Harness the power of games to reach more students, improve student engagement, and grow your guitar teaching studio!
The Struggle: Music Theory
Like most guitar teachers, I struggled to teach kids basic concepts like how to tune their guitars and how to read guitar tab in large group guitar classes. After a few unsuccessful attempts at extolling the virtues of the musical alphabet to a classroom full of first graders with electric guitars and loud amps, I soon realized I needed a change of tactics.
I needed games!
The Solution: Gamify My Group Guitar Lessons
I took my greatest challenges as a guitar teacher, and I gamified them in my group guitar classes by introducing rules, keeping track of points, and adding an element of chance, and the results have been astonishing! For the first time in years, my students are excited to test their knowledge of the musical alphabet or their ability to read guitar tab against that of their peers, both of which can be a huge challenge for a 6-year old guitar student!
The Elements of a Great Guitar Game
All games have the following elements:
- Game Rules – The rules are arbitrary. Consistency and integrity in applying the rules, however, are the keys to a great game!
- Goals – The goal is the concept you’re trying to teach your students. In one game, my goal was to help my students learn to read guitar tab, so I created guitar tab flashcards and tested their ability to read them. My students’ goal was to pick a flashcard and correctly identify the notes shown on the card.
- Competition – By tallying points, I introduced an element of competition to the guitar games.
- Chance – Every great game has an element of chance. That’s why the game packs I created for guitar students contain wildcards designed to keep the games fun and introduce an element of chance into the guitar lesson.
Bring the Rock Dojo Guitar Games to Your Teaching Studio
The Rock Dojo games for guitar teachers designed to help students in the following areas: musical literacy, rhythm, lead, music theory, and composition.
If there is a specific area your students struggle with and you would like to see ‘gamified’, please let us know in the comment section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Parham is the founder of the Rock Dojo in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches hundreds of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years-old to play, perform, and compose their own original music on the guitar in after-school group guitar lessons. He’s also the author of three guitar method books including Guitar for Kids: Rock Dojo The Complete Belt System.