David Conway
Tuning David`s lesson structure is based around the examination format. With guitar firstly the tuning is checked and adjusted with a piano or metronome of which the pupil is engaged with. The tuning of the guitar is a fundamental aspect of playing and imperative to instil. Scales Scales are played or attempted for the relevant grade. Scales, of which means Latin for steps, are an excellent way to warm up, revise notes learnt for the beginner and to build finger dexterity. The scales are chosen from the relevant examination board, the target of memorisation is the prerequisite target for all examination boards. Textbook Relevant textbook work is then studied, an appropriate textbook will be recommended. Aural Half way through the lesson an aural test is attempted, at the appropriate grade of musical development. Aural tests are always included in practical examinations to test the musical capacities of the grade taken. When the pupil is giving accurate responses at their practical grade the preceding grades aural tests are practiced to further and appropriately challenge the pupils listening skills and awareness. Sight Reading A Sight-reading extract is attempted after the aural test in the lessons, when sufficient notes have been learnt. The purpose of sight reading is to aid the speed of learning new material, and to develop the skill of playing from sight of which the player could come across in a recording studio or in an ensemble etc. Sight reading is also part of the practical grade examination although it can be substituted with Musical knowledge or Improvisation with some examination boards. Theory A theory exercise is also tackled, for the beginner it could be the writing of the Treble or Bass Clefs or fundamental note values. When theory is developed in tandem with practical instrumental learning it enhances note recognition and understanding of musical concepts, and develops the ability to make transcriptions of compositions and arrangements for the instrument. Practical Examinations When there has been enough textbook work done and there has been some performance experience from playing in assemblies and school Concerts etc, then examination pieces are chosen from one of the examination boards, Trinity, ABRSM, or UNISA. When the scales can be played from memory and the three pieces are learnt and moving towards performance standard then the pupil is entered for the examination. The entry dates are February for June/ July session and June/ July for September October. Ensemble The engagement of pupils, regardless of their stage of development, in an ensemble activity is an excellent opportunity to play a piece of music that may be out of technical or current learning bounds. The participation in the ensemble is also a chance to socialise with other players and to learn from them, and have more chance of performance exposure.