Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 09:38:51 -0500 From: "Jones, Dave" Subject: RE: Rocking the Twinkle --Teaching kids harp
You were there Rick..THAT is what matters. Who knows what will happen next time? I have taught kids (martial arts) for almost 10 years and know how you feel! Hang in there!
- -----Original Message----- From: Rick Beall [mailto:ri~luesharp.org] Sent: Sunday, September 01, 2002 11:44 AM To: harp~arply.com Subject: Rocking the Twinkle --Teaching kids harp
I thought I'd give everyone an update on my first experience with teaching kids harp.
When I arrived at the tent, a problem immediately presented itself. The promised electrical connection did not exist. I had recorded a bunch of train sounds, and chugging tracks on cassette, but I couldn't use them. I could not use the drum machine or scratch jog.
But I had dressed for success. I was wearing a powder blue suit, white shirt, grey suspenders, brown two-tone wingtips, and a sunflower tie with matching yellow carnations in my pocket
So, I stood outside the tent and performed what I imagined to be Sonny Boy Williamson style, trying to lure people into the tent.. I played jazz and blues when adults walked by, and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" when kids came by. I also just plain made up a lot of stuff.
I had brought one of those shaker eggs. It was a real nice addition, but I hadn't practiced using it, and when I played a complex passage, I had to just stop shaking it, 'cause otherwise I might have fallen over.
At the end of my 2 hour shift, I had sold $3.00 worth of tickets (we won't say what I was expected to sell), and given away 9 Johnson harps. I gave free lessons (and harps) to two groups of kids. I was able to hold each groups attention for about 8 minutes. In the middle of my second lesson, a little boy raised his hand and said asked "Can I ask a question". These were his first words. I thought I had him! "Sure," I said. "When can we leave?" he asked. "Whenever you want," I said. All 5 kids slid off their chairs and walked out of the tent with their shiney harmonicas clenched in their hands.
Teaching harp to 4 - 8 year old kids in a tent at a carnival is like trying to heard sheep on an aircraft carrier while jets are taking off.
Hey, I don't think I'm going to write a book about my teaching method, but it was fun. I think that all the playing I had done previously with the drum machine, really strengthened my solo playing.
When I got home, my wife chewed me out for 4 hours for wearing "my best suit" to the carnival, but I had satisfied my inner Sonny Boy, and was happy. It was a good day.
--Rick B www.Bluesharp.org
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