I am assuming your child wants to learn to play guitar already and that they have asked to take lessons.
If that is not the case then it will be very difficult for them to succeed because learning guitar is not easy and without at least some desire to learn they will quit soon after they start.
Once they have a desire to learn there are more hurdles to overcome. Children are not as fully developed as adults so it can be more challenging to learn for them.
What we want to do is minimize the challenges so that they make progress and enjoy the process of learning.
Here are 3 very important factors that will have an effect on your child’s success learning to play guitar.
Most people are convinced that starting on an acoustic guitar is the best way to go, period.
Their argument is that if you can learn on an acoustic then you can play anything. And although that may be true, it requires that you overcome more challenges and makes if more difficult to learn.
Why would you want to make it more difficult to learn? For yourself or your child? Wouldn’t you want to make it easier to learn?
Most adults have a hard time learning to play guitar on an acoustic and many quit because of it.
That’s the last thing you want for your child. Acoustic guitars have a thick and wide body, the neck is typically wider and the strings are thicker and further from the neck.
They can learn how to play just as well and much easier if they start on an electric guitar instead. The only disadvantage is they tend to be a bit heavier but most kids adapt to that very easily.
Kids are at a totally different stage of development than teens or adults are at. The includes physically, mentally and emotionally.
Their fine motor skills and dexterity are not quite as strong yet. They are also still growing and smaller so just holding an instrument can be a challenge for them.
On top of that their determination and resolve is typically not as strong as older teens or adults either. They can feel frustrated and give up much easier.
Because of these differences it is critical to teach children with a different approach than you would use for adults. Kids require a lot more patience and time to develop their skills and learn guitar.
Kids keep doing things they enjoy and that they find are fun. Kids have to see and experience consistent success in their playing in some way or another.
You can’t teach them like you would everyone else.
Who wants to do something if it is not fun? I certainly don’t. But sometimes I do it anyway because I know that the reward will be worth it.
Kids will not want to do something if it is not fun either and certainly will have a much harder time to see beyond the work to the result. They have not yet developed this ability.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is put their kids in guitar lessons and then expect them to practice every day at home as if it is home work. This is a sure way to get them not to have fun with guitar and want to quit.
There are so many other things that kids have to do to have fun that guitar may not yet be at the top of the list. Their friends usually play video games so that’s typically what they will do instead.
As parents you think you are losing your money if they don’t come how and practice. Why is this? If you put your child in sports like ice hockey or football do you expect them to come home and practice daily?
No, you don’t. Yet they enjoy it, they progress and get better, and typically stay at it for most of their childhood and sometimes beyond.
How Your Child Can Be Successful Learning Guitar
Children need a different approach than adults do because they have more obstacles to overcome.
They need to learn the same things in the end but you have to be careful how you get them there.
This is why you should put them in guitar lessons and be very careful to pick the right guitar teacher because they are not all the same.
You want to be sure to find a highly trained guitar teacher who has been trained to teach and who has experience not just teaching children but has proof of success with them.
The right teacher will know everything I shared in this article and be able to teach your child the right way and help them succeed.
There is never any guarantee of course, but it will increase the odds of success dramatically.
About The Author:
Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught hundreds of people to play guitar. He has also had great success teaching children to play guitar successfully.