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Old 01-21-2021, 02:01 PM
martinhubltz martinhubltz is offline
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Default How to get young people motivate to learn guitar?

A university in my local area just sold me five guitars, a seagull S6, two Martin D-18, a Martin D-28, and a Martin D-42. I bought them at dirt cheap price. The university has to replace guitars every five years.

These guitars are in very good shape but they have lot of dings & scratches on them because they have been used by university music students. I took them to the local music store to check out and all of them are in good shape.

My goal is donate these guitars to my local church youth group and hire a guitar instructor to provide a group lesson once a week, and I will pay the instruction cost. I will also pay for string replacements and maintenance of those guitars. The church youth office will be available for kids to come in and practice anytime between 9am - 10pm

My local church youth group teams up with another youth group from another church where kids are from low income families. Sound like a good plan right?

Well, the youth group director of the other church told me that it will be hard to get kids to be interested in guitar. They tried it once before but had to shutdown after three months due to lack of interests.

How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?

Any ideas?
  #2  
Old 01-21-2021, 02:18 PM
AH Acoustic AH Acoustic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhubltz View Post
[T]he youth group director of the other church told me that it will be hard to get kids to be interested in guitar...How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?
There are plenty of young people, including young women and young men, who are learning to play guitar -- and not for this reason.

Perhaps the subset of your church group doesn't show this, however, at least if indicated by recent guitar sales, overall interest in guitar is quite strong, across many demographic groups.

Edit: I note some responses center on how kids' interests are reflective of environment. Does the church involve guitar-based music, during services, that invites participation from the congregation? To me, this would be the starting point to explore.

If your church doesn't think guitar has a place, it may be that supporting learning guitar means donating the guitars to a different organization?

-a.h.

Last edited by AH Acoustic; 01-22-2021 at 10:32 AM.
  #3  
Old 01-21-2021, 02:28 PM
SkipII SkipII is offline
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Default Like anything else...

1. I started playing guitar because I watched John Lennon in his power stance with the Rickenbacker guitar on Ed Sullivan in 1964 and wanted to be like him. I also thought it was a good way to attract girls. There is something in there that gives you a clue.

2. Early success. Don't teach theory or chord structure — yet. Pick a few simple songs they can learn to play so they get an early sense of accomplishment. While not in the worship song genre, of course, but Sweet Home Alabama, for example, is a lot to play accurately but most of it is really just D, D/C, G. Mark Knofler started off playing an Em until he wore it out.

3. Make it social. Way better than all sitting around in a circle, Pair them up to work on duets. It feels less lonely and fills in the mistakes to have two players, I always sound better when Jame sTaylor or Eric Clapton accompanies me.

4. I'd say make sure they have an instrument that is playable. Goodness, the church buys Martin and Seagulls? Let the kids know they are playing a great instrument.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:40 PM
pszy22 pszy22 is offline
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Don't know if this is a system that might work in your situation, but there is a great non-profit that has taught thousands of kids to play -

https://www.guitarsintheclassroom.org/

I think they are successful because they make playing fun. They start the kids playing in an open tuning, after about 15 minutes of instruction they are strumming along to some easy songs. They get used to fretting and strumming, after which they can move on to standard tunings.

No scales, no exercises, just fun making music.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2021, 02:44 PM
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Peter Z Peter Z is offline
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First of all, I like what you intend to do!

Then I would present them a weekly Youtube link to listen/watch. There are great young players the kids could identify with.

A few suggestions:
Reina del Cid & Tony Lindgren
Josh Turner
Carson McKee
Mary Spender
and many more!

The thing with the girls might be important too. BUT I remember more than one situation when friends walked away with them while I had to keep on playing! Don’t tell them!
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:46 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Show lots of enthusiasm during the lessons and make sure the Teacher does to.

Teach a few chords and some simple songs that the students know and like. They'll be more interested in playing a song they like. Perhaps during the first lesson you can ask the students what songs they like. Then you can do research to find out whether it's a 3 simple chord song or not. That's what I do with my students - I let them suggest some songs and then I do some work to determine whether it's doable.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:49 PM
pagedr pagedr is offline
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Tailor the teaching to the specific types of music that the kids are interested in. Some might be interested in playing classic songs, but others might be interested in different genres such as rap. Show them how versatile the guitar can be and how it can be used for any type of music.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:51 PM
Emil Emil is offline
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I will for sure sound like a grumpy old man now. But I guess it’s harder to get someone onboard the guitar train 2021 compared to just a few years ago.
There’s no instant payoff like the cell phone, social media and tv-games provides. It takes time and dedication.
And on top of that many of the younger generations artist dont play it either.

Leave them out. Those interested will find em and stick around.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:03 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhubltz View Post
A university in my local area just sold me five guitars, a seagull S6, two Martin D-18, a Martin D-28, and a Martin D-42. I bought them at dirt cheap price. The university has to replace guitars every five years.

