The new study year has started!

New study year has started well and I got a lot of new young students! Most of them are beginners, but also few advanced. Everyone is so different, but there is something that unites them. And it is that… They all wanna do their own music!!! No matter if it is 7 y.o. or 16 y.o. 🙂

One way is to let them do whatever they can. But a better way is to guide them a bit through the process. I choose the second way, cause kids might be lost if they never held the guitar and so can very fast become discouraged. They need guidance and support in the beginning.

Few years ago I got this dream, that I would like to see young guitarists playing their own music on a concert. Little guitar Mozarts! I started to think how to make it possible. And it took me years, before I came up with techniques, that really work.

So, we started our first lessons with doing our own music. Inventing stories, talking about the Summer, Autumn and putting all that into music. It was so much fun! Explaining basic important things, but through a game.

I didn’t really use such an approach before, when I used to live in Estonia, about 8 years ago. Only after studying pedagogy in Finland (Finnish education is considered one of the best in the world!), learning composition in Switzerland with great masters and teaching many students, I realized advantages of this method. Along came also an understanding of a problem, that exists in Estonian education system (and I assume, not only in Estonia). Traces of Soviet Union education system are still quite visible here in all sorts of schools: music, gymnasiums, elementary. This approach, when one student is considered better or more talented than another and they are compared like that by a teacher in a classroom in the front of all their school mates… Sounds horrible to me. But during the time, when I went to school it was totally common everyday thing. Fortunately this time is slowly passing away. People started to understand, that constructive criticism is a way more efficient and that no one should be judged in the front of a crowd. Finland already got rid of it. It would be great if Estonia could do the same.

I mean that we all have a potential. Each of us is talented in music. One is more capable to remember a melody, another is good at rhythm, third has ears, that hear better harmony. Task of a teacher is to balance all that and give a knowledge to a student that s/he could enjoy playing a music instrument. I firmly believe, that every one can become a musician. Limits are only in our head (and head of a teacher).

Composing music is fun. Also classical guitar repertoire is not that large, compared to that of violin or piano. I see that students every year look less and less inspired playing pieces that are written hundreds of years ago. Now the time is different and we need new music – music, that reflects our time.

Currently I am working on my own program and developing a way, how to teach composition to students (so far mostly for guitar students). I hope to finish soon one stage of the work and share my observations with colleagues.


Picture: today student got his first guitar. An entire universe do discover!