"I'm only myself when I have a guitar in my hands."
-George Harrison

When asked by their parents which musical instrument they would like to play, most children answer with guitar. While other instruments are noteworthy, the guitar remains very cool amongst young students because they imagine themselves as rock stars!

It's worth stating that playing any musical instrument is a great thing for children. However, kids are more likely to stick with an instrument they have chosen themselves. Therefore, if they want to play the guitar, let them play the guitar!

Playing a musical instrument is extremely beneficial to the growth of a child and it will cause them to develop transferrable skills and a great love for the music world around them. But, is it always teaching kids to play the guitar? In today's article, let's examine how a guitar teacher tracks the progress of your child and teaches them chords and finger skills.

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How to Start Teaching Kids to Play the Guitar?

models of guitar
Depending on the age of your child, you will need to shop for a guitar that is the right size and not too big. (Source: Unsplash)

Your child has decided that they want to start playing the guitar. That's a fantastic start since most of the time parents have to force their children to learn a new musical instrument! However, are you a little intimidated and don't know how to help your son or daughter to start learning the guitar? If so, you're not alone because it is a lot of work and most kids need a step-by-step learning program to hone their musical skills.

Let's answer a few questions that parents might have about their children taking guitar lessons with a passionate teacher and how they can quickly be answered in a simple way.

At What Age Should You Start Playing the Guitar?

There is no minimum age for children to start playing the guitar. For example, if your child has already developed a musical ear, then let them start taking lessons with a professional teacher to memorise chords and learn to play kids' guitar songs.

Most parents believe that between the years of 5 to 7 is the right time for kids to start playing the guitar. 

The only requirement is that children's hands be sufficiently muscular and that their fingers are sufficiently developed. A child must be able to coordinate their movements to achieve the basic chords and string movements.

Also, your son or daughter must have the capacity to concentrate for at least 30 minutes to an hour with a guitar teacher or else you'll just be wasting your money. 

Nonetheless, remember that children are like sponges and the younger they learn, the better they will become as time goes on. So, make good use of your kid's time and start to teach your children chords on the guitar.

How to Choose a Guitar for Children?

While your child might not know, there are different guitars for distinct genres of music. For example, the classical guitar is the most popular since it has nylon strings and can play various genres of music. Secondly, the acoustic or folk guitar is similar to the classical guitar except for the metal strings. Thirdly, the electric guitar is mainly used for rock music and requires a cable and amplifier. Essentially, the type of string used makes all the difference.

While you could ask your child to decide upon which type of guitar they would like to play, the classical guitar is the best for beginners.

Also, did you know that there are smaller-sized guitars that are specifically made for children? Little do most parents recognise but there's a guitar for a 4-year-old, a guitar for a 7-year-old, and a guitar for beginner kids. The following list provides essential information to know which sized guitar is best for your child:

  • A ¼ guitar for a child between 4 and 6 years old,
  • A ½ guitar for a child aged 6 to 8,
  • A ¾ guitar is for a child from 8 to 12 years old,
  • A whole, complete, or "normal guitar" is for children over 12 years old.

The previously mentioned list gives parents an idea of what type of guitar is best for them at their specific age. You don't have to spend tons of money on a child's first guitar. Sometimes used guitars that are free on classified sites will suffice. We highly recommend asking the advice of a music tutor before purchasing the best version of guitar for teaching kids.

Why Should Children Learn to Play the Guitar?

kids learning the guitar
There are many benefits to teaching your children chords on the guitar. (Source: Unsplash)

Parents should strongly encourage their young children to learn the guitar. Why's that? There are so many brilliant advantages of kids learning a musical instrument in their formative years and the following list highlights some of the most impressive benefits of teaching guitar to children:

  • Intellectual Benefits: research has proven that children who play a musical instrument are more advanced intellectually and can quickly see improvements in their memory, attention span, vocabulary, and ability to process information. Also, those who play the guitar are better at learning languages.
  • Improves Creativity: not only are they better at expressing their emotions, but children who play the guitar are more creative and imaginative. They succeed in other artistic fields and can more easily create beautiful things.
  • Learn to Manage Stress: while children aren't typically as stressed as adults, research is showing that children and teens are more anxious and stressed than ever before. What can be done? Learn a new musical instrument. Practising a musical instrument such as the guitar reduces stress and anxiety since it causes kids to participate in an activity that they might be good at and thoroughly enjoy.
  • Physical Strength: little do many people know that playing the guitar or any other instrument improves physical performance. Playing the guitar means acquiring better control of the body, better breathing techniques, improved posture, and heightened strength in the fingers, hands, and arms.

Encouraging your child to play the guitar doesn't mean you have to become a guitar teacher. We greatly suggest leaving the teaching to experienced guitar tutors who use their honed skills to instruct others during lessons.

All in all, children who play the guitar, are more well-developed and tend to excel academically, socially, mentally, and physically.

How Long Does it Take for Children to Learn the Guitar?

fingers on the strings
Parents want their children to grow up to be talented guitar players. (Source: Unsplash)

There are many types of guitar lessons that children can enrol in either online or in-person. Such as? For instance, some of the possibilities include guitar classes at a community centre, a music school, a conservatory or music academy, or lessons with a private guitar teacher.

There are group courses and private lessons; students need to select between the two. But, how? For example, group courses allow kids to be around other like-minded individuals, refine their listening skills and progress quickly in contact with others. Also, group music lessons are a great way to learn tolerance and respect for other students who are learning the chords and strings.

On the other hand, private lessons allow your child to progress rapidly. Your son or daughter is the centre of attention and they benefit fully from the learning methods of the tutor since they are tailored to their needs and learning styles. Also, with private teaching lessons, guitar students don't feel so embarrassed if ever they draw a blank while playing.

Whether in-person or virtual, music lessons provide child learners with theoretical and practical bases on the guitar. Also, music theory is learned and notes are sometimes taken depending on the age of the student.

But, how long does it take to reach a decent level of playing ability on the guitar? How many lessons are required with a tutor to effectively learn? Learning to coordinate right and left hands on the guitar takes some time; especially for young children. Also, the number of classes or hours of study depends on the concentration level of the student. How's that? Well, to consistently see improvement, children need to take guitar lessons at least once a week for 45 minutes or more.

Also, like adults, children face learning challenges or difficulties such as lack of coordination, a bad musical ear, lack of patience, and frustration. All of these issues can impact the amount of time it takes to learn the guitar effectively.

While music classes with a professional guitar tutor are highly recommended, it's worth stating that to see a significant improvement, regular practice is required; that means practising the guitar outside lessons. Thankfully, there are many guitar books for kids and YouTube tutorials that are free of charge.

Although it's extremely difficult to give a specific amount of time it takes to learn the guitar for children, considering all the factors that we've discussed in this subheading and the average statistics, the list below shows how long it takes to reach a certain level of expertise:

  • Beginner: to be able to play a few basic songs and know your strings and be considered a beginner, it takes between 3-6 months depending on how much you practice.
  • Intermediate: to reach a level known as intermediate and to play a few songs, it may take up to two years.
  • Intermediate Plus: add another year and you'll be considered an intermediate plus guitarist who is able to improvise and play songs in front of audiences.
  • Advanced: lastly, for children to be considered advanced guitar players, it can take 5 years.

The advantage that kids have is that they are extremely fast learners. However, a child playing the guitar needs to recognise that patience, diligence, practice, and hard work are required to reach a certain level of playing.

In conclusion, there are a lot of things that parents need to consider when helping their children learn to play the guitar. Teaching kids the fundamentals of the guitar at a young age is the essential way to set them on a path to success.

 

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.