MY GUITAR STUDENTS are the best and I have way too much fun in the back room of Second String Music. I have about 25 students right now, and we are heading into the final month of lessons for the calendar year.
My favorite students are the ones who are open-minded and know what they need to do to get better. I spend time getting ready for every student, but some sort of plot their own course and every lesson is an adventure. And, truth be told, I learn as much or more than the student sometimes!
Yesterday a young student came in asking for help with her singing. Now, I am an average strummer and even more average singer. I like to sing. I can hit the notes. But I hate the sound of my own voice and I like it when other people sing. Until yesterday, I'd never given a voice lesson.
Playing the guitar and singing is a hard thing. My advice is to keep it simple - don't start by picking out an intricate pattern and then trying to sing over it. The other thing is to make sure you can hear yourself, and make sure you project enough volume.
The student is learning a song for her school talent show this spring. When we played it in previous lessons I could not hear her. So yesterday we got my Bose PA out, put a microphone in front of her and let it rip.
Wow - she could hear! With each note her voice got stronger and she started hitting the high notes, in key and in tempo. Her smile grew wider and the look of astonishment was replaced with determination. Magic!
Now if only I could get better teaching the circle of fifths and time signatures .... there's always next week!
(Sheryl says to teach her to sing it like this....)