How Do You Teach a Child to Play Guitar?

Learning how to play the guitar is both a great and common way for people to enter the music world. Sure, it takes time and dedication but, most often than not, it ends up being a really rewarding process. That is also true for children but the process itself is entirely different because kids develop, learn and, well, function differently than adults.

The average age at which kids start learning how to play the guitar is between 6-10 years old. That is because these are the ages which they will, most likely, have developed enough fine motor skills to do so, and these are the best years for them to absorb that kind of knowledge and sail through in no time.

So, all things considered, if you want your little one to enter the music world by playing guitar or, better yet, if they have been asking you to learn it, it’s important to ask yourself how you can help them out through the process. Whether you decide to sign them up for guitar classes or to teach them yourself, there are a few tips you can follow to help you help them by better understanding their process and how to stimulate them and the little musician within them.

Get the Right Guitar

The first step is to buy a guitar. So make sure to remember that kids are smaller, so their guitars need to be smaller, especially if they are very young. Find an instrument store near you and ask for the employee’s help to find the right guitar size for your kid.

Take Small Steps

Like any other skill that people develop at any point of life, kids need to start with the basics. You can teach them how to take care of the guitar, how to properly hold it and how to put it away as a first assignment whether you are the one teaching the lessons or not.

Then, the next few lessons will be broken down into small steps like learning individual notes, simple chords and how to place the fingers. Once you or the instructor feel they are ready to move onto the next steps, the lessons will move on accordingly.

Be Patient

Raising kids and teaching them how to do stuff requires patience. When they are learning a new skill, like playing the guitar, it is the same thing. It took them a while to learn how to walk, talk and read, and it is going to take a while for them to develop this new skill as well.

If they are taking guitar lessons, be patient about the process and always encourage them to practice. Whereas, if you are the one teaching them, start with simple lessons, encourage them to practice and move on with the lessons according to their development. Either way, remember to be patient and encouraging.

Make It Fun

Make lesson time or practice time a fun moment for your kid! That way they will feel eager to practice more and more instead of feeling like it’s an assignment.

Plus, there is tons of research that shows that mixing fun with learning improves the cognitive process and people learn a lot faster and memorize things better.

When practicing with your kid, try to turn that moment into a game, throw in a couple of laughs and make it a fun, healthy and bonding learning experience.

Inspire Them

Play music around the house, watch video clips together and organize home concerts to create a musical environment and inspire your kid to connect with music. It will be good for their learning process and it will be fun!

Keep the Guitar in Their Sight

Keep their guitar in sight and somewhere that is easy for them to reach. That can inspire your kid to look at the guitar multiple times a day and remember to pick it up to practice a little bit every now and then.

Encourage and Reward Their Effort

With time and practice, your kids will get better and better at playing the guitar. Make sure to reassure them so they don’t feel frustrated when they make a mistake. And a great way to do that is to always encourage and reward effort rather than results. Show them that you are proud of them for practicing and that their effort will be paid off with future achievements.

It can be said that the key to teaching a kid to play the guitar is to encourage and inspire them while respecting the process, whether you chose to teach them or if they are taking guitar classes. Every part of the process counts as they develop into a future musician. You are their first audience and number one fan! Make sure they know that and they will learn faster than you know it. 

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