i know what i want to do with my life

behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
edited December 2007 in Strut Central
i want to expose children to music. i want to help them bang on drums and pick up guitars.when i was growing up i didn't have access to music. you were only exposed to band or orchestral shit in elementary school. playing percussion meant manning one single drum. a triangle even....there were no bass guitars or acoustic onesthere were no creative song writing programsnothing like that.why is that?i want to change that but then again i have no formal childhood education degree. i am just good with kids. especially if they like music.i am buggin but i am also serious
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  • djannadjanna 1,543 Posts
    DO IT

  • [quote
    DO IT

  • behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
    DO IT

    yea. but how does one get into something like that?

    won't people frown on the idea that i am not a professional music teacher? not even a professional general education teacher?

    that seems to be the only thing limiting me. the whole legality and degree thing involved with it.

  • much needed

  • behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
    DO IT

    yea. but how does one get into something like that?

    won't people frown on the idea that i am not a professional music teacher? not even a professional general education teacher?

    that seems to be the only thing limiting me. the whole legality and degree thing involved with it.

    now that i think of it. children at that young of an age (unless they are geniuses) aren't going to understand music theory and stuff anyway.

    so i guess that is ok.

    but still.

    what do you suggest i do?

    approach my local high school and talk to the teachers about instituting a program like that? finding local musicians to do work shops?

    etc

  • the age you want to approach may depend on your level of music training and what you can impart. if its as simple as bringing a bunch of instruments and showing kids how to make basic sounds out of them, you can hit grade school. but then again, exposure can happen at any age and have an impact on someone.

    contact schools and see if they have music programs (that might need some volunteers)
    might be difficult in most schools...rules, set curriculums, lack of time for music and arts. charter schools and private schools are often more flexible and open to creative ideas.all depends

    afterschool programs might be the best bet. lot of room to come in, work with 15 kids, without a huge commitment (once a week for 5 weeks maybe). perfect your lessonplan and style.

    good luck!!!!

  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,371 Posts
    Well, I've been thinking about this too actually. My cousin has recently been staying with me, and she has a beautiful 11 month old baby girl. She's really bright and LOVES to pick at my acoustic guitar. I've been letting her play with my pandeiro she loves to play it to House music.

    So, I've been looking for a musical gift for her for christmas, but I realize there's a sad lack in quality stuff for little kids. Unplayable guitars. Most kids tv programming all has synthesized music.

    I remember when I was little I went to this church school, and theyre music class consisted of somebody sitting down and playing music with us. Having sing alongs to an acoustic guitar or a hammond organ. My girlfriend recently moved walking distance from that school and it's been on my mind lately.

    My friend Adam and my new bass player Gene both teach music in public schools, and have been constantly talking about how limited they are in teaching. A big lack of school funding, and a bulk of non musicians teaching music, plus a school board not open to new things.

    I think the Public school route is semi-pointless. Though it would be nice to have some kind of Redbull Academy type thing for kids. If I would've had something like this earlier in my life. I would've definitely picked up the guitar much earlier.

    - spidey

  • behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
    the age you want to approach may depend on your level of music training and what you can impart. if its as simple as bringing a bunch of instruments and showing kids how to make basic sounds out of them, you can hit grade school. but then again, exposure can happen at any age and have an impact on someone.

    contact schools and see if they have music programs (that might need some volunteers)
    might be difficult in most schools...rules, set curriculums, lack of time for music and arts. charter schools and private schools are often more flexible and open to creative ideas.all depends

    afterschool programs might be the best bet. lot of room to come in, work with 15 kids, without a huge commitment (once a week for 5 weeks maybe). perfect your lessonplan and style.

    good luck!!!!

    whoa thanks. yea i am interested in a much younger age group. a group less influenced by the current pop culture. and at the same time, an age group that has not been exposed to a musical instrument in general yet.

    something like early elementary school.

    like you said. sounds a guitar makes? show them that drums aren't just noise? bass. even some electronic equipment. it could be really cool.

    i emailed an old teacher of mine to try and talk about something like this.

    thanks for the advice Triple!!!

    if anyone else has any ideas or info please let me know.

