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  Music and Guitar


Music and Education


My Ancient Guitar
Class comedian... help!!!




Program stages:

My Ancient Guitar has four stages:

  1. Building a personal instrument - the Ancient guitar.
  2. Teaching the elements of playing on the individual level (in groups).
  3. Ensemble playing - communication among players.
  4. Playing as an Orchestra - preparing for the performance and the performance itself: the final concert.

The stages are planned in such a way that each contributes to the following one.
After they have finished building the Guitar, the students will
be surprised by its full and clear sound, and they will want to
play. Similarly, group work will naturally follow the first,
basic stage of playing.

  My Ancient Guitar
Instrument name: Ancient Guitar
Constructing and playing...

What is it?
Program goals
Program stages
The pieces we'll play
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Detailed description of the stages:

First stage:
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).
downlmp3.gif (1856 bytes) Download  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.

   Browse some of our guitars surface decoration
Learn more about Ancient Guitar... 

The second stage:
Learning the principles of playing on the individual level (in groups):
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 first time.

Playing together  
downlmp3.gif (1856 bytes) 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.

Stage four:
Orchestral music, preparing for the performance, and the the final concert.
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.

Orchestral working   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.


downlmp3.gif (1856 bytes) Download a video-clip: "Malaguena".
A Spanish traditional piece [6.1 MB]


 Play My Ancient Guitar.
 All the program's contents...
At the end of the program each student takes his own instrument home.

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