Education, education, education.

This morning on the bbc news there was a chap being interviewed about music education in schools. I,of course, took an interest. What was he going to say about one of my pet peeves?
I’m not a fan of how music is taught in schools. Short instrumental lessons to a rigid format for those that take instrumental lessons, and an hour plus of shaking maracas and learning about where violinists sit for those that don’t. So for starters the times are completely squiffy. Anyone who has lessons in the school peripatetic environment and has then gone on to play in adult life, I take my hat off too, as you have triumphed over adversity. I have taught in this environment and how anyone gets anything done is a miracle. My own experience, was to be given a list of children ,quite often in pairs of very mixed ability, A cupboard to work in, and expected to help them through their musical education on 20 mins a week. This may sound familiar to fellow teachers and students alike. This is no way to teach anyone.
I teach privately, I have done for nearly 25 years. Without being big headed, I know what I’m doing,I get results. The government introduced an idea that all kids should learn an instrument, I partially agree. I think more should, I don’t think it is for all, some are maybe of a different bent and they is fine, I don’t particularly want to learn other languages, so I don’t. It’s my choice.
What learning an instrument does is as the chap on the bbc said, it instills confidence, perseverance. You cannot down load an app and master it instantly. You have to practice, there is no quick fix to playing the guitar. I am of course dismissing guitar hero and such completely put of hand as they are not playing a guitar to my mind.

The chap is running an initiative that if you have an used acoustic instrument at home you can donate at an oxfam shop and they will get it into the schools for kids to use. I think it is great, a little short sighted as I think a lot of kids would like to play electric guitars and keyboards as they are deemed cooler, but he was of the classical persuasion and I’m sure disapproves of electricity. The opportunity to try instruments is great though, I totally support it. If you get a chance http://www.jamesrhodes.tv is the place to find out more.

From my own perspective can I just say I receive a good number of thank you’s from parents for teaching their children, getting them grades that allow them to get better uni places. Helping ghe he child have more confidence in themselves, which spreads in to other areas of their lives, and mostly importantly the ability to play an instrument that brings them and others joy. This is very rewarding and is why I have stuck at teaching privately as that is the environment that actually gets it done.

So anyway come and book lessons with me now …. Just kidding, although you can if you want.

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~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on September 5, 2014.

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