Under 10 Years Old?

So, you have a child under 10 years old and want to get him or her guitar lessons?

I get allot of requests for this and have tried this in the past and I have made a few observations, which are of my own humble opinion... Although this may not hold true for all children (We have 2 kids ourselves and they are complete opposites!), these are some challenges with getting lessons for your child...

Attention Span - My experience has been that in some cases, it is generally difficult for the children to spend 1/2 hour per day practicing - and practice is essential to getting better on the guitar. SOME kids will latch on to this, so if you want to start them, you should see how they practice during the first month's worth of lessons- almost like a "probation" period, to see if they are willing to commit to practice every day.

Physical Limitations - In some situations, it is physically challenging to hold chords down at such a young age. I have had some students in the 7 to 8 year old age that were able to do this, but it does require much more strength than piano or other instruments.

What Sponges They Are! - This is the good side - children at this age are absolute sponges and can absorb allot of information, so that is a great advantage.

Gifted Kids - I have seen plenty of youngin's that are phenomenal on guitar that started at a very young age (5, 6 years old), usually by a parent that started them out, then got them lessons. I do realize that they are out there and would hate to turndown the opportunity to bring up a new Steve Vai.

The other problem is that I really don't have a curriculum set up for smaller children - they have to spend allot more time developing simple skills that most older kids latch on to right away. My lessons are streamlined and I don't have anything set up practice-wise for the younger kids.

With all this being said, I can attempt to teach someone under 10, however, if you were to keep your expectations low, then you may be on the right track - the agility can take a bit longer to aquire than someone who is in their teens. I am unable to continue giving lessons to students who are unable to practice, which will bring improvement, which in turn will bring more things for me to show the student.

I did not put all of this together to sound grumpy (I'm not that kind of teacher, really!) I put this together for the parent to really take under consideration what kind of commitment this is for someone so young, and simply understand that it may be a bit more challenging than expected - especially where you will have to make sure they are practicing every day.

 

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