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willsmominmo
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I'm a newbie here so I'm not sure this is the right place to post. I homeschool my 8 yo son and each year he gets to pick a fun "elective." This year he wants to learn magic. His class final will be performing at the homeschooler's talent show. I was interested in magic myself as a kid so I can teach him Professor's Nightmare and a few card tricks. I'm looking for ideas for props we could build together or good otricks with math and science principles (it is supposed to be school after all).
John Martin
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Hi Wills,

First off welcome, you'll certainly find anwers to any questions you have on theses pages.

I would recommend you get Mark Wilson's Course in Magic. It's a very affordable book with a huge amount of material. Lots of effects you and your son can build and learn. Think of it as a textbook.

Good luck,

John
Paul Rathbun
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Willsmominmo,

A square circle production box is easy to build and might be a good project to work on together.
gsidhe
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Andrew Mayne's Wizard School is a great DVD for teaching kids magic with simple homemade props. His stand alone plans are great as well. My son put together his first show from the Wizard School dvd when he was eight.
Not much math and science...but with a little change of patter it should not be too hard to figure something out.
Gwyd
Gerry Walkowski
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At age eight, I'd keep the effects very simple:

Dove Pan
color changing silk
change bag
gsidhe
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I think you are underestimating how good an 8 year old can be!
My son's first talent show (At 8 yrs) he levitated a wand out of a bottle, did scarf through neck, a cut and restore paper flower (All Andrew Mayne Wizard School) and made a box to disappear his sisters head(Victory carton illusions).
At 9 he made a neck stretcher box (Andrew Mayne), coloring book, pulled tied together silks out of a change bag (With a pair of spiderman underwear at the end) and produced a dove from a dove tray.
At 10 he opened with a Zombie ball(That He made himself), did a comic levitation and then disappeared into a cardboard tip up trunk that he had made (Victory carton illusions)

Yes...I helped with the resources to learn the tricks. I taught him some of the construction techniques to get him started. I taught him about sightlines and what to watch for.
He set his own rehearsal schedule. He selected music. He choreographed the acts. Once he was on stage, he was completely on his own.
In the three stage shows he has done, he made one mistake. Just one. He brought the house down every time.
This summer he went out street busking with us a few times. His street act is Magic or blowing giant bubbles or playing the drums while his sister spins poi. He averages about $20 an hour.

And a side note- He has Aspergers syndrome.

Never underestimate what a child is capable of.
Gwyd
willsmominmo
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Gwyd, thanks for mentioning that about your son. I've had the mother of a boy with severe autism mention to me that my son shows some signs of Aspergers. I've never had him officially tested.
gsidhe
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If there is suspicion and you are having some problems, get him tested. It will really help understand what is going on with him and make him easier to relate to.
A few minor changes in the way you relate can make a huge difference.
In the end, it is really not as scary as it sounds. In some aspects it can actually be an advantage. It is not a learning disability but a social one. My son's IQ is in the 130's but it is people he doesn't get. He is learning to get around that and is actually very popular at his school!
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help (Magically or otherwise!)
Gwyd
Spellbinder
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For tricks you can build together that have math and science connections, consider:
Winston Freer's Tile Deal Puzzle, available as an e-Book on my site in the Mini-Mysteries section Book 1.

"Fancy Arithmancy" from The Wizards' Journal #1 on my site is a good simple woodburning project (although it can also be made from cardboard if woodworking is not a good idea) as well as a magic trick based on simple mathematics principles.

The Wizards' Journal #4 has an effect called "The Power of Money" which turns natural science laws based on center of gravity and science involving the human nervous system into magic tricks.

From The Wizards' Journal #5, you might consider "Dollar Divination" if you care to teach your son the difference between "pseudo-science" and "real science." It explores the methods of "divination" and "dowsing" and shows how to make them seem to really work for magic tricks.

