Teaching young guitar students

Kmaz

Silver Supporting Member
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8,923
I've got a 5-year old girl coming in for her first lesson this Wednesday evening. She just got a Student's Acoustic guitar for Christmas and has been enjoying herself strumming on it.

How do you other teachers handle working with kids of this age? Any ideas as to what I can introduce to her while keeping things simple and interesting? Thanks
 
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buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
That's very young. I've had good success with some students @ 6 years of age, but progress is slow, which is to be expected. One currently who is now 7 can play and read melodies like Jingle Bells, Twinkle twinkle, Ode to Joy, Sponge Bob theme, Jonas Bros. riffs etc... Try to find fun stuff in their interest!), etc.. Even six year olds, which is still soooo young. I recently had a four year old come in last month. I tried to talk the parents into waiting a bit. He showed good promise on the second lesson, especially with comprehension, but attention span and motor skills were not there yet. He's not ready.

It's very tough and you have to have a LOT of patience. Most "student guitars" are very tough to fret, and will turn off a young student faster than you can say BARNEY.

Oh yeah, lots of patience!!!!!
 
M

Member 995

In my experience, 5 is too young. I'm curious to hear what other teachers think.
 

Doc W

Member
Messages
222
Five is too young. I started piano at six but I was a very keen student. I loved making music even back then. If the child is eager and you can keep their attention for about 20 minutes, I would say give it a try, but don't even think about chords yet. Focus on single note melodies and understanding rhythm. Duets are excellent with young children: they play a simple melody and you make it sound good with chords. They like that a lot.

Most importantly, make the lesson enjoyable so that they come to see making music as a pleasure and a joy.
 

Kmaz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,923
I think so too, but will see how it goes. Her Dad wants to be present as well, which I find a little uncomfortable but totally understand. Like trying to do your job with the boss standing over. :)

I appreciate your help!
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I think so too, but will see how it goes. Her Dad wants to be present as well, which I find a little uncomfortable but totally understand. Like trying to do your job with the boss standing over. :)

I appreciate your help!
I want and encourage the parents to sit in with their kids. That way they can help them at home when they practice. No way a young child will remember everything and practice correctly. I even have the parents play the notes so they learn as well.
 

robelinda2

Member
Messages
2,648
I have to say, I pretty much refuse to teach 5 yr olds, its too young. I find its better for me to teach the parents some basic guitar skills so they can pass it on to their 5 yr old in a casual manner at home, then take lessons are few years later.
 






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