description of the stages:
Constructing a personal instrument - My Ancient Guitar,
The personal instrument is made of modular wood parts prepared in advance, cut into the
right sizes and roughly processed. The pupils will file the parts and gradually put them
together. The building process is supervised, and all students progress together, step by
step, working individually under the teacherís guidance.
Each building stage includes three secondary stages:
1. Discussing and understanding the building stage that is going to be
performed in the present lesson.
2. Preparations for the present building stage. For example, marking,
putting the nails in, filing and adjusting the pieces.
3. Construction. For example, putting the parts together using nails and
glue (in pairs).
video-clip: "Constructing is easy..."
[7 MB] So you can see how this stage goes.
The building process lasts two to three months, during which the students turn the modular
pieces of wood into real instruments with a sound and a soul. While building the resonance
box, making the neck, bridges and tuning key, inserting the string and smelling the scent
of wood and glue, the students becomes attached to the instruments the have built. Once
the students have discovered the sound of their guitars, they immediately try to play,
thus moving on to the second stage.
Learning the principles of playing on the individual level
Learning the basic principles of playing is a very important stage. Through this stage we
help the students develop basic playing skills so that they can express themselves with
the instrument - and this is the essence of music.
The student will receive personal training within the group, and will eventually be able
to play simple melodic lines in the first position. It is important that the instruction
be professional and provide the students with a reliable and correct basis, as we expect
some of our students to continue and study
individually in the future.
At this stage the students will be taught the following skills: holding the instrument
correctly, hand positions, operating each left finger separately (for right handed
students), playing with and without a plectrum, playing with both hands, understanding
rhythmic values and reading notes. Now, when the students are able to play several small
melodies, they will turn to their friends, demonstrate, and try to play together for the
||Download a video-clip
"6 ladies" playing: "Frere Jacque" [6.1 MB]
| The third stage:
Ensemble playing - communication between players.
At this point we move from a stage in which the student builds and learns to play his own
instrument to a stage in which the student communicates with his friends through sounds.
For this purpose it is necessary to reach some common agreements, such as: How do we begin
playing together? How do we decide which rhythm to start with? When should we play loudly,
and when should we play softly? And, of course - what shall we play?
At this stage we deal with all the above questions. First we play in pairs, then in
trios. We combine some percussion by tapping the instrument (producing the sound of a
Darbuka). We practice playing together in unison and in canon, do some group
improvisation, imitation and write small melodies. We also try different musical styles,
use playback, and accompany singing. All of these activities prepare the students for the
fourth, final stage of the program.
Orchestral music, preparing for the performance, and the the
In this stage we combine and put together all the knowledge that has been accumulated so
far and add the principles of orchestral music. We decide upon some behavioral codes that
will enable us to work efficiently. We discuss and decide together what pieces to play in
the concert. We add some percussion instruments, singing and even dancing. As we approach
the date of the concert we have some rehearsals. First we rehearse the parts and focus on
fragments of the works, and gradually we start rehearsing the complete pieces. Before the
performance we have a few sequence rehearsals and we stress the students responsibility
regarding the performance.
The concert may consist of: solo pieces written by several
students, one or two ensemble pieces (three to five players), an Ancient melody (from the
obligatory repertoire of the program), an orchestral piece, the theme of which was written
by a student and transcribed for orchestra by the teacher, and several songs accompanied
by the orchestra.
||It is possible to have two
concerts, for example, one concert in the morning for children of the lower grades at the
school, and one in the evening for the parents.
||Download a video-clip: "Malaguena".
A Spanish traditional piece [6.1 MB]
||At the end of the program each student
takes his own instrument home.