  • I started playing violin when I was two, so there's no real age limit. The key ingredient is steady practice habits. I ended up burning out after 16 years or practicing every day. I think it's hard for children to realize the bigger picture (I threw away a lucrative future because of this), so keep that in mind.

    You should check out the Suzuki academy since it's basically what you're describing.

  • spelunkspelunk 3,400 Posts
    I have a lot of experience working with kids - not with music, but in a lot of other ways. IMO the trickiest part of the equation is finding a venue where you can let the kids who really want to be there gravitate towards your program - you want to work with the kids who really enjoy the music in a small group - probably not in a class of 30 where only a handful of the kids are engaged.

    I know that sounds discriminatory and unfair, but those are the kids who are really going to look back and appreciate what you did for them. The motivation has to come from within them, and no matter what age, that motivation exists.

    I'm not a huge YMCA advocate but in my experience they have been good to work for/with and would probably be open to your idea as long as you can get enough enrollment in the program to make it feasible.

    Good luck man. Like others said, DO IT. It's something I wish I had as a kid and I still find it absurd and offensive to the rich musical culture of the past five decades that kids are still stuck playing typical school band shit and Sousa marches and the dullest of jazz standards. Almost every music teacher I've had has had their head up their ass, and the ones I learned from who didn't I thank to this day.

  • BsidesBsides 4,244 Posts
    Do you play any instruments?

    If not, heres what you do....

    1. have a bunch of kids. Preferably all within about 9 months to a year from eachother.
    2. Force them all to be in a band. Yell at them when they dont practice right.
    3. Dancin Machine.

    there you go.

  • behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
    Do you play any instruments?

    If not, heres what you do....

    1. have a bunch of kids. Preferably all within about 9 months to a year from eachother.
    2. Force them all to be in a band. Yell at them when they dont practice right.
    3. Dancin Machine.

    there you go.

    i can play bass. i can play guitar. drums.

    i don't think i can explain to children certain musical theories but then again thats not what its about

    and yes. i will yell at them.

  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,371 Posts
    Do you play any instruments?

    If not, heres what you do....

    1. have a bunch of kids. Preferably all within about 9 months to a year from eachother.
    2. Force them all to be in a band. Yell at them when they dont practice right.
    3. Dancin Machine.

    there you go.

    i can play bass. i can play guitar. drums.

    i don't think i can explain to children certain musical theories but then again thats not what its about

    and yes. i will yell at them.

    I can play bass, guitar, drums, percussion, keys, and clarinet. Never had a teacher. Never even thought about theory, and still hardly don't care. Theory's not all that important.

    - spidey

  • I used to do a turntable workshop with jr high school age kids. The pay was $15p/h for undergrads which is me. I talked them up to the $20 BA level by telling them I have a degree in the streets. I can't believe it worked.

    Anyway, I got tired of not being able to get high three hours before my class so I quit. It was a fun couple of years, though.

    I'd rather build programs than teach them. Someday I'd like to build community centers with my money.

  • PonyPony 2,283 Posts


    What I wouldn't give to have had some formal training as a youngin'

    PS...every kid in the universe loves to bang on the drums, fact. Let them.

  • you could always try and find some other musicans / arts managers / promoters, whatever who are also interested. apply for an arts grant with the aim being to go to poorer areas and expose music and positive hip hop culture to younguns, show these kids, drums of all kinds, mpc's / keyboards , turntables / uitars / rapping, let them all have a go. expose them to something different and if one of them gets something out of it it would of been worthwhile.

    I'm sure there's lots of people out there doing stuff like this. I know of dance groups and people going to remote aborignal communities in Australia and doing workshops and street performances. Diplo went to remote places and slums all over the world and set up a sound system and did DJ sets for a bunch of kids.

