Semester in Review

I’m overly grateful for the opportunity to teach that MIE has allowed me to have without going through screening interviews that look for the right teachers. This semester has actually completely changed my teaching style and opened a new door way into creative and “childish” but effective thinking and teaching!

Here’s a list of terms/concepts I used that I’ve come up with for teaching mnemonics that have really ingrained in my students.┬áThis is a list that is continuously growing and has helped me explain things to kids so much easier!

Chipmunk: Going and down the strings vertically in the first position just like how Chipmunks and squirrels go up trees.

Caterpillar: Going up and down the strings horizonally just like catepillars and worms crawl across benches at parks!

Ninja: For a good LH position (so that the thumb doesn’t just lean over the neck like other styles of guitar). A ninja always stands ready and in the middle of the neck so it can attack all sides without a flinch.

Sloth: Sloppy ugly left hand position if we do the opposite of a ninja, it’s a pretty dramatic different.

Triangle: For good RH position (I stole the idea, but not the word from Stephen Rak) I tell them to go to the 3rd strings, all the parties are going to have a party, but when they gather, the fingers and thumb must be seperated and have a triangle between them. Then I tell them to send everyone “home.” The thumb goes to the 6th string, and the IMA, go to the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st respectively.

Social class seperation (not the term I used in the class): I had to come up with something to make the kids remember the above. So I said the Rich guy (thumb) has 3 houses (strings), everyone else has 1. A hilarious story, my kids asked me “Well what about the pinky?” I responded saying, I don’t know. Another one says, “HE’S HOMELESS!” Kid humor, hilarious, although not safe for the pc friendly.

Walking: (partially stolen from Scott Tennant) for the idea of IM for playing scales. I also tell the kids, you wouldn’t walk on one leg, that’d be skipping/tiring and ridiculous. They always laugh and then they don’t forget!

Hope you enjoyed these fun ideas and will use them in your teaching!

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