Should I teach "Highway to Hell" to a 10-year-old?

My position: I believe that as a teacher, I’m responsible for teaching both knowledge and character: How to finger tap, and also, usually in more subtle ways, how to be a kind person.  And there are definitely some songs with offensive or “adult” lyrics that I would never teach a child. But I don’t think “Highway to Hell” is inappropriate.  …

Coffee Shop Jam Nostalgia

Six weeks until the Coffee Shop Jam!  As my students’ rowdy recital approaches, I find myself watching video footage from past jams, reliving the exciting memories.  One video I return to, not just now but whenever i need a boost, is Emma’s performance of her song “Snow Day.” I tell the story of helping Emma write this song in the …

Connor’s Album "Too Small" On Sale Now

Those of you who’ve frequented my blog over the years probably remember my student Connor, the 10-year-old AC/DC fanatic who writes hard rock songs about American history and his guinea pig, Spikey.  I’m happy to announce that after two years of work, his EP “Too Small” is now available for sale at CreateSpace.com.  You can also buy it at Amazon.com, …

We Have eBook Liftoff

Yesterday I launched Rob’s Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook, my guide for running a successful guitar teaching business. It’s been two years in the making. I summed up my feelings in the Conclusion, written during yesterday’s marathon of last-minute writing, editing, and battling Microsoft Word: “If teaching guitar is about spreading joy, writing this book has been like collecting joy …

Teaching About Teaching

I’m spending the morning revising Rob’s Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook, still on track for an October 3 release. Writing a first draft can be a slog, but I love revising. I just turned a terrible paragraph in the book—my introduction to my Teaching 101 chapter—into one of favorites: Old: Teaching is a complex art, and it takes a lot …

Redesigned Site Live

I hope you find the new site easier to navigate and easier on the eyes. Let me know what you think, especially if you find any bugs. Thanks!

Redesign Number 2

After a few readers said they didn’t like the white-text-on-brown-background in the last design proposal, I did some research about text readability. I was surprised to discover that there isn’t consensus, except that high contrast is good. I did find one almost decade-old study claiming that green-on-pale-yellow was most readable, but I’ll save that color scheme for my next gardening …

Redesign

I’m redesigning my site in preparation for launching my eBook next month. What do you think so far? Click for larger image

The Bummer of ’72

Up early this morning working on my almost-finished book for guitar teachers, which I’m tentatively calling Rob’s Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching Handbook. Yesterday I came up with this introduction to a section on teaching your students to play safely (I mean avoiding tendinitis, not avoiding spearing their bass player with a Flying V) by taking frequent breaks: Was the summer …