First steps in Fletcher

For sharing experiences with the Fletcher Music Method.
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koenig
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:21 am

First steps in Fletcher

Post by koenig » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:19 pm

Hello there! I've been asked to teach a five year old boy how to play guitar. Now I know that the Fletcher Method is designed for a group, but I am going to try my best to adapt the concepts of having fun learning to a one on one situation. I'll let you all know how that works out... In the meantime if anyone has any thoughts on what should be the first concept to introduce to the child, I'd really love to hear your ideas/experiences. Thank you.

Axeman
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: New Zealand

Post by Axeman » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:52 am

5 years old is young to begin on guitar. I would recommend as Fletcher mentioned that you do not be too hasty to get the child onto the instrument too early. I have taught a 7 year old on guitar before and his fingers were not up to it strength wise.
The good thing about Fletcher's approach is that it teaches the necessary skills of sight reading in a musically relevent and authentic way. Even if your sight reading system is tablature it needs to be taught not just as a mathematical sign system but a tool for the creation of musical ideas and solidifying musical concepts.
So while your student could be learning about the concepts of music and be beginning to create his own musical thoughts by composing straight off the bat (using the notation which he can hear by getting the teacher to play his thoughts back to him) he could also be doing some finger strengthening exercises. One that I have heard of involves holding a large piece of news print out at arms length and scrunching it into a ball with the one hand only - using the fingers to gather and scrunch as you go.
I have been using some of the Fletcher tools in my music classroom with some success. The failures have been due to not having time and resources to make all of the tools and the fact that I have too many children in each class. With one child you could not do some of the games mentioned in her method but a good many concepts could still be taught using the fletcher tools.
I had been thinking of creating a guitar version of the dumb piano (see the Flethcer Method booklet) which would be great for teaching some of the concepts about notation, fretboard mapping, and note position and naming.

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