Even though students of any age, including adults, can acquire the skills necessary to master an instrument, children who begin to practice on an instrument around the same time as developing fine motor skills often find it easier to master more abstract musical concepts, such as dynamics, expression, and rhythm, later on in their musical careers.
Piano and violin are often the two most common choices for younger students, but the guitar can prove an excellent starter instrument if your child can be accommodated for limitations like guitar size and scale. The size of the guitar is usually the biggest obstacle for smaller children developing technique on the instrument, but once this problem is addressed, you’ll find that your child will have a blast learning the guitar, especially with the right teacher. And don’t worry, there’s no shortage of guitar teachers in Atlanta who can provide quality guitar lessons to your child at your convenience!
Getting Started With a Teacher
If your child is around three to five years old, you will want to find a teacher that can not only teach proper guitar techniques but can also instruct your child in general musicianship as well. Despite music being auditory, it’s important that younger students learn music from every angle and every learning style in order to achieve a depth of knowledge and confidence in their musicianship that will carry over into their later adolescence.
This means that learning how to read music and understanding simple ideas such as quarter notes and rests are just as important as getting your little one’s fingers used to the guitar fretboard! Many students who enroll in schools with music teachers for kids and programs tend to have an easier time in this area, but finding an adequate teacher can help your child improve in this area too.
Another great way to help your child along their musical journey is to enroll them in other kinds of music and arts classes than just one-on-one instruction. Students who take musical theater, choir, or band will often find they have an easier time understanding and learning music as they get older, as they are learning about music in many different ways both by themselves and with a group of their peers.
Why The Guitar?
Guitars are fantastic instruments for learning music theory concepts such as chords and melody. The layout of the fretboard might not seem as intuitive as a piano’s, but for a student starting early on, its visual layout can make just as much sense as a piano’s. They also have a wide range of notes and have a great flexibility as solo or accompanying instruments, not to mention the wide variety of genres the guitar can play, from classical and jazz to rock n’ roll and pop.
Although the guitar gets a reputation for being a tough instrument for young beginners to learn, younger students might even face fewer impediments in learning it once they’ve found a good teacher and a guitar of the right size. After Atlanta guitar lessons are in place with a teacher, the most important thing you can do as a parent is provide positive support and a good practice schedule as your child embarks on what could be a rewarding lifelong journey!
Ideally, younger students on the guitar should receive thirty minutes to an hour of music instruction a week (not necessarily all at once!) complemented by regular practice sessions of fifteen to thirty minutes, three to five days a week. Especially with very young students such as pre-schoolers, parents should also feel free to adjust this schedule as necessary.
Finding the Right Guitar
When just starting out, preschoolers especially need a guitar that will be easier for them to work with and won’t hurt their fingers. A ½ size guitar with nylon strings will probably work the best for these younger beginners. It’s possible for preschool children to learn even on a ¾ size guitar as they get a little bit older, but very often an oversized guitar will cause the child to develop technique issues that will have to be undone later in their musical career.
A ½ size electric guitar will also work fine, just make sure to get an amplifier that comes along with it. Feel free to try a few different types of strings on an electric if you think another kind might work. Sometimes more pieces of equipment can overwhelm a beginner student, but just ask your guitar teacher for help in case you or your child feels lost!
The beginning of a child’s musical education can make or break their relationship with the instrument. Finding the right teacher and giving your child’s music practice proper attention can do wonders for their musical career as well as their self confidence. Contact us at Lessons in Your Home, and our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child.
By Stephen Miesel