At What Age Should My Child Start Learning Guitar?
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|   Jan 13, 2015
At What Age Should My Child Start Learning Guitar?


Myth

Eager and excited parents often perceive that taking guitar lessons the earliest time for their kids will always give them the edge and that they will pick up the lessons immediately. This “the sooner, the better” attitude of parents that I’m afraid doesn’t have a bearing at all when it comes to guitar playing, as it may backfire and the child may develop negative impressions towards guitar lessons early in life.

Factors That May Affect Guitar Learning of Children

  1. Age of the child
  2. Height and size of the child
  3. Fine motor skills and hand strength
  4. Commitment to learning or practice
  5. Size of the guitar
  6. Teaching Approach

Fact

Teaching children younger than 8 years old will require more supervision, motivation and a challenging teaching process due to insufficient commitment, dexterity or coordination, ability to handle the physicality of the guitar and underdeveloped sense of musicality.

Kids learning to play the guitar must be able to hold the guitar properly and maintain correct posture with the left hand and fingers before they can successfully play guitar notes and chords. The size of the guitar should be considered along with the size of the young student, as the typical guitar will be too bulky and more difficult for the child to wrap arms with and even will be difficult to press down the strings on a long fretboard. Child-sized guitars (like Fender Squier Mini, Yamaha, Baby Taylor or the child sized SX) are available and will be more comfortable and beneficial for the young guitarists. You may inquire at your local store for other variations.

A child’s readiness for training is a big deal. It is also the key to the young learner’s commitment to practice. It would be wise to wait until the child is old enough to be aware of what he’s getting into as he develops his own musical sense and able to make his own choices. Young students may also be exposed with other musical  instruments such as shakers or bells, and even best with the piano. Such exposure to other musical tools is a good headstart especially that the young future guitarists will also have to deal with music theories and music sheets for the guitar. The young learners guitar lessons should be motivating and inspiring to them, or else they will end up boring and taxing for.

Solutions

  1. 5 to 7 years children can start guitar via small, light, thin or mini guitars suitable for their body size.
  2. Strings muscle pressure due to steel strings can be substituted with low tension nylon strings.
  3. We should be a little easy with younger kids. If teens and adults can finish 2 modules in 40 hours. We should expect at least 1 module covered for students who are less than 10 years old, with lessons in a span of 40 hours. We shouldn’t be very strict or rigid to the young learners as they are still adjusting and needs time to be more focused and engaged.

Conclusion

We should always motivate parents to make their child learn guitar, whether it’s a child who is 5 years of age or a bit older. But they must bear in mind that they are still kids after all. The practice they do on guitar is going to help them prepare for a more complex trainings in the future. It will always be best to stimulate first their children’s curiosity in music and support the growing quest for enhancement and knowledge and wait for the resulting creativity and passion when the child has finally come at the right age to pursue his musical aspiration and be committed to it.

Always remember that music is something to enjoy, have fun with and to love. Let us not pressure the kids to get into music when they are not yet prepared for it. We all have our own pace and our own ways of learning. Let the kids enjoy their own musical journey and in time, they will show us all what they have made of it.

Here’s a guide to help parents choose the right size of guitar for their young musicians. 
 

AGE                             GUITAR SIZE

5 - 8                                1/2 size

8 - 12                              3/4 size

12 - Adult                       4/4 Full size


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