The Music Challenge Project for Children
This is the same concept as the Music Challenge Project for Adults, but tailored for children or teenagers.
Schools or clubs can host the project and lessons can be individual or shared. Group lessons focus on individual and group challenges.
The challenge is designed to run over two or three terms, with 10 lessons per term. This level of tuition offers plenty of scope for the content within the challenge, including music technology experience, marketing and fundraising, as well as the instrumental and performance challenge.
The project began as a response to music students who found the conventional diet of scales and exams uninspiring. I found that some students would only play their instrument at their lessons and didn’t always feel inspired to practise in between. I found that when students were performing a song that they had chosen, with a goal of performing or recording it they were 100% more motivated to practise and thoroughly enjoyed what they were doing. The project also encourages those who have decided not to learn a musical instrument to experience the joy of music and the satisfaction of achievement.
Many pupils, particularly teenagers, find the project exciting and fulfilling. Individual tuition is tailored to their abilities and preferences. Each challenge has many opportunities for learning and personal development.
Using electronic studio equipment, students learn how to edit their final piece and make it sound good. This gives all participants the opportunity to succeed whilst also giving them an insight into the secrets of the recording industry.
The challenge is open to all instruments, but my expertise as a teacher lies in strings and keyboard. The violin is perhaps the hardest and therefore most challenging of instruments to use for the project, but it is also versatile and immensely satisfying.
The use of the electric violin makes recording much easier in a school environment and the addition of effects makes the instrument even more versatile. This instrument is also one on the most economical to buy, with complete kits available for around £60. I also have instruments available for hire. The other advantage is noise disturbance during practise are minimal, the student being able to use headphones. Electric keyboards enable project participants to make use of MIDI, virtual instruments and a whole wealth of features that technology gives us.
I assess each student and make a suitable arrangement of their chosen piece. Those who are undecided on a piece will be able to choose from a library of music in their preferred style, be it folk, classical or rock. Students receive exercises specifically designed to enable them to play their piece. Lessons in the recording studio enable students to build the foundation of their final performance using simple but satisfying techniques.
Students will be encouraged to raise money for charity or school through sponsorship. There will be opportunities to create artwork and promotional material for the final performance.
In this project the participants get the opportunity to be performer, producer, and promoter and therefore have the chance to experience many aspects of the music industry.
I also run conventional music lessons for both adults and children.