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Topic: First sleights
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jul 30, 2005 08:54AM)
After a long hiatus, I am returning to my old love of magic, thanks to my son's new interest. In order to give him some confidence, (he is seven years old, and sort of shy), I purchased and helped him to learn some tricks that were "self-working" (AKA-easy to use gimmicks). Now that his interest is locked in, we have gotten some great books : Mark Wilson's Complete Course, the first seven volumes of Tarbell (it was a bargain on eBay), and Henry Hay.

Should I start him with cards, or coins to learn some "nimbleness of fingers" ? The Tarbell course, which was highly respected in my youth, starts in Volume 1 with coins, yet I get the impression from this list that cards might be easier for him.

Any thoughts ?

Mark Pettey--raising another generation of magi
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jul 30, 2005 09:21AM)
There have been a few topics about teaching youngsters here at the Café'.
A search for teaching or teach should turn them up.

When my grand daughter was about eight she said she wanted to learn magic. To find out how much she was really interested I showed her some simple coin tricks along with other beginnner tricks using common objects and emphasized how to present the tricks.
What I found was that once I showed her a how to do a trick she would practice a little and then want another trick taught.
What I realized was that what she wanted was to know the way they were done and that she was not as interested as it seemed.
I told her that unless she showed me some improvement on the things I showed her that the lessons would end. She didn't follow up so they stopped.

So my suggestion is to teach some simple beginner tricks with common objects and emphasize on how they may be presented in a magical manner. Add some that require some misdirection.

Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jul 30, 2005 11:47AM)
Thanks for the reply and the search tip, Jaz...

I guess I am a lucky dad, as my son practices every day ! He is truly interested in learning magic. He sat with me in awe a couple weeks ago when the Magic special was on A&E network. He goes around the house talking about Blackstone, David Copperfield, and others that he heard about on the show. Constant questions about what it is like to perform a big show like the ones he saw on the special. He has full floor to ceiling mirror doors on the cloet in his room, so he has one of the tables I built set up right in front of them. He is doing some of the basic beginner tricks like Chinese sticks, ball and vase, rope to silk, color changing silk, and even a couple of my old larger tricks, the Hippity Hop rabbits and Stratospheres. I have started him on cups and balls, (and have begun remedial work on it myself !).

Thanks again for the advice....

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jul 30, 2005 12:23PM)
Sounds like a great start.
My best to both of you.
Message: Posted by: Clarioneer (Jul 30, 2005 12:34PM)
Hand size is probably going to be the biggest problem therefore for serious sleight stuff maybe sponge balls (smallest size available) might be an option... Children also like to play with sponge balls and they don't dent or break anything - all the slights learnt can later be used for coin work if the interest remains...
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jul 30, 2005 12:50PM)
Sponge balls ! Excellent suggestion, thank you Clarioneer ! This is something I have not explored even in my own interests with magic. My son has been extremely good about storing his props after each practice, taking care to pack things in some plastic banker boxes in have in his room. However, anything that is non-destructive or non-breakable I encourage him to keep "out" on his table and handy for a few minutes of diversion. Sponge balls certainly fill that bill ! I have been firm with the idea of no fire, livestock, or sharp objects till he is more adept, and a bit older.

(but dad, the dove pan isn't as cool without the flashpaper !!!!)

THANKS !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: asmayly (Jul 31, 2005 07:38PM)
I have 4 year old kid that I'm teaching magic to (I know, really young) and I've taught him self-working tricks and sleight-of hand tricks with coins and objects. The sleight-of hand tricks tricks he did as above: instantly wanted to know how I did them and had no real interest in practicing. But on the self-working tricks (dime to sack in matchbox and ball in vase) he's really quite good. I thought up a patter (that he improved a bit) replete with jokes that are more funny considering his age, and he's memorized and executes them perfectly. Real cute.

What's amazing to me is that he's doing what I should be doing more of: developing a good patter (replete with jokes) and memorizing and executing it perfectly.

I think kids should learn (more than technical stuff) the technique of entertaining. Self-working tricks are a good fit.
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Jul 31, 2005 10:18PM)

I totally agree with you about learning the entertainment aspect and patter !

This is one of the big reasons I encouraged my son to explore his interest in magic, (besides dad wanting to get back into it, too !). My son has been fairly shy up till recently. The magic has been a good icebreaker for him, first with baby sitters while I was working nights, and then with his friends from school. The big goal for the coming year is to have him do a short act for the school talent show. After that, if the interest is still there, we may investigate attending an SYM meet/competition, if there is such a thing.

I have posted on this site asking if anybody has their children enrolled in the Society for Young Magicians, but had no respones in a week, so guess no one here is into that. I am attending a meeting in Ft. Myers, FL on Tuesday night that is made up of a group of folks from both SAM and IBM. I am going to speak to one of the SAM members about enrolling my son in the SYM. There are chapters of SYM in Florida, but the closest one to us is about 100 miles away. Thank goodness for the internet !

My seven year old found the SYM website on his own yesterday, and seems very interested in it. When he saw the pictures of kids his own age doing magic, he made me sit down with him at the computer to look at them. I could tell it was another step forward in his interest with the craft.

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: asmayly (Aug 1, 2005 02:23PM)
I use to be "the leader" at a local SYM for a short time.

Not all SYMs are equal. Some involve more performance than others. Some have better leaders than others. Some foster magic better others.

Via the internet one can find and learn about lots of magic, authors, and tricks.
Being in a club is certianinly not necessary to getting performance time or even being a good magician.

Clubs are mostly about meeting people, on a personal basis, who are involved in magic.

Seeking out a Magic Camp or a local magician teacher, could greatly help your son grow if that's what you and he wanted, in that it would be more "targeted" instruction than a monthly club meeting.

Just my thoughts.