Finding the In Door to Music

I’m going through a phase. It began about a year ago. An eager young face looked up at me, cradling a too-big guitar on her lap; written all over the face was “teach me.”

Finding the In Door to Music | Jay Albert

I live for this: helping others in to the world of music, sharing what I have learned. We had gone over a few sounds you can make, exploring the box and the strings to see what they do. We had seen and felt how to hold it without it trying to fall off. Then I opened the method book, the one that purports to show a beginner how to play the guitar, how to read music, how to make music. For my student’s first portentous and exciting try at making a song she was given something like this:

Now, if you don’t read music, this sequence of notes falls just barely short of incredibly, mind-numbingly boring. No melodic shape, no rhythmic interest, no lyrics, no sense of key for your ear to hold onto. Nothing. It is a very standard way for one of these books to begin and it is, to my mind, non-music. Read more..