One aspect we highly recommend at UGA, is encouraging student performances of any kind. This builds confidence, skill and performance ability. Although many guitar students are actually quite nervous and don’t like performing in front of other, when a student works on a piece to perform it becomes a long term project for them (we call these Project Pieces).
We usually find that a project piece is practiced a lot and learnt very well as a result. We want all students to have at least one project piece per term, though this will vary depending on their age, goals and how much they practice.
Here are some ways that parents can encourage their child to perform:
- Start small. Really small: Ask your child to choose a song they like to play (anything at all, no matter how short the song is), tell them that you want them to perform it for you and they’ll have two weeks to practice it. When it comes to performance time, have them stand in front of some seats, so that you can sit down opposite them, just like a real performance. After the performance, be encouraging and try rewarding them somehow – pocket money, ice cream, a trip to the park… whatever it takes.
- Family performances: Weekly, monthly, termly or just whenever. There are great opportunities at birthday parties, Christmas lunches or any other events where friends and extended family get together.
- Make recordings: Film their playing so they can watch and review it. This is a great way to improve your guitar playing, but they may eventually make something their proud of and want to show people.
- Set up a YouTube channel: Film their playing, even if it’s extremely rough and amateur. It’s also a good way to show your friends and brag about your child!
- Go to performances: Concerts, recital nights, musicals ect. These events don’t have to be expensive – school musicals, school recital nights, cover band performances. Plus, this will help raise your child’s interest in music that you also like such as the Beatles, AC/DC, Metallica, pink, etc.
- Request recordings from your tutor: Whilst we typically send home audio or video recordings at least once per term (depending on your UGA location), you can ask your tutor at any time to work on a piece with the intention of recording it. This will become a “project piece” for your child.