Meet Rachel, the Guitar Teacher!

Updated: Apr 2

Hello Community, Let's stay connected!

Wondering how others are coping during these extraordinary times? Let's share some tips on spending time at home. Today, we will meet Rachel, the guitar teacher!

What are changes the Coronavirus(Covid-19) situation has brought to you?

This week has brought a lot of changes for me! I write curriculum for a TAFE college 2 - 3 days a week, and I'm now doing all that from home, using Zoom for meetings. I've also attended community meetings, and a counselling session via Zoom, done yoga outside, and had a walk with a friend keeping 1.5 - 2 metres apart. 

Any tips on spending time at home?

Write a crap song! That's how I started writing songs. Its really liberating to give yourself permission to be silly/ordinary/simple/meaningless - you never know what might come from that! Give yourself 20 minutes and write anything that come into your head, following the instructions below. You can also do this with a partner and take turns to write one line each.

  1. Pick any one word title for your song - Cushions, or Windows, or Boredom, or anything at all.

  2. Write 2 verses of 4 lines each, making sure the end of each line rhymes. 

  3. Now write a chorus of 4 lines, but each line can only have 3 words. You can repeat lines in the chorus, but the last words must all still rhyme with each other. 

  4. If you like, try using 2 or 3 chords that you know, and work out a simple melody for your lyrics. 

Any contents you'd recommend?

I've been delving into Dolly Parton lately - there's a great podcast called Dolly Parton's America which is a fascinating insight into both the phenomenon that is Dolly, and the world she inhabits. I've also been enjoying a Netflix series called Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, which dramatises the stories in some of her most well known songs. Some of them are a bit corny, but very watchable, and full of heart. 

Your Guitar classes are cancelled. What can people do on their own?

Practice! 10 minutes every day really makes a difference, but anything you can do is great. There are also so many tutorials on Youtube for every level of guitarist, and any song you would like to learn.  Recommendations:

A message to your class participants

It's been great to see your smiling faces, and dedication to learning in our Zoom classes - but I'm really looking forward to being back in the same room together. This crisis will surely make us appreciate community and coming together so much more!

About Rachel:

Rachel is a guitar teacher at Women's Guitar Groups at Newlands Neighbourhood House. Rachel says:

I've been playing guitar casually for many years, but it wasn't until I started writing songs about 6 years ago, with the encouragement of Chicks with Picks Melbourne, that I felt motivated to put more time into it. So I completed a Diploma of Music Performance at Melbourne Polytechnic, and have loved moving into teaching guitar to small groups of women. It was really helpful and important to me to learn with small groups of other women through Chicks with Picks -  supportive, and encouraging and fun. So that's what I feel very happy about now offering at Newlands - a comfortable and inclusive space for women of all ages to explore their interest in the guitar, and learn to play their favourite songs, maybe even write some of their own! Community music making is so important for our health and fulfilment - we really do need it in the same way we need air and water and food and love. 

What do you think?

If you're inspired, go ahead, and share with us.

Let us know how your songwriting went, let us know if you liked Dolly Parton series or the guitar tutorials.

Let's stay connected. We are all in this together.

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