The Student Teacher In The Guitar Classroom Thomas Amoriello

Fleminton Raritan School District

of New Jersey to be the co-operating teacher for two music education majors who both specialized in the classical guitar as their ap- plied instrument of study. Normally public school music education positions are held by those with concentrations in voice, pi- ano, band and strings. I was excited by this undertaking as I began the school year. It was important to me to share lesson plans, articles, lesson coaching and more with these future guitar educators as one of my missions as the NJMEA Guitar Educa- tion Chairperson is to expand instruction throughout the state. This was my first time as a cooperative teacher.

D It was interesting

to watch somebody at first mimic my teach- ing style then develop their own. Also note that TCNJ is a guitar friendly institution that has hosted the last two NJMEA Hon- ors Guitar Ensemble Recitals at the Mayo Recital Hall.

Christopher King and Nicholas Brown

are both studying the guitar with me (Mi- chael Newman) at TCNJ. The guitar plays an integral role in training our future teach- ers of music. Prized as one of the region’s leading colleges for training music teachers in a rigorous learning environment, TCNJ has included guitar instruction in their cur- riculum for over 40 years. A sure way to en- gage students is through guitar music of all genres. Because the guitar is the most popu- lar instrument in America, having a great command of the guitar and how to teach guitar playing to students are important tools for our music educators to possess.


uring the 2016-17 school year I (Tom Amoriello) was approached by The College

Michael Newman

The College of New Jersey

At TCNJ, all music education majors

participate actively in a class that spends a full semester reviewing numerous guitar methods and approaches to learning basic technique and musicianship on the instru- ment. These music education majors pres- ent informal and formal concerts, demon- strating their ability to play the guitar, just as they will teach guitar playing to numerous young folks for generations to come. The enthusiasm of the music education majors embracing the guitar is a great inspiration. Because they enjoy learning, they will im- part that joy to their own students. In ad- dition to guitar-related student teaching opportunities at public schools throughout New Jersey, I bring the music ed majors to do demonstrations at high schools, shar- ing their excitement about learning AND teaching the guitar. I also arrange for them to do pop-up demos around campus, in- cluding at the Starbucks and Barnes & Noble Cafe, art gallery, and on the lawn. The mu- sic education majors with guitar concentra- tions with whom I work are uniquely quali- fied to bring their skills to the classroom, where many school districts throughout the country are offering opportunities for mu- sic teachers to develop advanced programs in guitar playing, encouraging students to learn ensembles skills through the guitar, just as they would in orchestra and band participation. Now is an exciting time for young guitar enthusiasts to refine their skills and gain the training to pursue a meaning- ful career teaching music through the guitar.

Please Tell Us About Your Music

Education Before You Started At TCNJ. Christopher King: Music education is

an aspect of my life that has been relevant for as long as I can remember. I was lucky to have a musical family growing up. With a mother who is currently an elementary mu- sic teacher and previously taught privately out of the comfort of our own home, I was exposed to music at a young age. I began playing piano before I started playing any wind instruments like recorder or saxo- phone, so I had a “head start” to reading music. Although the piano never progressed in my life to become a main instrument, I still gained a lot from learning how to read the staff at a young age. During my middle school years I was in the wind band and I did that until my senior year in high school. I began my guitar studies when I was 11 at a local music store that my two uncles own, and from there the guitar became a lifelong passion. I went through many teachers as a young teenager and benefited from all of them in different ways, but my guitar stud- ies were never really too “formal” compared to learning how to play an instrument in a public school setting. My music education was informative before going to college, but getting to college made my aptitude for mu- sic education much higher.

Nic Brown: My music education

started off in a similar fashion to most of my peers. I went through Franklin Town- ship Public Schools in Somerset County from kindergarten to twelfth grade. I had regular general music classes from preschool

38 MAY 2017

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