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TGW Forum Member
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
I had a methods class in 1980 something.
Three years ago I completed level I, and now I teach guitar as part of my once per week (when it doesn't snow!) 5th grade general music class, and five day a week, 1 semester 6h grade general music classes.  Guitar is not all that we do in general music. I had 7th grade for two years (1/4 year, 5 day per week class) which moved so much faster! but my school cut 7th grade general music.
After three years of teaching elementary students a little guitar, and trying to accompany my other general music classes on guitar sometimes I can play full versions of a lot of chords, but still struggle to be comfortable with power chords.  I also haven't successfully landed a barre chord yet. I have a lot of songs with a Bm in them, so I am trying, but I am not even close yet!
I don't play very well with a pick, and play with my thumb. I can play a few different strumming patterns, but if I go fast I revert to some bad habits.  I only do strumming patterns that aren't just, "Down, Down, Down," if they are very slow.
I have attempted to play a bass note, then strum the rest of the chord on some songs.  It's pretty sloppy, but I keep trying.  My grade K-2 cafeteria duty kids at lunch enjoyed singing the songs regardless of my sloppy playing.
I can improvise in first position on the top three strings. My hand doesn't always play what I plan in my brain, but it still sounds okay.
After level 1 and that methods class, I still have absolutely no concept of using anything but my thumb. I struggled pretty badly with the "method" of using my fingers, that I lack a lot of confidence to even attempt it. It felt like I was pulled in every direction at level 1. Sometimes I got a "good! and other times, I was told it was wrong, although I didn't see any difference haha.

Do I have any hope of passing a level II class?  I would love to get some more skills, but my money is being spent on bass lessons each week. (upright and electric) I need a few more grad credits for work. I would love to take the class, but ... ack, any hope or should I just hang a few more years? I can't afford to pay for the class if I fail it due to a lack of perfect skills in finger picking and barre chords.  The level I course that I took in Pittsburgh was to get your started, find materials, but not an attempt to teach people how to play guitar in five days. Is level II just as understanding? I just want to be able to guide any higher level kids I may get that wonder in from time to time, or maybe one day my school will have a better understanding and get some more music classes back.

TGW Forum Yellow Belt
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #2 
I would say go for it. I found the stuff in level 2 changed the way I taught guitar completely. There were concepts that I didn't fully grasp right away, but being introduced to them in level 2 helped me understand the instrument and different ways I could use it in class.

My favorite part was learning the pentatonic scale and finding ways to get my students improvising. This opened up so many doors in my teaching.

I wouldn't feel like taking level 2 means you personally need to master all the concepts taught, but rather learning where you can go next in your teaching.
Glen McCarthy

TGW Forum Yellow Belt
Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #3 
I would sign up for TGW II. If you are too challenged realize at all TGW II locations, a TGW I will be going on at the same time. You could sneak back in to the TGW I class if you feel overwhelmed in TGW II. TGW II starts with review of TGW I and builds on those concepts. 
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