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Profile of jasper
What sort of thing would you cover in terms of technique? I teach performance arts which I believe to be the most important aspect but I geuss the children will want to learn tricks. What is the compromise?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
--Albert Einstein
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Salem, VA
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Profile of gocall911
I plan on teaching quite a few low level tricks and some mid level ones but not put a whole act together for them. Only teach them how to put their own act together. Also I plan on teaching them what's behind the effects and not just "how to do it". One last thing I plan to do is help them get started in a way that they will know where to go to learn more after the class is over.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Mago Mai
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Profile of Mago Mai
Self-working effects where they can concentrate on performance. That will help to boost their self esteem.

Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
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Profile of jasper
I like that Mago Mai, maybe some self-working ones that amaze the performer i.e. not sure how they work but they do. I also like the idea of an arts and crafts section where you get to make a bit of magic.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
--Albert Einstein
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Profile of Steinbock
I'd include some coin work or sponge-balls. This way you're giving the kids basic understanding and skills at misdirection, and at the same time teaching them a usable routine.
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Profile of Starrpower
I may have a little insight here, as I have taught at two community theaters, as well as a university program for children.

Kids want to learn tricks, no doubt about it. In fact, so do most adult magicians, as is evident by the number of "tricks" lectures out there as opposed to those that emphasize theory, stage, or business. Also, the parents want to see them learn tricks; when they get home, they'll be asked, "let's see a trick."

Anway, I have a different structure depending upon whether it's a one-time deal or a class taught over an extended period time (once a week for 3-4 weeks.)

If it's one-shot, the only "theatre" they learn is how to wrap a story around a trick. I teach simple tricks, plus give them some tricks to take home.

For longer course magic, I teach the simple tricks, but I also am preparing them for a "Magic Show" for parents during the last portion of the final class. This show may have such things as "Rope through Body" or even something self-working like "Coin Drawer", but presented in a way that requires some thought and practice.
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Profile of Michael Baker
I have taught week-long magic camps in the summer for the past 8 years. Assuming you are not teaching a one or two day event, one of the most important aspects is to give the budding magicians both short and long term goals.

As mentioned, they want the immediate gratification, and if kids, their parents want to know that they are actually doing something. So, in this regard, teach them something that they can master very, very quickly. What I also try to do, in the case of this type trick, is to accompamy it with a very defined patter in story form, so that the kids not only learn the trick, they are also, if you will, "tricked" into learning presentation at the same time (You can explain the whys and wherefores to them later).

Now, once they have been given that little tasty morsel that lets them think they are really becoming magicians, you also begin to teach them, in phases, tricks or routines that will require some effort behind it. By doing this, they eventually understand that patience and diligence are virtues. A good example of a trick for this would be a basic cup and ball routine done with Styrofoam coffee cups and pom-poms. Nothing elaborate, just the basic balls penetrate the cups, as comes with the cheapy slum magic tricks. Don't even go into final loads. They don't need that to have a solid routine.

What should be done is, as in the previous case, give them a presentation to mimic. It never hurts anyone to begin this way. But keep your eyes open for the renegades who dare to alter the presentation and make it their own. Acknowledge and applaude their creativity in front of their peers, as this sometimes encourages other kids to explore their own uniqueness.

Each day, add something to what they have learned and practiced, so they can see that with each new addition, the trick becomes more full and rich. They will be excited by the aspect of this thing getting better and better each time they learn something new about it.

A trick such as this teaches them that not everything will be handed to them (although some things will be), it teaches them to see the process of magic over a series of events, as opposed to one cause with one effect, but most importantly, it teaches them that the higher degrees of pride can be earned.

The goal is to let them go home with a newly learned skill each day, in the form of a finished product (trick). All the while they are working toward a bigger goal that should be mostly ready for showing come the end of the course.

Starrpower is right in having a show for the parents at the end of the course. I do this, too. This gives the kids not only a goal, but also a deadline for completion.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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Profile of macmagic
For the past 4 years I have been presenting magic classes at numerous places from Libraries to discovery musuems, daycare after schools etc. I will give you a quick breakdown of an hour long class
these are the tricks I teach
sliding the tip of your thumb off
tossing an invisible ball in the air and hearing it land in a paper bag(you will be amazed at the reaction this simple trick gets, even from the parents)
French drop or any way to make a penny disappear and come back from your nose
the mind reading crayon trick
fortune telling fish(with business card inside)
I get 60 minutes out of this(usually longer)
now I am not going into the bits of business etc. jokes and things I do because those are mine and I worked hard at it! the above tricks are great because they are easy to teach and learn plus all except the fortune telling fish can be found in books at the library!
"Its a magic wouldn't understand"
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Profile of magic4u02
I am a co-leader and founder of the Philadelphia Society of Young Magicians. I have aboiut 25 kids each year ranging in age from 7 - 17 and have done this for the past 11 years now. I am also very active at the SAM national convention working with the kids activities they have there.

What I have found is that you need a mixture of both. You must have tricks they can learn and you always want to EMPOWER the kids. This means you want to encourage them and not turn them off from magic.

If you have a lacturer come in, make sure that person does 3 effects and 3 only. BUT the idea is that you will have a wide range of kids. The beginners, those that know some moves etc and the more advance kids. You want the lecture to cover off on all of these.

1 effect that is easy that everyone can do no matter what age or level they are at. 1 intermediate effect that is a little more of a challenge and then one larger harder effect that the advance students can get excited about. This way you leave no one out and you empower every kid at the meeting.

You also must teach the kids the importance of the code of ethics for magicians. Take this seriously and they will also. Have them take a oath and give them all certificates for doing so. Stress the importance of:

- never reveal a secret to a non-magician
- always helo a fellow magician when you can
- never ever upstage a magician if you are at his or her show. Help them and show respect and get the same respect back.

Simple rules like this can be taught and conveyed to the children so they learn to appreciate the magic that they are learning.

Do not just TEACH the trick of magic. Make and effort to really stress that magic is NOT about fooling anyone and that it is much more about entertaining someone.

Teach the children a simple rope trick and then show ways in which that simple rope trick and look and feel different by means of different patter and presentations. We have a lot of fun with this but it really teaches the kids that showmanship and presentation is even more important then the effect itself.

If anyone would like to bounce off ideas etc, please feel free to PM me.

Kyle Peron

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