Guitar Lessons For Kids
Everybody approaches arranging guitar lessons for kids with some trepidation. If you don’t have a lot of experience with teaching kids guitar or giving guitar lessons in general, you need a few basic facts to calm you down.
The first job in giving guitar lessons to anybody is grabbing and holding their attention. When you are giving the guitar lessons to kids this is not something you do once and coast along for the rest of the lesson, you need to be constantly renewing the kid’s interest.
All kids have a favorite song so guitar lessons should contain some songs that they are familiar with and like. That way when you get to a snag like learning a chord that your student finds a little tricky, singing the section of the song to relate it to the chord will be a help. If you want to teach kids musical theory, a familiar song will also be a help in getting them to relate to the written music and musical ideas in a practical way.
One thing kids like is being treated like a grown-up, so the theme of your discussions during guitar lessons could be along the lines of telling your pupil about how the end result of the guitar lessons is his being able to teach himself to play his favorite songs.
Don’t give a kid songs that are too difficult for him to learn. If he wants to learn something that is too advanced for them, gently steer his attention over to something simpler. You also should have a few songs of your own as guitar teaching material. Two-chord songs like Iko-Iko, are great to ignite a kid’s interest. Here’s a few old folk songs that might also be of some help: Tom Dooley, Puttin’ On The Style, He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, Skip To My Lou and My Darling Clementine. When it’s time to move onto three chord songs, a web search will yield a whole range of latin, rock and country songs.
As far as the theoretical side of guitar for kids goes, it is best to give it in small doses. Guitar lessons for kids should never stop being fun. Not necessarily laugh out loud hilarity kind of fun, but at least interesting. So a kid can take plenty of theory as long as it is linked to a song or an idea that interests him. It’s the same principle for getting the kid’s motor skills moving – keep him interested and don’t let him go too fast.