I have guitar students two days a week. The students are between 7 and 13 years old. One song I’ve taught them is Norwegian Wood. I taught them to play the melody and some bassnotes. I was a little chocked though, when about none of the 25 students knew who Beatles were. I thought it was a little crazy and mentioned some songs. One of them had maybe heard ‘Imagine’. I gave them some other homework, feeling that it’s important to show some really good music to the kids, to broaden their views in the music world so they would have the chance to experience really good music.
The students liked some of the songs I suggested, others a little less, but it all worked pretty well. I found out though that they don’t listen on youtube or wherever to the songs I give them, which is really sad, ’cause they won’t experience the great song nor know what they are going for.
So I decided to teach them one song of their choice. A 13-year old girl said, as expected, Justin Bieber. She wanted to play Justin Bieber and the song Take You. I realized that I was going to listen pretty much to Justin Bieber to figure out both the guitar and vocals. I learn the vocals just because I think it’s easier to both introduce the song and more fun for them when I sing when they know how to play it. I found that he had made an acoustic album, which is great for me since the guitarplaying is obvious what it is. So I put on Take You with Justin Bieber, figured out the chords and how they were played. When I listened to it I was impressed by the guitarist. He was really good and it was really fun to play it. Then I tried to learn Justin’s vocals. The guy is talented! And then it came to me, I had to confess to myself, and it was hard. But yes, I do like Justin Bieber. There you go. It’s me and those 13-year old girls.
I also had to realize that I wanted to show the students music from the history to broaden their views, when I didn’t want to listen to what they like. So instead of being just as open as I wanted them to be, I had my prejudice about that a little boy like Justin Bieber is not for me. It’s just young people that listen to him and I like good music. So meanwhile I was talking about their narrow views, I was very stubborn to keep my views just as narrow. This is not the first time I realize that good music always will have a way to come through and no matter age and how much or little you know about music, good music is always good.
I’m so grateful for my 13-year old student that introduced me to Justin Bieber. I do prefer the acoustic album, I’m not so much for the other productions. But he is a talented person with talented people around him and I have the pleasure to learn his songs and make myself and my students happy.