Do your kids want to learn guitar, but you have no idea how to get them started?
Are you looking to encourage your child’s interest in mastering the guitar?
The guitar is easily one of the most popular instruments to pick up and learn. Yet, most people end up quitting before they get through what I call the “learning barrier.”
A lack of good guidance is the biggest reason for quitting, so, as a parent, you need to know how to teach a kid to play guitar and find the right guitar lessons for your kid.
The right guitar lessons for kids depend partly on their learning style, but the most effective approach is actually a combination of the three main methods for learning guitar. Used in combination, it’s unlikely your child will quit, and they’ll progress quickly.
Look ahead for more information on the benefits of learning guitar, a breakdown of the 3 main learning approaches, and how to pick which one is right for your child.
Why Should Kids Learn Guitar?
Other than looking really cool, some parents ask me why their kid should even learn to play an instrument. They wonder what purpose it will serve in their child’s life and if it’s worth the effort.
Of course, it is! (Shocking, right?)
The benefits of teaching guitar to a child are innumerable and range from emotional, social, academic, and brain developmental. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
John Rampton’s article on INC.com goes over the many proven benefits for learning an instrument. Here are a few for you to focus on (and hop over there to read the details if you’re so inclined):
- Improves long term memory
- In young people, it increases their brain development
- Increases mental awareness
- Faster auditory and tactile reaction times
- Strengthens gray matter in the brain (faster mental processing)
- Alters the brain to learn other skills faster
- Helps young people with speech
- Battles dyslexia
- Build bonds with others
- Increases empathy
- Releases happiness hormones
- Improves motor control even in stroke victims
- And many more…
If you want your child to improve in almost every aspect of life and learning, then learning an instrument like the guitar is a researched and proven way to do so.
Be careful, though, learners need to stick with it to see the benefits. This is where guitar lessons for kids come in.
Three Options For Guitar Lessons For Kids
There are a ton of ways for kids and adults to learn guitar, but they all pretty much breakdown into the 3 following categories:
- Private Lessons
- Guitar teaching app: Solfeg.io
Each has its own pros and cons, but they each also have their own place in how your child learns to play guitar. In this section, I’ll talk about each of the 3 types of learning, what they are, and what their benefits are.
Self-directed learning is one of the most common ways to learn, especially in today’s modern, technological age.
Self-directed learning is when the student either goes online or buys a book and just teaches themselves how to play guitar. YouTube has a ton of videos out there on how to play specific songs, and a student could learn a lot just by playing around.
But this method has some severe limitations.
For one, there is no feedback for the child. If they’re holding the guitar slightly wrong, no one is going to catch them on it and correct them.
This way of learning isn’t sequenced either. When skilled teachers present information and learning to their students, they do so from simplest to complex in a way to build the students’ skills in a logical way.
Most of the time, self-directed learning is up to the learner to find their own sequence. This could work, but there’s a high likelihood the student will develop gaps in their knowledge.
For example, I had a student learner come to me after spending 6 months learning through YouTube videos (which I do love). This student had been working really hard on learning and built some solid strumming skills, but they hit a wall.
The student could finger many chords, but they had a hard time transitioning those chords. None of the videos they had watched really taught them how to.
It took almost as much time to fix bad habits in chord switching to get them to the point where they were a well-rounded guitar player.
A thorough sequence would have caught this and helped them practice those skills.
The hardest hurdle to overcome with self-directed learning is the complete lack of accountability. There is no teacher to check to see if you practiced every week or two. There is no clear direction from a program reminding you (and the parents) to have the students practice what they’re supposed to. This is, in fact, why most new learners quit.
Private Lessons/Group Classes
The oldest and most respected way of learning any instrument involves finding a teacher who’s a master to guide you through the instruction. This is still one of the most effective ways to learn an instrument, even the guitar.
Every concern with self-directed learning is answered by private lessons. A good guitar teacher will provide clear feedback to fix mistakes the instant they happen.
They’ll also provide a sequence of instructions to make sure the students learn all aspects of guitar playing equally. These good teachers will also hold the students accountable in a kind but firm way.
Sounds perfect, right? Well, there are two big problems to overcome with private lessons or group classes.
You may have noticed I chose to use the word “good” when describing the teacher. There are some teachers out there which won’t do any of the good things we mentioned above.
Be picky about who your child works with. Talk to local music teachers and music stores. Ask the teacher if you’re allowed to contact some of their current students for references.
Taking lessons and classes can cost quite a bit. Even when taking lessons every two weeks for a half-hour each time (the smallest recommended frequency), you’ll be expected to spend anywhere from $40-100 per month depending on the teacher’s experience and lesson rate.
This adds up quickly, so a lot of parents may be turned off by this.
Fortunately, there’s a solution in the last solution.
Guitar teaching app: Solfeg.io
In the modern-day, learning apps are coming to the forefront for learning new skills, including how to play guitar.
Apps often combine the best aspects of private lessons including sequenced instruction, feedback, and accountability for a much lower price. The resources are always available which is perfect for helping parents get involved too (check out the later section on how parents can get involved).
Even better, the selection of guitar songs on apps such as Solfeg.io is vast and includes a mix of popular and classic songs. Just take a quick peruse through Solfeg.io’s songbook and be amazed.
Solfeg.io offers great skill lessons to provide feedback and build guitar skills in a thoughtful and sequential way. One of my favorite aspects of the Skill lessons is how the practice is doable with different songs of your own choice.
Which Is The Right Type Of Guitar Lessons For Your Kids?
With all this information, how do you pick the right type of learning for your kids? Allow me to suggest the following steps:
- Sign up for a learning app (Solfeg.io has 30 songs free at its free level)
- Go through the basic Skills for guitar
- Ask around for a good guitar teacher
- Works with kids
- Good references from current students
- Affordable rate
- Take lessons while supplementing with learning any of the awesome songs and skills with the Solfeg.io program
- Parents help students when at home and use the Solfeg.io resources
- Supplement with YouTube breakdowns on songs students are interested in learning
The Parent’s Role In Learning Guitar
All of this is great, but what role does the parent serve in all of this? Just the bank, right?
Your child is much more likely to stick with it and succeed if you participate in some way. With self-directed videos, this is hard. These don’t always tell you what to look for.
Private lessons are usually a no-go as well. Great teachers will help you get involved, but as soon as you get home, you don’t have access to the teacher’s knowledge.
When using an app like Solfeg.io, you have a clear place. You have the ability to oversee your child’s instruction a little, and you have the resources from the program always at your fingertips.
Help them stay on track with their skills. Watch what the skill lessons say to look for and provide feedback for your child. And when your child gets frustrated, go back to access the resources instantly to offer them help.
I hope you found this article on how to find the right guitar lessons for your kids helpful. A combination of all three methods is usually the best for helping to learn, but if you had to pick one, using a learning app such as Solfeg.io would be the one I picked.
Learning apps are usually much more affordable, they provide a sequence of instruction, and have access to a large number of guitar songs to learn.
The best part is: many of these guitar teaching apps have a free-level program with basic access to test it out and see if it’s a good fit.
What are you waiting for? Head on over to sign up for free and get 30 songs and skill lessons for your child.