"This Little Light of Mine" from The Wizards' Journal #11 teaches you how to apparently make a flashlight light up without any batteries. Definitely good science involved.

I'd also recommend Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki's Sneaky Production Box as a way of working on geometry and measurement. It's in The Wizards' Journal #18 and when you have built one and mastered the geometry involved in showing a box empty when it's actually loaded with "stuff" you have a great finale to a magic show as well.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
gsidhe
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I'll back up spellbinder a bit here- I like his dollar store magic series. We had a lot of fun with the Party Cup magic and the PVC magic.
Well worth a look. Easy to build, easy to perform.
G
RVM7
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Lol how about me? I'm fourteen and I started magic at five and did shows at eight too and I have leukimia...
Al Angello
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Maverick
Leukimia has touched my family several times. I wish you a long, and magical life.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
willsmominmo
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Maverick
I hope everything is in remission. I'll ask you--what were your favorite tricks at that age? What would you recommend for my son?
RVM7
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Actually I treat myself as a normal child with some limitations and I'm close to remission with 0.9 of the strain. I just suggest some cards I do street magic/walk around before but I'm preparing for stage. Just give him decks and maybe an Invi deck, Stripper, Svengali. You know, the usual stuff. Thank Al and Will
magic4u02
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Teaching students magic is something I have a passion for. I always believe we must give back to the future stars of magic. If we can set them along the right path, then that is something all magicians should strive to do.

I first suggest getting the student the Mark Wilson Course in Magic. It has so much great information in it and you can do lesson plans really easily. It covers from close up to stage or even illusions that you can build with your student at little to no cost. The Tarbell course books are also very good material from which to work from.

Just keep in mind that as you go over tricks and effects, it is also very important that you also cover off on showmanship, character, keeping the secret, the art of performance and just how to entertain with magic as opposed to fooling people.

Learning and teaching how to conduct yourself as a magician is just as important as teaching the effects themselves. I find what tends to happen is a beginner gets locked on the prop so much that they forget the focus should be on them and the entertainment value they can give to an audience.

This also needs to be taught just as much as learning the rope trick or the card effect. Take time to break things down easily into simple terms. Here is often how I will work with a student to get them to understand and learn a new effect/routine:

- Show the effect and routine as I would have performed it. This allows the student to get a feel for the trick they are going to learn and to get them excited about it. I do this because often students will say, "oh that is not a good trick, they will figure it out, too easy. etc." By showing the trick as a routine first, you can always remind the student of their reactions and how they felt before they discovered the secret behind it.

- I then break down the effect and talk about how to do the trick. In this step I am not worried about routining or patter. I simply want to make sure the student can do the effect only. By doing it this way they are not overloaded with trying to recall too much. They simply are to learn the effect.

- I then will have them work on set up. this means I will place the props etc. in random order and have the student take it all and set up the trick the correct way. It is important for any student to know how to do proper set up. Most of the nerves from students come from them being worried that they have things the way they need to be. This helps them to get comfortable with it.

- I then will start to go over routining of the trick. However, I only do this after I am sure the student has the effect down and can master the set up without any of my help at all. It is important that they do not have to think about how to do the effect before starting to work on patter and routining.

- When we work on patter and routining, I make sure the student knows they are NOT to do as I did. They are to simply find out what works best for THEM. I encourage them to find their own style and their own ways to do patter. I help push them along in the right direction. However, the teacher must try their best not to influence the student by having them do the effect the way the teacher would do it. Learn to take a step back and allow the student to discover their own personality and encourage it along the way.

- Once a basic patter or routine is thought out, I will have the student place the props down and do the routine/patter with pantomime. they are not to touch the props at all. I do this to get the student knowing the props are not the most important element in any performance. it also allows them to focus on finding out who they are. It also draws attention to how important the entertainment value is to any routine.

