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Teachiung The Concertina To Children

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I plan to teach children to play the Concertina.

I have my own ideas about it, but practically no expereoince.


Who has expereionce, ideas, suggestions for this purpose.


Limit the instrument to a 20 key instrument ?


The children will be about 8 - 12 years old.


Any Tutor to be recommended.


Preparing a own one, what should it contain for a first part ?


Any Tutor for other instruments, whioch might serve as an example ?


Wellany comment and suggestion will be gratefully received.


Thanks in advance and kind regaresd



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I plan to teach children to play the Concertina.

I have my own ideas about it, but practically no experience.

(I assume you'll be teaching them anglo. :) )

My own perspective: If you're going to teach children -- or indeed anyone -- to play any instrument, you have to be able to show them how to play music that interests them. This requires the following:

.. 1) You have to know what music interests them. (Perhaps you can find something they're not already familiar with that will catch their interest, but you can't count on that.)

.. 2) You have to be sufficiently familiar with the music that interests them to be able to select examples that are easy to play on the instrument (and avoid the more difficult ones until they're more advanced). Trying to start on something that enthuses them but is too difficult will more likely than not lead to frustration and abandonment.

.. 3) You have to be able to show them how to do it. If you can't play the music for them, it will be much more difficult for them to discover how to do it themselves.

.. 4) You have to be able to watch them as they play, understand the mechanics of what each part of their bodies is doing, and prescribe adjustments where needed. E.g.,

... "Johnny, when you lean forward like that and try to look at your fingers, it makes you tense and that makes it harder to play."

... "Margarita, it looks like your hand straps are too loose; let's tighten them just a little."

... "Juergen, if you grip too hard with your thumbs, it makes it hard for you to move your (other) fingers."

... "Jenny, try turning your left hand so that the fingers point in the same direction as your right hand. I think if you lift your left elbow at little, that will help."


Limit the instrument to a 20 key instrument ?
The only good reason I can think of for doing that is price, which is (unfortunately, in my opinion) a strong argument.

The English-style 30-button anglos are generally smaller and easier to manipulate than their 20-button German counterparts, especially for chidren's smaller hands. (The Button Box Ceilis are even exceptionally light weight.) And having the additional notes available when they discover a musical need for them is a big plus.

This is not to say that there's anything inherently wrong in starting with a 20-button, especially if it has the dimensions of a Lachenal 20-button. But I don't think there's any musical reason to prefer the 20-button, not even for beginners. Remember, you don't have to use all 30 from the very beginning.


Any Tutor to be recommended.

Not off hand. But note that if you're going to use a tutor written by someone else, you have to be very familiar with what it contains before they start to use it, so that you can direct the students as they use it.


Preparing a own one, what should it contain for a first part ?

Songs and tunes they're already familiar with. Maybe some of their favorite popular songs, maybe themes or songs from favorite TV shows, etc. What works best for children in Tolosa may be quite different from what works best in Frankfurt, or even in Madrid.


But can these children already read music? If not, then to use a tutor, either you or the tutor (still with your help) would have to teach them how. I think that at least for the beginning stages you would be better off teaching them "by ear" and avoiding the use of a tutor. Once you have some teaching experience and have discovered what does and doesn't work, then you could consider putting some of that experience in writing as a tutor.

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The children will be about 8 - 12 years old.

Hmm, I don't know if you mean they will all be together in one combined group, or as individuals.


Useful things, that seem to encompass a wide range of ages, in my opion, are:


Visuals props, like puppets, pictures;


Motifs that can be combined and repeated...i.e., a unique brief melody that introduces a character or an activity (...I guess you'd need an assistant or a tape-player with pre-recorded sounds, though), or a story-line used with musical interludes;


familiar things that make the unfamiliar less ominous -- for example, maybe the concertina is a 'new bird,' but the tunes are well-known or some other visual reference is well-known and accepted/unintimidating.


I hope it's fun! :)

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