There are so many benefits of learning guitar for children from improving their attention spans, memory, coordination and motor skills to making friends, learning a new skill and potentially lifelong hobby that can also unlock their learning in other areas.
It’s no surprise that parents want to find great guitar lessons for their children. So, if you’ve ever though about guitar lessons for your little ones. I’ve written this article for you.
Over the 14 years I’ve been teaching guitar I’ve been asked these questions by parents more than a few times…And since moving to Dublin I’d like to answer these questions for Dublin parents too:
1. How Can I Know My Child Will Be Safe?
I’ve not actually been asked this, but it’s obviously an important question!
I would ask to see proof that the guitar teacher is fully qualified, with a clear criminal record check. Here’s an example, It’s my Criminal Record Check (CRB) from the UK for my Job as a music college lecturer and course manager:
I’d also recommend asking them if you’re able to sit in on the lessons in the beginning and be put you in touch with parents of previous young students for a quick chat.
I offer parents all of these things and I believe it all helps to reassure the natural concerns they will have : )
2. What Will My Child Learn In Their Guitar Lessons?
This depends on the teacher. Hopefully a lot! In my children’s lessons in Dublin. I focus on having fun and kindling a love of music and guitar by introducing the children to different age appropriate songs and melodies.
As well as playing and learning guitar tunes that your child will recognise, we’ll also focus on games and activities that develop their overall musicality, rhythm games, clapping and listening skills as well as self expression and how different parts of music can make us feel e.g. ‘major chords’ sounding happy, here’s what Adrienne Jolly the mother of 6 year old student Otto says:
3. Will My Child Need Their Own Guitar?
To practice at home and improve their playing ultimately your child will need to have their own guitar.
The best guitar for a beginner child 6 – 10 years old would be a nylon strung 3/4 size acoustic guitar as they are easier on little fingers and require less strength to get clear sounding musical notes. They also an ideal size to hold and play comfortably at this age.
A full size nylon strung acoustic guitar would be suitable for children 11 years and older to begin playing guitar.
4. What Is A Good Age To Begin Guitar Lessons?
The youngest students I’ve taught were 6 years old when they started like Otto Jolly (Adrienne’s son). He’s now 13 years old and a great guitar player. I’d recommend lessons for any 6 year old who is curious to try it out.
A child’s attention span for one activity is usually their age in minutes plus 1. So, it’s more important that the lesson structure and pacing is child friendly and age appropriate. I keep children’s the lessons light and fun, changing activities frequently to break up the on guitar time with rhythm games, clapping, listening and other activities to develop their musicality. 35 minutes used well and kept fresh is a good amount of time for children from 6 to 10 years old to learn a lot.
I teach all ages and have separate classes for children, teens and adults too. Children between 6 and 10 will be in their own age appropriate class. So if you have older children too or you’d like to learn yourself you’re all welcome to book a place and learn to play guitar.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
I began learning to play guitar when I was 15 and I’ve never regretted it. It’s something I truly love and it has shaped my life. It unlocked a lot of learning for me in other areas, as well as leading me to life long friendships and a career in music. My only regret is not starting younger and sooner. So what are you waiting for? Why not give the gift of music to your children…