  • DO IT

  • BsidesBsides 4,244 Posts
    I used to do a turntable workshop with jr high school age kids. The pay was $15p/h for undergrads which is me. I talked them up to the $20 BA level by telling them I have a degree in the streets. I can't believe it worked.

    Anyway, I got tired of not being able to get high three hours before my class so I quit. It was a fun couple of years, though.

    I'd rather build programs than teach them. Someday I'd like to build community centers with my money.


    They were like "hmm i heard the streets was a good school, you know jay-z graduated from there too. "

  • I used to substitute teach up in the Dorchester/Roxbury area of Boston. I filled in for a music class once and had a blast. The kids told me that their teacher rarely lets them actually play on instruments and basically just "shows off". Unbelievable that a music teacher would leave that impression on his students. I ended up passing out a bunch of drums and assorted percussion and we just got down. We'd also just watched some of the movie Drumline so the kids were fired up. They wanted me to be their permanent music teacher. I wish.

    But definitely contact schools. If you can put together some sort of presentation on a particular type of music it would help. Some schools may not be receptive, but I bet you'll find some music teacher that wouldn't mind sitting back and letting someone else take over for a bit.

  • IN DC there is a program called Facilitating Leadership in Youth (FLY) and they do something like what you are talking about. They help kids learn and work on their art. Like for instance they found a lot of legal walls that kids could paint on. They teach kids about music and the music business. The people that run it are all pretty nice cats too.

    Hit them up and build.

    http://www.flyouth.org/

  • I didn't read through all of the responses, but I can tell you what I know for Colorado, anyway.

    If you want to be an Early Childhood Educator, you don't necessarilly need a teaching license or even a degree in some states, but you cannot work in public school as a teacher without both. However, you can get a job as a paraprofessional without either of these qualifications and paraprofessionals can work with classroom teachers and in after school programs (they are non-licensed Teacher's Aids, basically), which might be the ticket for you to get involved with helping kids learn more about music.

    The studies actually do show that music and art are 2 of the most important developmental tools for young children, more so than most people believe. Early childhood education programs tend to have a fair amount of focus on these subjects for this reason. You may not be teaching 5 year olds how to use Pro-tools, but there are plenty of other levels of musical education that a young child can develop from.

    I think it's a great idea to try and get involved in some way, because there are still a large majority of people who don't really believe music and art are important to children in their development or even through their adolescence, which is a shame.

    Call your local school districts and find out if they are looking for help from non-licensed people for after school music programs or something to that effect, and you may find something to get involved in that might even pay you a little bit (although, probably not very much).

    I only speak from what I know about my state though, as my profession revolves around pre-K-12 education here. Good luck.

  • I misread this thread title as:

    i know what i want to do with my wife[/b]


  • eliseelise 3,252 Posts
    i want to expose children to music. i want to help them bang on drums and pick up guitars.

    when i was growing up i didn't have access to music. you were only exposed to band or orchestral shit in elementary school.

    playing percussion meant manning one single drum. a triangle even....

    there were no bass guitars or acoustic ones

    there were no creative song writing programs

    nothing like that.

    why is that?

    i want to change that but then again i have no formal childhood education degree. i am just good with kids. especially if they like music.

    i am buggin but i am also serious

    best post ever. EVER.

  • twoplytwoply 2,903 Posts
    There's a great non-profit here in Portland which introduces kids to music:

    http://www.ethos-inc.org/


    I don't know if there's anything like that in your area, but that might be the way to go. There are a few non-profit music organizations here that cater to kids (the Rock and Roll School for Girls being another), and they all seem to be fairly successful.

  • My wife works with a community organization here is Richmond VA. They have a lot of programs, but one of the most popular is a music program.

    Here is a link that talks a bit more about it.

    http://www.friendsassn.org/programs/musicarts.asp

  • drewnicedrewnice 5,465 Posts
    i want to expose children to music.

