Many parents of young children ask me when is the best age for their children to start beginner guitar lessons. Some parents are too eager to expose their children to learn to play a music instrument and believe that the guitar is a music instrument which is easier to pick up compared to the violin, viola, cello or double bass. This could be true in a certain aspect as the bowed strings instruments require the dexterity and control of the left hand on the fingerboard as well as the movement of the right hand for the bow. However, the guitar also requires the use of both hands to play, albeit without the use of a bow!
In my opinion, the guitar is an easier music instrument to pick up versus the violin or cello because there are frets on the guitar neck whereas the fingerboard on bowed strings instruments do not have any marking. So, bowed strings instruments players need to learn perfect intonation in their head and created muscle memory on their left hand so they press on the correct spot on their bowed strings instrument’s fingerboard to product the correct intonation.
So, the answer to the question is: some children are ready for kids guitar lessons at age six while others may be ready by age eight or nine. There is no fixed age requirement for guitar lessons for children as each child is different. However there are four points parents can review before deciding whether their child is ready for guitar classes in Singapore.
Before we go into that, do check out this amazing video of a young talented guitarist (Konstantina Andritsou):
Video Source By: aissav
I encourage you to share this video with your child to inspire him or here.
Next I will cover the four factors you should look at before deciding to start your child on guitar classes Singapore.
Finger Dexterity and Motor Skills
Playing the guitar requires a certain degree of good motor skills and finger dexterity. Children who are too young may not have developed the hand strength to strum the guitar especially since the guitar (whether acoustic guitar, or classical guitar, or electric guitar) is strung with metal strings.
Guitar classes for beginners also progress students to chord strumming and switching chords on the guitar and these skills require the player to have finger dexterity which a child age six or older may start developing.
Discipline, Patience and Practice
After starting guitar classes Singapore, your child will be given practice pieces to work on during the week in between lessons. These practice pieces usually reinforce the concepts taught during guitar lessons for kids so your child need to be ready to memorize and practice daily so as to improve.
So your child must be prepared to develop the skills of discipline – planning time every day to practice the guitar. Also adhere to practice duration diligently. Certain finger-style plucking and strumming skills may not be easy to pick up immediately as your child needs to also develop rhythmic skills. So he or she needs to be patient and not get frustrated if this happens.
Typically, guitar classes for beginners have a duration of forty five minutes. Thirty minute duration is rather short as the actual instruction time is only twenty minutes — we need to factor in setting up and tuning the guitar before the lesson, followed by recap of lessons and time spent to pack up towards the end of the guitar lesson Singapore. For students who have a longer concentration level, one hour lesson duration is normal.
So one factor which determines when your child is ready for kids guitar lessons, is to monitor your child’s ability to concentrate for an extended level of time. Some children cannot sit still and need to walk around every five minutes. This may be disruptive to lesson progress. So you may want to wait a bit more to see when he gets more settled to start guitar lessons for children.
Your Child Must Desire to Start Guitar Lessons for Kids
Your child is ready to start beginner guitar lessons once he or she asks to learn the guitar. I have seen cases whereby the parent forces a child to learn the guitar and the result is usually a rebellious kid who resents the parent for doing so. This rebellious nature then spills over to other areas and the child becomes out of control. In addition, developing a negative view of guitar lessons for children at a young age carries through to adulthood.
We should avoid this situation.
Evaluate your child’s area of interest by exposing him to different forms of music and types of music instruments. This can be as simple as going through YouTube videos of young musicians playing on the guitar. Let your child try out different music instrument via paid trial lessons by a certified coach. This can be as simple as going through YouTube videos of young musicians playing on the guitar. Let your child try out different music instrument via paid trial lessons by a certified coach. Ensure that the guitar coach has experience working with young kids your child’s age so as to ensure higher success rate.
Bring your child to music performances or concerts — there are many such free performances around in your city. In Singapore, talented musicians perform at the grounds of the Esplanade over the weekends and these are free to attend. Once in a while, support the local music scene by treating the family to a paid concert by your home orchestra. Expose your child to different music genres — it could be classical music, pop, rock, jazz, blues, metal. Let him or her decide which music instrument to learn. If he chooses the guitar, let your child try out acoustic guitar, classical guitar, electric guitar and the bass guitar to determine which one is suitable.
This may be time consuming but is time well spent as this exposes your child to the many choices available.
Ultimately, your child must be the one who decides and desires to start kids guitar lessons.
Even though your child may not be ready for formal guitar lessons for kids, you can still immerse your child and expose him or her to guitar playing by practicing the guitar yourself, at home. Play songs which they are familiar with and ask them to sing while you strum along. I have adult guitar students who start guitar lessons for adults just so they can do this. It’s a very creative way to immerse your child in music and hopefully get him or her interested in starting beginner guitar lessons.
I hope this article gives you a good idea of what factors to look out for in deciding whether your child is ready for guitar lessons for beginners . If your child is ready, we have wonderful guitar teachers who can coach at your home location or at our music centre. Call or whats app +65-98137769 for a friendly discussion.