5 Week Intro
The 5 week intro, what areas should I be aiming to cover in this? Should we be aiming to start ticking off exercises in the first 5 weeks and is there a guide how far we need to get through? - Aim to get through as much as you can. It should be easy now because you can just go at each students pace working through one exercise at a time. Before we were trying to get through all the skills in 5 weeks whereas now you simply work through as many pages as the student can absorb. This will allow you to group them with students who are moving at a similar pace.
How do the Awards work? - You can give students awards for reaching milestones. This could be as simple as a sticker on the sheet or it could be a certificate or even a badge to put on their guitar strap.
Do I issue a student certificate once the whole checklist is completed as before? - Yes.
I don't understand the Checklists. For example Junior one has up to 150 boxes. But there's only 115 exercises in total. - The extra boxes are for the Teacher's Choice song. When you choose your song turn it into exercises using the blank manuscript page and number your exercises from 116.
What skills should students memorise before being passed on them? - Students should definitely be able to play the chords, scales and arpeggios from memory but rhythms and reading exercises are not necessary.
What happened to the skills checklists? They have now been replaced with the new numbered checklists. The skills checklists were useful when we didn't have an organised method with numbered exercises. The new numbered checklist makes it easier to track student progress. As a general rule students will work on each exercise in number order and will receive a tick when proficient. You can however ask students to work on several exercises at a time.
What do students actually need to do to get this ticked off. - Students need to be able to change between all chords at the required tempo for that level. For example in S1 the tempo is set at 60BPM. As you progress through the levels and students learn more chords you don’t need to go through every possible chord change but choose 4 or 5 chords for them to change between.
If a student has ticked off all their picking exercises do we give them more complex ones to follow? - Yes and no. Picking development never stops. Firstly get them to play those same exercises at a faster tempo but if you want to handicap them you can make them more difficult perhaps by alternating between exercises or changing strings or even adding in the left hand by way of a riff of some kind.
As I understand it, the idea with the G4GM2018 is to go around the group and give everyone a chance to work on the exercise/s they are up to. I feel like this might give people a reason to strongly object to group lessons as obviously if they were 1-on-1 then then whole lesson could be spent on their progress. How should I be prepared to handle this? - If it were to come up, make the point that all students are generally being stretched via handicapping. It's not that you are focusing on one student at the cost of all other students. You are simply picking a starting point and then involving each student at their level of skill. If a student is really struggling you can always give them a one on one lesson. Think of it like school. All kids learn in a group environment but if they are not keeping up for any reason the teacher will do a little one on one to assess why.
Are we still following the 5-10-10-5 format? The format now is 5 -25. 5 minutes picking and then 25 minutes working through exercises. Pick any student and start at that exercise. E.g. If one student is on ex. 43 and the next student is on ex.24 see if you can get them to play together. Many of the exercises will harmonise but in cases where they won’t take ex. 43 and handicap it in some way so the other students can join in.
11-15 now seem to just be clapping or playing muted strings, does this apply to all the rhythm exercises on J1? Do we no longer expect students to play open chords with strumming and change patterns or change chords? - Students should apply the rhythms to chords once they are confident with the chords but it’s not a requirement for the rhythms prior to achieving chord competency. The idea is students can confidently change chords while also being able to play the rhythms. I recommend you add in exercises as you go using the chords they know with the rhythms they have learned. Note that the G4 GUITAR METHOD should never be treated as the ‘only’ resource for your lessons. It’s meant to teach them the essential skills but teachers should spice it up with songs, riffs, chord progressions etc.
Are we expected to progress through all 150 exercises in sequence, so if a student is stuck on one of the reading exercises do we progress onto other exercises or have to wait till they’ve completed the reading exercise? - Play it by ear. They don’t need to stay on each exercise until completion but they also can’t skip exercises. They should work on several exercises at a time through the week and if they are getting stuck on any one exercise take the opportunity to learn why. Perhaps they have not understood or they need some extra exercises to help them. If you find any common problem areas let me know and I’ll take a look.
The ones in the book seem to have deliberately unconventional rhythms in them, is this to force the student to read rather than play from memory? At the J1 level students don’t have the skills to be learning songs by reading but they do know how those songs sound. The idea is simply for them to learn them by following the tab and using their ear. You are not aiming for perfection here. Just for the student to be able to play the correct notes with reasonably good timing. You can start teaching the songs at any time but they don’t have to have them complete until the end.
Student Management Application
How do we reconcile the new CL with the SMA? As the exercise checklist isn’t grouped by skills it is going to make it very hard to indicate on the SMA where a student is at or to get a picture of where a student is at with their playing just by glancing at the list. - The SMA is now not yet updated for the purpose of the new checklists. I suggest for now if you want to track the progress of each student based on exercise you make a spread sheet and update it from there. To be honest I don’t even think that is necessary and only creates more work for you. What is better is to simply take note of any student who doesn’t seem to be keeping up.
Video Student Intro
The following video by Ken Perry (G4 Guitar teacher in Oxnard CA) has been designed to introduce students to the G4 GUITAR METHOD. Check it out.
Video Teacher Hangout
The following video is a teacher Q&A session on the G4 GUITAR METHOD.
Is there only one level for young beginners? - Yes at the moment but I will be revising and looking at adding a second level later this year. For now ease them into Junior 1 when they have finished YB1.