    I worked as a Saturday School teacher at a charter school in North Philly a couple years ago. I taught video production, which ended up morphing into me making music videos of the kids doing school chants. But, toward the end of the year, we took a day off and I brought in my portable along with a couple records from different genres to play and discuss with the kids. One named David seemed pretty captivated when I played and showed him the cover to this album (white guy with afro-related):



    Next thing I hear, he has picked up playing the guitar and will be featured as a solo act at one of the school's upcoming concerts (mental note to attend). While I can't take full credit for turning him onto Hendrix or the idea of a North Philly kid rocking out, it does make me happy to feel like a part of his discovering that passion. If you have the opportunity to do anything similar, I highly recommend it.


  • afterschool programs might be the best bet. lot of room to come in, work with 15 kids, without a huge commitment (once a week for 5 weeks maybe). perfect your lessonplan and style.

    good luck!!!!

    Yo, you in NYC? This is what I been doing for years. Afterschool gives you way more freedom than being within the P.S. system of wackness. Plus, you won't need ANY education degree.

    I've worked for Boys & Girls Club, City of NY, and Dept. of Recreation among others. Getting little ones just to clap on time is harder than you might think, but definitely rewarding. And yeah, the sky is the limit... whatever you're willing to bring to the table as far as curriculum is concerned, you can generally make it happen. Usually, places want a full school-year commitment, but occaisionally that's not the case.



  • now that i think of it. children at that young of an age (unless they are geniuses) aren't going to understand music theory and stuff anyway.

    i disagree. In fact, this is exactly when you should start teaching it, if not sooner. Of course, they won't understand advanced stuff, but it's actually NEVER too early to start teaching it. straight up. Music theory isn't Frickin' rocket science, especially the basics. It's kind of like learning addition and subtraction, or how to spell.

    To the cat who said theory isn't that important- I know what you mean, but I kind of disagree. Theory, when properly integrated with other aspects of teaching music, can only help. Sure, you can become a great musician without studying it formally, but think about how much greater you can be with firm theoretical knowledge. We want to equip these kids with everything that will allow them to approach their full potential.
    I mean, though, if theory isn't as much your bag, don't get me wrong- there's plenty of other valuable stuff to teach them. But I think it should all be integrated.

    Years ago I moved with this girl into a kind of economically-depressed neighborhood. Also a neighborhood where just from our appearances, we immediately stood out. This girl was an artist, I a musician. She got this idea to offer beginning music and art classes to the neighborhood kids. We got some basic and cheap supplies, and put up flyers around the 'hood to advertise. Our plan was to initially give the classes for free, to begin to engender trust among our new neighbors, before even considering asking for compensation, which would have immediately made people suspicious of us. Initially, only one or two kids would show up. Unfortunately I guess we were at a sort of flakey stage in our lives, and we didn't really work hard to continue the program, although I think if we'd persisted, we would have been able to gather some momentum. Still looking back, it was one of the coolest ideas I've ever been a part of, and I'll always respect + admire my old girlfriend, as the whole thing was basically her idea.

    man good luck, keep at it, keep the ideas and actions flowing, start small if you need to. Why not even consider getting those certifications you need to become 'legit'?

  • -

  • behemothbehemoth 2,189 Posts
    i have a meeting on Monday with an old business teacher who i kept in contact throughout the years. she always gives it to me straight and lets me know exactly what is going on in the district. how their budget is...politics within the district.

    i am going to pitch this idea to her and see if it is something i can start with a test run closer to mid-Winter since schools are already starting to go on Christmas break.

    if it is something that can work out i am looking to make it something i can span throughout the school year amongst several districts and throughout several grade levels.

    in fact if this will work. i can maybe use help within the tri-state area. people who might want to help with workshops and demonstrations.

    i figure the possibilities are endless. let's just hope the schools go for it.

    i equate this almost to an assembly with a guest speaker but with a hands on approach and a much smaller focused audience.

    i will let you all know how the meeting goes.
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