After you bought the right kid’s guitar, you’ll probably ask yourself which is the method to learn playing it for children. Learning the guitar takes time and effort. There are different possibilities for learning the guitar and we’re going to run through each and evaluate them to help you make an informed decision. At the end, we’ll draw a conclusion on answering the question, which is the best method to learn playing the guitar for kids.
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Guitar lessons from a teacher
Learning the guitar with a teacher is without doubt the most effective way. Any problems or questions can be answered easily and quickly. Mistakes or bad habits are immediately seen and corrected. Especially in the beginning, children can get quite frustrated when they experience that playing the guitar is not that easy as it looks like. A good guitar teacher motivates his students in these situations and applies the right techniques to have an experience of success. He will adapt his approach to the needs of your child. It’s the certainly also the easiest way for parents to make sure that his son or her daughter learns the guitar properly … if you have found a good guitar teacher! Don’t forget that your choice will have a big influence on the progression and playing style of your child. There are many guys out there who offer lessons but they don’t really have any educational skills. And that’s what counts most when teaching the guitar to kids. Finding the right guitar teacher for child can be quite challenging. Since it’s a quite big topic, I’ll write as soon as possible a complete article about it in order to provide you some hints how to recognize a good teacher. But let me tell already the most important point: Always make sure that he has already taught children before, especially for young kids it’s important to have that experience since it’s quite difference from teaching adults.
Guitar lessons are efficient and comfortable but on the other hand you should consider that guitar lessons can be extremely expensive depending on the guitar teacher’s experience and reputation. If you get someone from your neighborhood who plays the guitar and gives lesson in his free time, it won’t be too costly. But once again, he should really have the educational skills to teach children. A lesson with professional guitar teacher costs you between $20 and $40 for a normal session of 45 minutes. Usually, you take one lesson per week which will make finally around $120 per month. Bear in mind that learning a musical instrument takes times. So you should be ready to make that investment over a long term. It’s hard to say how long exactly your child has to take lessons since it depends on his preogression and on the intended goals … but at least one year. Most students take lesson for several years but there are also a lot of students which take just the basic from lessons and then they continue on their own. In the times of Youtube & Co, there are plenty of possibilities for self-teaching.
Guitar lessons at guitar schools
Learning the guitar with a private guitar teacher or at a guitar school are quite similar, aren’t they? Well, almost but there are a couple of little differences in the detail. Theoretically, everybody can call himself a guitar teacher although his skills and experience may be quite limited. So getting the right private guitar teacher can be quite challenging sometimes. At a guitar school you can be quite sure to have good guitar teacher with a lot of experience. It’s their profession and they are doing that the whole day. Many schools offer special courses for children and apply methods especially adapted to children. Just make sure to find a music school with a good reputation and you can take it for granted that your child will get lessons from an experienced teacher.
However, lessons at music schools are normally organized in groups. So your child won’t get the same attention as from a private guitar teacher. The teacher can’t adapt completely his methods and his approach to the needs of every child. Consequently your child won’t progress as fast as he would with a private teacher. Since lessons are hold at the school and not at home you have to take in consideration that you need to take your child to school . Your child has to feel comfortable to learn in classes. In any case, guitar classes for kids are also great chances to get in contact with other folks. 🙂
Teach your child the guitar
For most parents it’s probably not an option but since the question is sometimes asked I would like to address that possibility here as well. If you know playing the guitar it could be an option to give lessons. But you should be aware that there is a great difference between being a good guitarist and giving lessons. It’s not really enough to master just a few songs. You have to know very well the basics. In addition to that, you should have an approach on how to teach the guitar and especially in a way for a young child. Last but not least, you should also have an eye for detail. So it requires quite a lot to teach kids to play guitar.
If you feel ready to teach your child there are basically two way to do so. If you know playing the guitar very well and you have got already an approach on your minds, then go for it! It’s worth to give it a try. If doesn’t really works out you can still send your child to proper lessons. Another way I like to mention is to send your child to a guitar school anyway and to practice together during the weekends. So it’s alright if you lack some basics or if you don’t know how to explain certain things. All these things are covered during the lessons. The aim is to repeat what your kid has learned, to jam around and just to have fun in order to progress faster. Remember the saying: Practice makes perfect. And you’ll be sure that once your kid got the basics down, you can maybe even replace the guitar teacher in the near future.
Self-Learning: Guitar Books
There are a lot of guitar books out there and there are also a few especially for kids. It’s obviously the cheapest option and in my opinion not a bad one. It definitely depends on age and motivation. First of all your child should be old enough to read or at least his parents should assist him. Second of all, self-learning requires motivation and discipline. I personally recommend buying guitar books when someone is getting a guitar as a birthday or Christmas surprise. It allows your child to start straight away. At the same time you can see how motivated and keen your child really is to learn the guitar. Even though you want to send your child to guitar lessons, the book can be also used during the lessons together with the teacher or just between the lessons at home. Most of them come along with a CD in order to repeat exercises.
Here are some good kid’s guitar books:
- Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course from Ron Manus
- Guitar Adventures for Kids from Damon Ferrante
- Guitar for Kids for Ages 5-9 from Jeff Schroedl and Bob Morris
Self-Learning: Guitar online courses
You can find on the internet a bunch of online courses on how to learn guitar. However most of them are made or teenagers and adults. Guitar online courses for kids do exist but only rarely. For most of them you also have to pay a monthly fee. I haven’t yet tested any of them so that’s why I don’t want to recommend something I don’t know at the moment.
There are some folks on Youtube who give guitar lessons especially for kids. Unfortunately there exist no complete course that explains all the essential basics adapted for kids. Most of the videos are aiming to teach a certain song. So there isn’t a big relation between the single videos. These videos are great for learning a new song but not start from scratch. Nevertheless, I would like to point out some Youtube Channels where I think you can find some interesting stuff for beginners and kids.
For younger kids books and online courses should be only used in combination with a guitar teacher. If your child is old enough you can give it a try with a good guitar book only. But once again, although there are great guitar books out there learning with a guitar book requires a lot of motivation and self-discipline. Finally personal guitar lessons are the most effective way to learn an instruments and chances are high that he won’t give up. That’s why I would recommend you to get a guitar teacher or to send your child to a guitar school. These both options ensure that your child will learn the instrument in a proper way. If your budget is quite limited, try to see if your friends or relatives know someone who plays quite well the guitar and who could imagine to give lessons. It’s woth trying it at least.