Today we welcome back our great friend Mats Nermark from Sweden! Mats is a long time PreSonus user and has led the way in his area with his approach to education! Let’s hear what Mats has to say this week!
I have 30 guitar students per week and I realized that there’s not technical solution that allows me to play in time with the kind using Teams or similar tech. I also realized that I will not have time to tailor make 30 different lessons per week and make digital content for that. Especially since I only spend 50% of my time in the guitar department. The rest of the time, I run the Music Production courses with 24 students and they also need their teacher. So instead of making 30 different ”lesson packages”, one for each student I started thinking about making one lesson that would suit and inspire all 30 students no matter their progress and abilities.
I decided on making a lesson package consisting of the following:
- a pdf with ”Getting Started” instructions
- pdf sheet music with standard notation and tab
- a recorded version of the tune
- the same tune ”minus 1” to use a s a backing track (see more later)
- a video where I explain the different steps in this particular lesson package
The solution lies in developing different steps. Steps from easy up to advanced so it can entertain and challenge all students, regardless of their level. All students start with step 1 and the progress through the steps as far as their interest and abilities can take them. The primary goal here is to keep playing fun and their musical interest alive.
Here are 5 typical steps and some reasoning behind them.
- 1. First I have selected a tune with a fairly simple melody that every one can play as long as they can read a tab.
- And everybody should learn how to play simple melodies with expression and phrasing. You can’t get enough of that in my book.
- 2. A simple strumming accompaniment
- 3. A more advanced strumming accompaniment
- 4. A finger picking or stylistically appropriate accompaniment
- 5. Improvisation, what notes you can use and why. Stylistic tips and trick. This ties in with music theory, knowing your scales and how chords are constructed, etc.
Here is an example of one lesson pack broken down! (Lesson Example Files: Click Here)
- Step 1: For example, I selected Freight Train in C. Simple melody enough for the beginner to get around but also a good base on which to start a discussion with the advanced students about phrasing and the importance of the pause and space.
- Step 2: It also a song that’s easy to strum around a camp fire when camping, so we introduce basic strumming.
- Step 3: I then created the backing track as a country tune which allows for some more advanced strumming.
- Step 4: This brings in comping in the style of Luther Perkins who was the guitar player with Johnny Cash for many years.
- Step 5: This is unlimited in scope as there’s improvisation in the country context with stylistic elements like chicken picking, double stops, playing in sixths, and the importance of practice alternate picking.
Thanks again to Mats for contributing! For More on Mats Nermark, Visit his website at: www.nermark.com
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During the COVID-19 Epidemic, we have seen the amount of video calling rise rapidly all over the world. While some may have the ability to have a dedicated space to work or teach, for some they may need to make it work in more confined spaces with others around. Enter the powerful and useful Eris HD10BT Headphones!
First, for those looking for a little peace and quiet, the onboard Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) offers the ability to bring the background noise down a bit, giving you the freedom to keep your focus on your work, lessons, and more!
Next, with the power of Bluetooth connectivity, you won’t have any more cables to worry about amongst your work area. Just connect up with your Bluetooth enabled device, and you can speak and hear with fantastic fidelity and no mess! You can even use them as a simple solution for moving around while teaching an instrument!
Last, don’t forget the main feature of the Eris HD10BT, that fantastic PreSonus sound! Whether you need to casually listen to your favorite new hit, listen to video lessons, or mix your next hit, the Eris HD10BT has you covered!
And don’t forget, you’ve got all of this while reducing the background noise with the Active Noise Cancellation!
With the rapid shift to online learning many educators are experiencing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many are scrambling to get their home office set up and ready to continue teaching their students. While working from the comfort of your home can seem great, it can often present challenges that you don’t see coming! Today we’ll take a look at a few considerations on setting up your home teaching space, so you can help to provide your students the best education possible!
Whether you already have a defined office space in your home, or you are just setting one up for the first time, there’s a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Does it provide you with enough space to fit all of your essential items?
- Is the space free of distractions to help you increase productivity?
- If you are going to be doing video learning, does area in your background look tidy, clean, and not reveal anything you don’t want your students, administrators, or the public seeing?
- Acoustically speaking, are you in an area that sounds fairly dry with minimal natural echo and in a quiet area of your home?
Once you’ve taken things into consideration and have chosen and refined your space, let’s next consider a couple additional factors:
- If doing video, is your space lit in a way that brings light to your face, allowing you to be the focus and not your background?
- Consider looking at a simple USB led light panel, or a led “ring” light if you need to brighten up things
- Is your webcam providing good quality video, and at an angle that appears professional?
- Consider looking at purchasing an external webcam, allowing you better quality video, and a better viewing angle. Options such as the Logitech C920 or Razer Kiyo are great options.
- Most importantly (especially to us at PreSonus!), do you have a high quality audio solution?
- For flexibility, simple solutions like our AudioBox USB 96 Studio Bundle or AudioBox iTwo Studio Bundle offer high quality, flexible combined audio hardware and software solutions. They include all of the cables and elements you need for capturing, editing, and listening to quality audio.
AudioBox 96 Studio Bundle
Last, let’s focus on your students!
- Are they learning to edit audio as part of their process? If so, did you know there is a FREE resource available to them?
- It’s Studio One Prime, the version of Studio One that always FREE, and available here: https://www.presonus.com/products/Studio-One
- Are they getting the most from you as an educator?
- Ask them how they are doing!
- Ask them if your video or audio quality is meeting their needs!
- Most importantly, be their champion and show them what a rockstar educator you are!
Studio One Prime
For more blog content, be sure to check back here at: edu.presonus.com
A longtime staple and early resource of online music education, MusicTheory.net has grown over time to allow teachers to find a myriad of simple and free teaching tools for teaching the basics of music theory. It often ranks in the top 5 online resources for music teachers, and every year sees updates to keep their content relevant to the ever changing environment. From Lesson Plans, to Tools, MusicTheory.net is a great launching pad for many educators across the globe.
A Sample of the Lessons available at MusicTheory.net
Be sure to check them out, and check back next week for another Friday Find!