So this is always an interesting topic and question that I get asked a lot being a guitar teacher. The question is: “My kid’s ____ years old. Is that too young?”
So to get a kid to play guitar, you must first get into the mindset of a kid. Kids are interested in playing with friends, cartoons, sports and games. The idea of plunking them down on anything that’s challenging, physically challenging and anything requiring focus for more than 30 min can be well…tough!
I’ve taught A LOT of children over the years everyone from a mentally challenged 8 year old, a 3 year old and a 13 year old little punk! Everyone is different and unique and gods gift and alla that, but you parents know what I’m saying here when I say “kids can be tough at times!”
So the first thing is getting a suitable guitar. I have an article called “Acoustic Vs. Electric Guitars” that I think you’ll find helpful. Also I have a video called “playing a suitable guitar”. Its ground zero, first-step kinda stuff.
OVERVIEW: Get a nylon string guitar aka classical guitar for your son/daughter. They make these guitars in several sizes as well and are referred to as ½ sized, or ¾ sized classical guitars. I don’t care how appealing that disney guitar is from sears – don’t get a steel stringed guitar!
I gotta say that the only time that I’ve seen a young kid excel with guitar (5 years old) was her parent was diligent with her and forced her to practice. I didn’t necessarily agree with this, but what I can I say, it turned out pretty impressive results! She also enjoyed the lessons. This is a situation that parents have to be VERY careful with and is the lead cause of cancer… LISTEN UP!… It’s the lead cause of kids hating playing an instrument.
So ya need the right tools for the job, right? THE NEXT THING is proper instruction. I mentioned to your surprise that kids are hard to keep focused and interested in 1 task for a long period of time, right? Well the concept I’m about to share with you is gonna take you on a trip:
TAKE GUITAR LESSONS WITH YOUR KID!
This is something that I started suggesting to people that contacted me with that question; “is he/she too young?”. My reply was – “how about you take lessons with your son/daughter?”.
Revolutionary! I know! The greatest part is that the parent gets to learn at the pace of an 8 year old, so us “adults” can leave our ego’s at the door 😉
Now, this article is on guitar lessons for kids, right? so what benefit do the kids get? Well, they gain focus FOR UP TO AN HOUR NON-STOP. It’s strictly because their Mom or Dad is sitting next to them and working on the same goal! It creates this team based environment where the common goal is learning guitar and having fun.
IT DOESN’T STOP THERE THOUGH! Because practice is important too, right? For those of you parents who have tried to get your 10 year old to stay motivated but while maintaining some kind of independence toward…well…anything…you know what kind of challenge that can be.
PROBLEM SOLVED: You practice with them! Wow, what a bonding experience that is for your son/daughter. They will remember those lessons and that experience for the rest of their lives! But speaking about the now, they get better at the guitar faster than any other kid taking 1 on 1 lessons. They’ve got a one-up on the guitar situation for sure! Oh, and you’re actually getting a TON out the sessions too. You’re learning the guitar! How cool is that?!
What the result is something along this example: Take Chris and his 8 year old daughter and his 10 year old son. In 1 year of lessons they learned: ALL their major and minor chords including bar chords, can play 20 songs and to date they’ve played 2 live shows (the ripley rock-citals!).
This is usually the spot where I say something like “results not typical, please consult a doctor if you’re experiencing…”
Nope! I’ve seen it time and time again. This is very real and what I believe to be the future of children’s music lessons. All you aspiring guitar teachers now have 1 unique the keys to success with your guitar teaching business!
So get out there and take lessons with your son/daughter. If you already play really well, get your spouse to do it, their uncle or grandpa to take lessons with your little fellah and just watch the results that come out of it in just a few weeks. It’s revolutionary and amazing!!
Hope you found this inspiring and helpful. It’s so cool to see kids rocking out with their parents!
Keep on rippin it up!