Mark Terry

Monday, September 14, 2009


September 14, 2009
I went and helped out (I guess) with the two intro to guitar classes today. Each class has about 25 students (too many) and the majority don't know anything about music at all. But there's a couple kids who've been at least playing around with guitars for a year or two or four.

We weren't really sure what I was going to do when I came in, but after listening to him working with the class, primarily teaching them about time signatures, how to read music, what a staff is--basic, basic, basic music education--I suggested I take the kids who have some experience one at a time and figure out what they did and did not know.

So that's what I did. And although there were some variations, for kids who could grab a guitar and play some Stevie Ray Vaughn licks, they didn't always know what note each open string represented, didn't know that there's technically no sharp or flat between B and C and between E and F, didn't necessarily know that G# and A-flat are the same note, and did or did not know how to read tabs. (That's an alternate way of reading guitar music, for those of you who don't know).

In other words, I was trying to figure out what holes they had and tried to fill them, and encouraged each of them to pay attention to the pretty boring stuff the primary instructor was teaching because it would help connect the dots for them.

When I talked to the instructor (Joe) after the class, I noted that before these kids can move on they need these holes filled so they can connect the information. There were some pretty basic holes (in terms of guitar) that were needed before they could move on.

This isn't a huge surprise to me, actually. I have holes in my musical education. I have holes in my writing/literature education; massive gaping holes in my scientific education; and undoubtedly in just about every other area of life. Some I'm aware of, some I'm not.

Have you ever run into somebody who thinks they don't have any holes in their knowledge of something? What jackasses.

How about you? Any gaping holes you need filling?

Mark Terry


Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

Sure, I have them. But that was kind of my job for years: preventing holes. I'm pretty methodical with myself about improving my writing or whatever. One of my very few strengths, LOL...

That said, the holes that lie ahead make up one big cosmic void. Or I could be a jackass. :-)

11:13 AM  

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