Here at Kids That Rock, we’re all about engaging and inspiring students to develop a love of music. Whether you’re hiring us at a school, home education group, scout group or a community event, we wanted to give you a rundown on what to expect from our workshops.
We arrive an hour before the workshop starts, this gives us time to unpack and tune up 30+ guitars. We’ll also set up additional equipment like electric instruments and amplifiers. Before the workshop starts, we’ll set up an optimal safe space too.
Once class is seated, we do a brief introduction that includes listing the objectives for the day. The aim of our first session is to learn the basics of playing a guitar and eventually play together as a group. We start by playing some popular and well-known rock tunes and encourage the class to clap along. The aim is to clap in time, in unison. This is a fun starting point and will show the class the importance of keeping in time together. It is even more fun with guitars!
Next, we focus on identifying the main parts of the guitar and their purposes. A demonstration on how to hold the guitar follows, and make sure they understand the difference between the 6 different strings and pitches. We then ask the class for brave volunteers to come to the front to check that the information is understood.
Once we hand out the guitars to the class, we then encourage them to experiment and play around with the instrument for a few minutes. It may be noisy, but this is a great way for them to explore how it feels and really get to grips with the instrument. Once order resumes and the class is ready to continue, we start by playing along to a very simple backing track. We play string 1 open 8 times, then repeat the same action for string 6. It’s a simple but effective way to start and allows the kids to concentrate without feeling overwhelmed.
We then move on to playing along to famous, well known, rock and pop songs just by playing open strings. This is always a real “Eureka Moment!” They get excited about joining in with the music and start to feel really positive about playing guitar! After successfully playing along, we then like to play “name that tune” which helps the class rest and get ready for the next stage of the workshop.
It’s now time to talk about “frets”, and we explain how each fret creates a different musical note when it’s pressed. As this is a trickier part of the workshop, we always assure the class it’s okay if they don’t get it straight away and encourage them to keep trying. Once they press down on a fret and get a clear sound, this is where the fun begins! It is at this point, the kids really start to engage and get even more excited about playing guitar.
We like to finish each session with a talk to wind down but keep them inspired at the same time. Chances are they’re excited and want to continue learning. We encourage them to begin their own guitar playing journeys, through using resources such as online lessons which can be done at home. We also remind them that their first guitar doesn’t have to cost a fortune – previously we have bought them from charity shops for as little as a fiver!
POST-LOCKDOWN OFFER: September – December 2020
If you’re a school based in and around The Midlands, Cheshire, Greater Manchester or Merseyside, why not get the new academic year off with a bang and book a workshop for only £200!
Choose from the following options:
- Four class sessions in one day
- One class for a full day
- Two classes, half a day each