- I then have them combine both patter and routine with the props and effect and run through it. This gets them the chance to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

- I finally do what I call a cold call. This is simply meaning that I have them set up the effect and perform the routine once and once only. we then move onto something else and go back to it the next day and do it once only again. The reason is to get them in the habit of knowing that they have 1 time to do the routine right. You do not get 3 tries in any show.

- We then talk about outs and how we can place in outs in the show in the event something should go wrong. I remind the student that often times the only way an audience knows if something goes wrong is if you tell them it did.

This process works really well and helps the student to learn the importance of how magic should be performed and also does not overwhelm them in the process.

Along the way I am always encouraging the student and empowering them through the process of them getting things right. I encourage them to find their own voice and I get to enjoy the magic that takes place within them.

Kyle
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seadog93
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As a kid I never got very far with Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic (is that heresy? Am I allowed to mention that?) I love it now and refer to it often, but it didn't have the presentations I wanted or the thoughts on how to make a trick into something special.

I highly recommend Joshua Jay's book; theory and practice and demonstration performances. Really good stuff.

Posted: Oct 3, 2010 2:16pm
Also, don't overlook the kids magic books in the library. I have a very expensive ebook on impromptu mentalism that recommends kids magic books. I also have several books at my library (in the children's section) that have a lot of projects to build things; there is some very good stuff there.

I also second Professor Spellbinder's magic nook.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
magic4u02
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Seadog: That is true on that book. That is why you need to use it along side of someone who can train you and coach the student at the same time.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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stijnhommes
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Quote:
On 2010-09-29 11:03, gsidhe wrote:
I think you are underestimating how good an 8 year old can be!
My son's first talent show (At 8 yrs) he levitated a wand out of a bottle, did scarf through neck, a cut and restore paper flower (All Andrew Mayne Wizard School) and made a box to disappear his sisters head(Victory carton illusions).
At 9 he made a neck stretcher box (Andrew Mayne), coloring book, pulled tied together silks out of a change bag (With a pair of spiderman underwear at the end) and produced a dove from a dove tray.
At 10 he opened with a Zombie ball(That He made himself), did a comic levitation and then disappeared into a cardboard tip up trunk that he had made (Victory carton illusions)

Yes...I helped with the resources to learn the tricks. I taught him some of the construction techniques to get him started. I taught him about sightlines and what to watch for.
He set his own rehearsal schedule. He selected music. He choreographed the acts. Once he was on stage, he was completely on his own.
In the three stage shows he has done, he made one mistake. Just one. He brought the house down every time.
This summer he went out street busking with us a few times. His street act is Magic or blowing giant bubbles or playing the drums while his sister spins poi. He averages about $20 an hour.

And a side note- He has Aspergers syndrome.

Never underestimate what a child is capable of.
Gwyd
I never underestimate kids. I've seen children pull off the most amazing illusions in talent shows and bring down the house. Appearing mini-motor cycles, Houdini's trunk escape and pretty much every other effect on the planet has been done by a kid.

To the OP: Try challenging your kid with something hard. You'll never know what he can do unless you make him try it. If it turns out to be too hard, he can always do something easier. Aim for the stars!
Tonylew
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IMO Larry Anderson's "Jaw Droppers" series of four DVD's (Originally VHS) is a superb introduction to magic for the beginner. Over 50% of the numerous tricks on these DVD's will impress the average layman. None of the included effects requires any demanding skill.

I wrote a very complimentary review of this series for RIng 2100 when it first came out. (Ring 2100 is the official internet ring of IBM that is still floundering around with less than 1000 members after many years of existence).

You will find my original review along with a couple of others at

https://sunshine.rahul.net/~jaw/magicians.html

Jaw Droppers was originally released in VHS format for $50. You can now legally steal it in numerous places, including Amazon.com, for less than 20 bucks. I feel that is the best value available for a beginner's course in Magic.

Enjoy.
wally
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Anyone got the magic tricks R 4 kids dvds, reviews wanted, I want to teach kids some tricks at birthday parties. any ideas please.
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