Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Both the boys have decided they want to learn to play the electric guitar, since last night. We spent the evening listening to the efforts of the music students at the local music school, including my eldest who does solfège there. He learns the violin with his teacher where we used to live and participated in their music concert a couple of weeks ago.

Last night, with the other solfège kids, he was on the kazoo, so hardly the coolest instrument of the bunch... They did a rendition of some French pop song which I could la la laa to you, but whose name escapes me for the moment.

Other recitals came from children who played the drums, the guitar - both acoustic and electric, piano, song and violin. One young girl played the piano and sang her own composition. She must only have been about 9. I was most impressed.

Obviously the drums and electric guitar have enormous success with young people, who flock to lessons in the greatest numbers, especially when there is a cool, dynamic teacher to get them going. I was very impressed with both the drummers and the guitarists - drummers because the coordination needed to deal with three different beats from the hands and feet is a real feat, and guitarists because they were terrific and enthusiastic. Instead of intervals, the guitarists with a drummer did a series of 'Riffs' where they played a few bars of a famous song or advert and gave a lollipop to the person who identified the piece of music. That was a great success, with the ados behind me taking it all very animatedly, and little children at the front running about getting the answers from their parents.

One thing's for sure, around here, if any local band needs a guitarist or a drummer, they'll have embarras du choix if they go to the music school. In fact, the band idea is one that appeals to my eldest, for the moment. He's decided he wants to be a pop star...

I was actually surprised that my youngest didn't jump on the idea of learning to play the drums. He may well do yet, of course but for the moment I think he fancies himself leaping about a stage with a guitar. I wonder if I should consult Ebay. Any advice on guitars for children will be gratefully received!

1 comment:

  1. I started at 17 on an acoustic, second hand. The benefits of acoustic are (1) not loud, (2) self sufficient and (3) typically cheaper. Plus it allows for a wider range of musical taste (including solfege). Something to look for in this case is what is called an easy "action" meaning the height of the strings off the fret board (closer to an electric guitar feel). [Ca s'appelle "action" en francais aussi].
    ps I bought my son (10 now) a classical guitar when he was 7. Too early and too hard.


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