Teaching flamenco music is not exactly what we usually understand by “teaching music.” Music is just one aspect of this language, and it turns out that it’s very difficult to write down exactly what the guitar does when accompanying a dancer or a singer. Furthermore, this music has got some very complex rhythm patterns that cannot easily be transcribed in a score: traditional score notation is useless here, and most of the flamenco guitarists do not know how to read music. Therefore teaching flamenco guitar to someone that is not familiar with this culture means finding a way to make him/her understand more than the music he/she’s interested in: it’s more like guiding him/her through the grammar and the meaning of a foreign language.
The beginnings I started studying the guitar when my father offered me his. I was twelve, and threw myself wholeheartedly into finger-picking traditional American-style guitar (Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, Marcel Dadi…). And then one day I came across a tape. It was a recording of Sabicas
. I was so stunned by his technique and his music that I was unable to play for months. I had discovered the music that could express exactly anything I could feel, and I knew that even though I had to learn everything back again (right hand technique); I had finally found the music language that I had been looking for. Years have passed since that day, and my passion for this art has been constantly growing. It’s become my main activity.
An inclination to teaching I’ve been teaching French as a foreign language for a long time and I have developed a real skill and passion for teaching. I believe a good teacher is someone who helps you find the best way to understand something: his/her greatest quality is therefore the hability to listen. Flamenco has always been with me in every part of the world where I worked, including Spain, of course. Living in Granada, where flamenco is everywhere, made me realize that all I really wanted was to share my passion for this art and life form. Today I can finally conjugate my experience in teaching with my love for flamenco.
Audio: María del Mar Moreno y Rocío Ruiz, Solo compás Bulerías, Vol.II.