc), making music practice a real game. Furthermore, I love the idea that children have fun playing and learning a musical instrument, but at the same time, as a teacher and composer, I would like them to spend time playing valuable music which is an investment for their musical future and culture. The pieces of this method approach the sounds of the contemporary music world in a unique way.
All the pieces are original except the traditional tunes which I have included in the Appendix.
In my experience, the great majority of children find composition and improvisation fun and exciting. The purpose of it is both to instill a creative approach and to allow them to acquire more confidence in reading music through composing and gaining technical confidence through improvisation.
In my experience, pupils find it difficult to move from the basic steps towards advanced pieces which include more than three notes. My method takes more time before introducing more than three notes but, in the meantime, short pieces, which include percussion and tambora, help children to gain more confidence with the learned notes, the rhythm and the posture which is not yet consolidated.
I have planned a hyperbolic path. The beginning is very slow, but once children feel confident in their ability and inspired, this method speeds more rapidly towards real solo guitar pieces, arpeggios and use of the thumb to play the bass strings etc.
Often, guitar books focus solely on simple melodies for a long time, inhibiting the development of a complete classical guitar technique, making children bored after a few lessons.
Each lesson of my method contains basic technical exercises. This is an important point which I would like to stress. The absence of technical exercises in many written guitar methods can lead teachers to neglect the practice of technique and warm-up. This has a negative impact on the pupil’s musical education and their confidence on the instrument. I believe that having strategic technical exercises in each chapter helps teachers to plan their lessons with deeper attention to technique. Moreover, these exercises support the objectives of each lesson.
As a composer and improviser, I really care about the creativity of my students. This can be at risk during a long learning process based only on reading music. For this reason, I have given the pupils the opportunity to compose music and given some tips for the improvisation with the teacher. In my opinion this is an effective way of reinforcing the learned topics.