Guitar In The New Year
Give your child a great guitar start in the New Year
Thousands of children woke up on Christmas morning to a guitar-shaped box under the tree. Whether your child has been begging for the guitar for months or was surprised, you are probably hoping that this first guitar will help fuel a lifelong love of music and that they will reap the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of playing an instrument.
Here are some tips on how to keep that guitar in your child’s hands for years to come.
Expect to be involved
It’s common that young beginners are genuinely excited about the guitar but easily forget about practicing between lessons. Guitar comes with a learning curve, and the very beginning is one of the trickiest stages. The student must learn basic movements with very specific rules to make anything sound decent. Learning can take anywhere from several months to a couple years and they will need some help to arrive at that point.
In addition to the guitar, plan on providing your child with two more essentials for a successful start in music:
- A good teacher who knows how to work with children
- Parental involvement in practicing
Require a commitment
Getting your child a guitar should come with a contract that your child will sign. If your child has been asking for the guitar, make sure that they understand the guitar comes with a commitment to one year of lessons and daily practice. If they didn’t ask for the guitar, let them know you will gladly return it if they don’t feel up to these conditions.
Choose a teacher carefully
Having a teacher your child connects with really helps with motivation. If your child is shy, choose a gentle teacher who will make them feel comfortable and encouraging. If your child fantasizes about being a rock star, choose a teacher who performs regularly and has a “cool” demeanor to them. Browse teacher profiles together and get your child’s input on which teachers look like a good match, both musically and in personality.
Get into a routine
Routine is more important than amount of practice time. Many young beginners are bursting with natural enthusiasm for music yet struggle to pay attention for a half-hour lesson. Therefore, keeping lessons and practice short will allow it to continue to be fun for the child. Set a specific time of day to practice and stick to it religiously.
Set specific goals
The teacher should communicate very clearly with the student and parent what the child needs to accomplish each week. Remind your child of his or her practice objectives before each session.
Giving your child the gift of guitar for the holidays or any other time of year is a great choice! They will learn the art of creating music, learn discipline and how to set and keep goals for themselves. Finding the right teacher is at the center of all this.