Wednesday, December 25, 2013

First Exercises, Pt. 3 - Traversing the Fretboard

This month’s exercise will help beginning students to: (1) traverse the fretboard by using multiple fingers and strings (2) develop pick and fret hand fluency (3) understand the difference between a staccato and legato sound (4) how to create a legato sound when moving from string to string (5) help develop finger independence and coordination.

This exercise is done in the upper register where the frets are smaller to facilitate ease of movement between the fingers and to gain experience in using the upper register. Moreover, I recommend using down picking only at first and integrate alternate picking once fluency is developed with the exercise. Additionally, have the student keep each finger down after it has played - for example: the 1st finger remains down while the 2nd finger is played, the 1st and 2nd finger remain down while the 3rd is played and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd remain down as the 4th is played. This will help aid in developing finger independence and avoid excess tension in the fretting hand due to the hyperextension of fingers.

Next month I will continue with this exercise and explore how students can understand the difference between creating a legato and staccato sound.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ukulele in the General Music Classroom, Pt. 1

     Here is a link to the latest article "Ukulele in the General Music Classroom, Pt. 1"  I have co-authored for Tempo - the magazine for the New Jersey Music Educators Association.
     This is a two part article which offers music educators insights into using the ukulele in their classroom. The article is on pages 38 - 40 of the digital version.