“This is very cool stuff for kids”, according to Brian May who – just for the couple of folks who read this and perhaps don’t know who he is – plays guitar in ‘Queen’. Well, I sure am not anywhere close Brian’s universe, but for him to make a statement like that, that says a lot. So, if you are a skeptic and like to know things for sure, take Brian’s word – he knows what he’s talking about.
I’ve been teaching guitar beginners for a long time now. My youngest student was around 6, the oldest was a woman in her early eighties. When working with children, especially young ones, getting them to focus and keep their attention on task can be very difficult. And while there’s a plethora of children’s guitar books and other instructional resources out there, I’ve never found a single book that did such a wonderful introduction of the instrument.
Most books, even those which are cited amongst the best guitar books for kids, lack that very component. Yet, in my opinion, the ‘introduction phase’, if you will, is undoubtedly the most crucial element. Because if you’re successful in that first step, chances are you’re on a good path on to your guitar journey.
“A Journey To Guitarland with Maestro Armdadillo” was put together by New Jersey’s Thomas Amoriello Jr. The funny, yet informative illustrations throughout the material were crafted by James J. Kelewae. It is an incredible resource to guitar teachers who are looking for something to ease their youngsters into the process. It is both, playful and educational at the same time, as you follow fictitious ‘Maestro Armadillo’ on his exploratory journey through Guitarland.
If you know a kid who wants to play guitar, then I strongly encourage you to check out ‘A Journey To Guitarland With Maestro Armadillo’. This is not your run-of-the-mill guitar book for kids; this is a well thought-out, smartly put together learning resource for both, young guitar students as well as guitar teachers who work with children.
About the author and illustrator:
Thomas Amoriello Jr. has introduced the guitar to more than 5,000 children as a music teacher in New Jersey. “Mr. A.” earned a Master of Music degree in classic guitar performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. He is a frequent contributor of guitar advocacy articles to Tempo Magazine and serves as the Guitar Education Chairperson for the New Jersey Music Education Association. Tom resides in Lambertville, N.J.
James J. Kelewae is a graduate of The School of Visual arts in New York City where he majored in Illustration. He is a street artist and aerosol muralist from New Jersey known for his illustrative style in portraiture and interlacing bold designs. Kelewae draws inspiration from the Celtic art of the monks of Iona, folk art from around the world, the Expressionists of the 20th century, and many of this contemporary street artists. His murals can be seen across Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Yonkers.