(Close Window)
Topic: Help with teaching a juggling "class"
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 5, 2012 03:35PM)
So I have started giving after school magic lessons at my local library. I did it last year and got a few gigs from it. I'm mostly looking for exposure and to get some interest going in magic so I can hopefully sell some lessons.
This time I am also doing juggling "classes". I have done a few in the past, but I got an idea to make it a bit easier on myself. Before, I had silks and taught them the basics and the rest of the hour helped them with it. This time, I was thinking of making it an overview, or intro to juggling and the like. Instead of trying to show them how to juggle (as if I could to an 8 year old in an hour) I was going to demonstrate different toys and types of juggling and then letting them try them for the rest of the class. A bit chaotic, I'm sure, but it might be fun and get them interested. My question (finally)

What props should I demo? I can do/was thinking:

sock poi/juggling balls/scarfs/diabolo/devil stick/kendama/feathers (balancing) /rings/pins/cup and ball

obviously some are not going to work, but maybe some sock poi, silks, devil sticks, and kendama/cup and ball?

A good mix and balance so that the kids are engaged (they are 8-14 years old).

Juggling is not my main focus, but it's a love of mine. Maybe some of the more professional jugglers have some ideas?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 5, 2012 06:19PM)
Little kids generally can't throw, and catch balls because they fall too fast, so I would recommend juggling scarves.

If you give kids a bucket of props without any structure they will just throw them at each other.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 5, 2012 06:31PM)
True. that's what I did last time. Ive seen kids watch be do a devil stick or diabolo or kendama and play with it in the store for ever (until the parent drags them out or they buy it) there will be structure, but its unrealistic to expect them to learn to juggle even scarves in under an hour. I figured this would be a way t o gather interest. besides scaves, whjat would you sugest?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 6, 2012 11:56AM)
I usually get an 80% success rate with grammar school kids. If you don't really want advise why did you ask?
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 6, 2012 07:40PM)
I guess I misunderstood you. You suggest JUST silks?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 7, 2012 06:46AM)
If you are going to teach classes (more than one) you can introduce them to weighted tennis balls in the second class, and one prop per lesson will not over whelm them. Once you have them interested they will be encouraged by their successes. I have taught scarf juggling to the mentally challenged it is very simple once you understand the mechanics of it.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 7, 2012 11:05AM)
This is going to be a free class at the library, to kind of get them interested in juggling more than an actual lesson. Im trying to get some interest going so I can sell some lessons. I guess lesson is the wrong word, but I didn't know what else to call it. I guess my reasoning for all the different props was to broaden my chances of a kid asking their parents for lessons in different props.
Message: Posted by: esther_scheffer (Jan 7, 2012 12:53PM)
-Spinning (plastic) plates is great for young children too because you can have high succes rate with easy way of spinning it for the younger children(or even spinning it for them and just handing it over for 2 or 3 year olds) and still have a more challenging way to get the spinning started for older kids (or even adults).
- devilsticks/ flower sticks start with some rolling ad trowing straith up etc. This can also be down with two kids rolling and trowing to each other
- scarve juggling. If you have younger kids and/or limited time you can also have fun with everyone just one scarf. Lot of tricks possible with one scarf.
- ball juggling: smae goes: also possble to play for a while with just one ball. Different ways of throwing and cathing and doing things in between
- rings also just one or two. Not only limited to throwing but also turning around your arm, using it as a steering wheel, very big earrings, amirror etc. some clowning possibilities.
- diabolo: for younger kids if you showed it. They like to try andcopy it for a while useally also if they are still to young to get the trick right.
- balancing: feathers or clubs are spinning plates or brooms you can all use for it. Or devilsticks on the handstick for variation or more challang (or club on second club)
- sock poi just some of the basics. The children also like the gymnastic ribbons to play with.

With all above for young kids: try to focus on fun and add some games and theater/clowning with the material rather then just tricks.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 7, 2012 12:57PM)
Perfect! Thanks for the input!
Message: Posted by: esther_scheffer (Jan 8, 2012 08:07AM)
If you don't want the one-box-and-try-whatever-you-want senario for me it works best to have one bag/box/suitcase for each tegnique. So 1 bag/box/suitcase for balls, 1 for plates, 1 for diabolo etc.
So you can chose to open one box at a time and have some structure in your lesoon. Doing plates with all the kids at the same time etc. We do it all together.
Then (to put in some variety and give the kids a bit of choice too I also offer sometimes two tegniques at the same time and usally I end with 5 or 10 minutes (depending on the group and age sometims more)of free choice.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Jan 11, 2012 10:48AM)
Esther: I like that idea as well, the only problem being, I might not have enough props for each kid. Doing 2 groups at once might work, but then the one group is playing instead of watching the other demonstration. Ill have to think about this...