Views from the Bar

When I started teaching in 1999 I had no idea how powerful a tool for learning the colour method is.  I was one of its' test pilots back in 1974 when I learnt to play the descant recorder using colour.  In 1976 I began learning guitar using colour, and found myself playing grade 5 pieces within just 18 months.

Between age 18 and 30 I didn't learn a single new piece, choosing instead to improve my abilities as a classical / spanish guitarist by perfecting the pieces I'd learnt already.

By then I'd got an electric guitar and four track recorder, so found myself writing and recording my own music during these years.

The Forbidden Fruit Festival - by Steve Dell (August 1988). 

By age 30 I decided to teach guitar full time, so wrote to a number of schools in the West London area, offering lessons as a visiting teacher.  I ended up being engaged by five schools between 1999 and 2005.  It was then I realised how effective colour music is.

As anyone who has tried teaching groups of kids how to read music and play guitar knows - it's hard work for little reward.  Most children don't want the monotony of learning to play the guitar note by note.  They want instant results.  Colour gave them instant results.  Within their first lesson, most of the kids in my classes could play 'Happy Birthday', which as it happens contains eight different notes - an octave.   It would be almost impossible to teach a child how to play this tune in one session using conventional black notation, but with colour the results are astonishing.

I've lost count of the number of times I've answered my phone to hear  'Please tell me, is it unusual that my child has been playing guitar for two years but cannot yet play Happy Birthday?'

It has been a great pleasure to meet people who have been trying to learn to play the guitar the hard way for years, and witness their delight when music begins tumbling out of their guitars a short time after learning to play using colour.

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