These guitars are in very good shape but they have lot of dings & scratches on them because they have been used by university music students. I took them to the local music store to check out and all of them are in good shape.

My goal is donate these guitars to my local church youth group and hire a guitar instructor to provide a group lesson once a week, and I will pay the instruction cost. I will also pay for string replacements and maintenance of those guitars. The church youth office will be available for kids to come in and practice anytime between 9am - 10pm

My local church youth group teams up with another youth group from another church where kids are from low income families. Sound like a good plan right?

Well, the youth group director of the other church told me that it will be hard to get kids to be interested in guitar. They tried it once before but had to shutdown after three months due to lack of interests.

How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?

Any ideas?
Teach them to express themselves through song writing, then they will have to learn to play something[emoji6]
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2021, 03:31 PM
Nimiety Nimiety is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhubltz View Post
...

My goal is donate these guitars to my local church youth group and hire a guitar instructor to provide a group lesson once a week, and I will pay the instruction cost. I will also pay for string replacements and maintenance of those guitars. The church youth office will be available for kids to come in and practice anytime between 9am - 10pm

....

How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?

...
I like the idea!

But...if I was still a kid, I'd want my own instrument to practice with at home. I wouldn't want to be practicing in public away from home.

We had a strings program at my elementary school. I had a loaner for the duration of the program. It was returned at the end.

You can make the kids sign for use of the guitar...not for a fee, just to assign them responsibility for the care of the instrument while in their possession.

I'd also set it up as a course, 10 weeks maybe, with a goal to learn a set amount of material (homework) and maybe even work towards a concert at the end.

I'm not quite sure if a goal of attracting pretty girls is a good one. I was never interested in attracting girls, pretty or not .
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2021, 03:39 PM
PeterD18DK PeterD18DK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhubltz View Post
How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?
Any ideas?
Tell them about drugs and rock'n roll as well and they will be interested

Besides from that, there is a lot of interesting things to do in life eg. book, religion, chess, football, wine, music etc. But not many things has so many perspectives as music does. It is intellektuel, it is challenging both theoretical and physical, it is healthy, it is exciting, it is social etc. and plays a huge role in society. Most importantly when you pass 40 years it is usually harder to pick up girls. But when you play the guitar they will keep running
  #12  
Old 01-21-2021, 03:41 PM
CMGibson CMGibson is offline
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I was attracted to playing guitar because in 1966 it seemed like there were many wonderful SONGS! I hardly listen to modern music but I might not have been as interested if our songs hadn't been so awesome.

And it did draw the girls even for someone like me who otherwise may have not made any of their lists.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:50 PM
Wally Taylor Wally Taylor is offline
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Just show them a picture of a rock star's girlfriend (or boyfriend). That was a pretty good way to make me intetested!
  #14  
Old 01-21-2021, 09:11 PM
shufflebeat shufflebeat is offline
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It's probably a mistake to assume all the boys will be straight and all the girls will be gay so if you're going to dangle sex in front of them you'll need to add that boys are also impressed by a good, confident (you will be) musician with something to say.

I reckon self expression, a sense of belonging and philosophical and artistic exploration are probably the things most YPs are interested in, apart from the other.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:16 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhubltz View Post
Sound like a good plan right?
No, not really.

To begin with, the idea of providing high-end instruments for the program, while nicely intentioned, isn't practical. In many school programs, instruments aren't well cared for sometimes to the point of being trashed. It seems inappropriate to start semi-interested beginners on such high-end instruments.

Quote:
Well, the youth group director of the other church told me that it will be hard to get kids to be interested in guitar. They tried it once before but had to shutdown after three months due to lack of interests.
I see no reason that one should try to interest anyone else in learning to play the guitar specifically. If - if - the goal is to get kids interested in music, there are many ways that one can do that without trying to force-fit them to play expensive guitars that they might have little interest in.

Quote:
How do I get kids interested in learning guitar, other than telling them, play guitar will get you pretty girls?
You are suggesting that the way to con kids - boys? - to learn to play a guitar is so that they can get pretty girls? With that intention, they'd probably be better served bcoming athletes/jocks.

Your goal is music appreciation or to increase the sex appeal of boys?

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but I think you really need to clearly identify what it is you want to accomplish and why. Once you know that, you can begin to think about how best to accomplish it. The lack of kids' interest in learning to play the guitar might be a clear indication that it isn't an effective means of introducing them to music.

Singing, for example, is something that many kids like to do. It requires little expense in buying or maintaining instruments, doesn't require kids to carry instruments around with them, is something they can do anytime, almost anywhere - by themselves, with friends or in groups - and doesn't, at an entry level, require a lot of learning to do. All reasons for the popularity of choirs.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 01-22-2021 at 04:23 AM.
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