On Sunday February 4th 2018 the OMTA gathered once again with music therapists and musicians alike to provide our very first hands on workshop, 'Hands On! Ears On! Guitar Workshop'. While other workshops have had lots of opportunities to participate, this workshop was specifically prepared to develop hands-on musical skills to apply to music therapy settings. Workshop facilitator, Brian Katz, started the afternoon off by getting everyone loose and limber before picking up the guitar. Participants appeared to quickly get comfortable with Brian’s fun and playful call and response games. We then got to relax our bodies with some deep cleansing breaths and stretching. Once these opening activities were completed everyone sat in a circle with their guitars and proceeded to do another call and response activity with single string melodies.
This allowed Brian to appropriately gage the groups abilities on the guitar, which he then used to guide the rest of the afternoon. Following this, Brian taught the group how to practice both rest stroke and free stroke picking styles. He untangled some of the mysteries that often confuse people with the guitar neck, and showed the participants how to practice the chromatic scale, all while using the finger picking stroke he specified.
Close to the end of the workshop, we played the blues as a group, in order to practice picking to different rhythms and accents, and to allow individuals to solo (especially if they never have)! Brian did an excellent job encouraging the group as well as giving individual attention to participants throughout. This workshop provided new tools to practice moving forward, and laid a strong foundation for the next workshop on April 22nd ‘Finding your Groove’ with facilitator, Aaoron Lightstone.