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FOR PARENTS

This website provides two separated  courses.

The first course is our “Step One Music Videos and MP3’s to Supplement Beginner’s Lessons.”  Students learn better, faster and play more musically when they can see and hear the music they are learning. This course allows the students to hear what they are learning in the initial stages AND SEE how to correctly play the music – some of which will be unfamiliar to them. A student who struggles to understand how to play a tune will magically improve in his or her efforts when the music is heard many times. Parents can help by reading the text underneath the videos. The videos can be sped up or slowed down. 

The second course: “The Childbloom Free Complete Course For Online Instruction” presents nearly 200 videos that will bring your student the latest in what we know about the neurology of technical mastery on a musical instrument. Students will be able to play along with videos of the most challenging parts of the music in the Childbloom curriculum – from the beginnings of Step 1 through the Tunes You Can Play 2 book material – and beyond. The videos are purposely short, and text is also included so you can know how to help your child focus. Students who read can learn to practice efficiently on their own. The course includes downloadable theory units also for theory-ready students. Accompanying each video is an “insta-joke” to share at the dinner table. We also have two flash card games so students can learn the notes on the fretboard in a fun and challenging way. 

 This site won’t replace your Childbloom Instructor, who can provide the individual attention that your child needs. but it will help your child come into the lesson being better prepared. It can also help your child answer a bit more enthusiastically when you ask them if they have practiced today!

HOW TO USE THESE Video Lessons

THE BEGINNING COURSE: For the beginning Course, the students should listen to the MP3’s many times, then watch the video of the voice they are learning. The videos can be slowed down or sped up as the child progresses.

THE COMPLETE COURSE: In the Complete Course, each video provides 5-7 repetitions. The student should try to play the passage “perfectly” and then rest (rewind the video). The videos can be slowed down or sped up.

Even two successful and perfect performances of one video (5-7 repetitions) in two consecutive days should provide the student a memory that will last for a week – until the lesson, where it can be reinforced and embedded by the teacher again.

 More repetitions than that, provided they are focused ones, are even better – and will likely be needed depending on the difficulty of the passage. This is an extremely quick way to gain mastery of material.

Guitar Finger Identification

Left Hand

1 = Index
2 = Middle
3 = Ring
4 = Little finger

The Right Hand

p = Thumb
i = Index
m = Middle
a = Ring

Age Estimated # of repetitions tolerated
5 1 – 2
6 1 – 3
7 2 – 4
8 2 – 5
9 3 – 6
10 4 – 7
11 4 – 8
12 5 – 8
13 and older 1 – as needed

 

AN AGE-GUIDE FOR Repetition

It is important that the student play with the exact same fingers (and hopefully the right ones) of left and right hand on the video. Any inconsistency means the students has lost focus for that moment and the repetition should not count (!). That is why it is important for the parent to help the student during this process – especially with the younger student. Eventually the student will be able to do it without outside help. 

Having a positive coach such as a teacher, parent or a friend guide the repetitions can help the student.

This method of learning can be grueling. But it only takes less than a minute to overcome any technical challenge the student will face. Can the student practice hard for a minute?

After the first repetition, the student will be rewarded with a Childbloom “Insta-joke” to make the concentration a bit more fun.

 

Music Neurology

How GUITAR PLAYING IS STORED IN THE BRAIN

Recent research in neurology has revealed some very important aspects of learning that can be applied to learning the guitar.

All musical performance is simply “remembering.” So it is important to “input” our memories correctly.

1) All learning a new skill, such as a hand motion on the guitar, creates a neuropathway – a brain “circuit” that can be recalled if stored in memory. Those motions allow us to make music on the guitar.

2) Each circuit is a combination of body posture, finger motion, arm motion, finger and hand muscle pressure, visual awareness, sound awareness and thought. One little passage of music becomes a huge neuropathway network literally all over the brain. There is no activity quite like it. 

3) Focused attention on correct repetitions creates myelin (the “white matter” in the brain) that targets and insulates that circuit and makes it easier and quicker to remember. The more accurate the concentration, the more accurate, faster and secure the passage will be learned.

4) Even the most complicated motions can be learned quickly with a learning method that cultivates deep concentration. Our videos are a tool for that learning method.

5) Every student tolerates a different amount of deep focus. Young children struggle to concentrate for more than a 2 or 3 repetitions. But even an adult brain can only accept a few repetitions at a time without a rest in-between. In fact, it does little good to practice something if there is no focused attention. Distracted repetitions create neurological “static” that actually interferes with the proper memory and the result is inaccurate motion, memory and performance anxiety.

6) Trying to learn something too fast creates tension, mistakes and ineffective memory. Learning too fast also contributes to performance anxiety. Without guidance, kids do that. That is how a teacher or parent can  help – slow the learner down.

7) For learning hand/finger patterns that are repetitive, such as arpeggios, the maximum a student should play is about 30 seconds at a time. Finger motion that is repetitive and without thought, can confuse the brain. Our practice videos for these patterns are limited and short.

Even the most difficult movements can be mastered in this way. That is why musicians have a saying, “If you want to play fast, play slow.”