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Can an Air Guitar be a Musical Instrument?

Posted by on in Ideas in Music Education
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b2ap3_thumbnail_airguitar.jpgSo I stumble across this article in the NY Daily News about a National Air Guitar Championship being hosted in Brooklyn. This isn't a joke, here's the original article: Click Here to read it!

My first reaction was 'this can't be real'. Then I kept reading and starting to admittedly grow angry thinking ' that's not music, it's not music education, and they're hurting the craft of music teaching by giving kids false hope and inspiration while they PRETEND to play music'...


But then I calmed down, breathed, and began to peel away the initial reactions.

What if we demonstrate air guitar to a group of kindergarten students with video and by a live in-person-rock-star-teacher performance?

The kindergarten students would have an absolute blast! And at the same time they would be learning music through motor skills, develop the ability to keep time and improvise on rhythmic melodies. And that's a STANDARD!

It can't be that easy, can it? If a music teacher did this with a class of 30 students and only one student went on to take up the guitar as their main instrument, do you think it's worth it? I think that is a quadruple victory! The teacher is meeting standards. The students are having fun. The school has an engaging classroom. And the music classroom just gained one more guitar student. Awesome!


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Tagged in: Guitar Music Education


  • John Mitrano Thursday, 10 July 2014

    OK, like yourself, my first reaction to air guitar is a profound "NO!" But, just like a particular video game that simplifies the art of playing the guitar into pressing four color-coded buttons (to which I had the same initial reaction), if air guitar inspires even one student to pick up an instrument and learn to actually play it, then why not embrace it? That video game sent scores of students to my class...

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