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Will teach for food

Posted by WayneConrad on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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One of my co-workers asked me to teach her to play. I've got no experience in teaching music, and I was self taught at the start, so I don't even know what being taught to play looks like. So of course I said yes. Music has been taught for ages by people who didn't know what "pedagogy" was, so we'll be carrying on the tradition. I have faith that with kindness and care we can figure this teaching thing out together. She is born of East Indian parents and is learning an instrument that had its origins in West Africa and is tangled up in American history. Beautiful.

We had a first lesson yesterday over our lunch hour: Parts of the banjo, how to hold it, how to tune it to open G tuning, the major scale. Her delight when she made even the slightest musical sound was wondrous. She's scary smart and will quickly strip-mine my meager knowledge of music theory. She's using my office banjo for now; if she gets into this she'll buy her own. If these lessons go somewhere we'll talk about more formal payment, but to start she's going to pay me in yummy home-cooked Indian food.

Several here have spoken highly of @Clawdan's book, so I've ordered it to have a look, with the idea that it can be our textbook.

4 comments on “Will teach for food”

AndyW Says:
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @12:42:56 PM

Hi Wayne. Don't expect the book to be in any way exciting to look at. It's focus is the method. Which is:

1. Get used to double thumbing (instead of Bum-ditty).
2. Add drop thumbing (still in the 4 sounded beats per measure)
3. Add everything else.

What is different is that 1. and 2. are done in a 'tuneful exercise' way where Dan has managed to adapt tunes to take place of mindless exercises.

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @12:55:37 PM

AndyW - I was hoping you'd chime in. Very good. That the book starts out with double thumbing and drop thumbing is why I'm so interested in. The book I studied from (Perlman) was written before Perlman came to understand drop & double thumb as the heart of clawhammer, so adds those later as a kind of ornamentation. I think I would have benefited greatly from learning those from the start, and I'd like to guide my student in that direction. Thank you for your comment.

Boadicea Says:
Friday, April 27, 2018 @5:15:38 PM

That is a wonderful thing to be doing - to be teaching someone else to play the banjo!

Wow what a way to go WayneConrad

Boadicea Says:
Friday, April 27, 2018 @5:16:04 PM

Get her to teach you how to cook a few Indian meals, then you really learn something as well!

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