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General Information on Guitar Lessons for Kids

AGE GROUP BOYS AND GIRLS 5 - ADULT

The guitar, during the 20th century, has established itself as the world's most popular musical instrument.  This instrument is adaptable, portable and attractive.  Its versatility has led to its use in a unlimited number of roles. The guitar is the foundation in most groups and it can be played solo and still sound appealing.  Whether you play classical or rock, the guitar is always popular at parties and around campfires. Like the piano, it is ideal for learning about harmony and it is great to sing along to.

The guitar is a musical instrument having a flat-backed rounded body that narrows in the middle, a long fretted neck, and usually six strings, played by strumming or plucking.  As a beginner in guitar lessons your child will cover techniques such as correct hand and finger posture, getting good tone and proper use of the pick

What age should my child start lessons?

The guitar is one of the most popular instruments and is suitable for students age five and up.  Your child needs to be able to sit through a half hour lesson.  The guitar is physically demanding and the technique is tricky.  Kids will develop calluses on their fingers. You should not expect great progress for the first year but in this time your child will learn to become comfortable with their instrument. Success or failure in playing the guitar depends completely on the effort that is put into it.


Registration for music can be done at anytime, as long as space is available, and your session will be prorated.  Registration can be done in person, by phone, by mail or fax.  In addition, some organizations will allow you to register on line.   Normally these programs are very popular and space can be limited so don't delay registration or you may miss out! Music programs are usually 16 -20 week sessions.

How much practice is necessary?

As with anything, improving in music takes practice.  One of the major problems with children and music is the drudgery of practicing.  There is no set time, however your child must spend quality time each day reviewing what they were taught.  Practice must be concentrated and focused.  Set the same time every day to practice so that it becomes part of a routine or habit. For young children 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity and they spend more time watching the clock then practicing.  Instead of setting a time frame, use repetition as your gauge.  For example have your child play each piece 3  - 5 times per day.  The child does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing but knows that they are on the third time and almost finished.   Ideally, your child should have a place to practice without distractions and it should not disrupt the household.  If the home is small then you should consider the instrument chosen.  A very large instrument or a noisy instrument could be very disruptive and you may not have the room for it.

How long are lessons?

Depending on the instrument and the skill level of the child lessons will run either 30, 45 or 60 minutes per week. Lessons are scheduled on an individual basis.  Your registration reserves you a time slot for the duration of your instruction period.  It is imperative that you arrive promptly for your lesson.  They will normally give you only one make-up lesson per session and any other that the child misses will be a forfeiture of that lesson.

Recitals...

Formal and informal recitals are an important part of the music program. They will offer your child the opportunity to perform, listen and learn proper recital etiquette.  These recitals are not mandatory but it is to your child's advantage for them to participate. 

 

Cost of lessons?

The cost of music lessons has four components:

  • music lessons
  • cost of the instrument
  • cost of materials
  • competition or recital fees. 
Music Lessons..

The cost for lessons would depend on whether your child is taking private or group lessons, the length of the class and the qualifications of the instructor.

Music sessions will run for 16 -20 weeks.   As a general indication, most instruments will be $25 - $40 for a 30 minute lesson,  $35 -$50 for a 45 minute lesson and $50 - $60 for a 60 minute lesson.  Some organizations offer family discounts and group rates.  Many students enjoy taking lessons with their family or friends.

Instrument Cost...

The cost of the instrument would depend on whether you rent or purchase the instrument.  If you rent the instrument it is usually done on a three month trial basis that will automatically turn into a year contract if the instrument is not returned.  You can pay the cost all once at the beginning or they will automatically bill your credit card on a monthly basis.  If you choose to purchase the instrument you have the option of purchasing a new or used instrument.  A used instrument will be substantially cheaper and many times are like new.  Cost information for purchasing or renting a guitar is provided below in the equipment category.

Materials...

You will need a strap for an electric guitar, this is optional for acoustic or classical guitars.  A gig bag is light and easy to handle and will protect the guitar.  Hard cases are preferred if the instrument is being transported often especially if others may be handling the instrument. Stands are optional but a good item to have. Tuners are a necessity. Electric guitars require an amplifier and cord. Steel string acoustic and electric guitars require picks. 

Recital cost....

Competitions and recitals are a wonderful way for your child to show their abilities to the world and it is extremely exciting for them.  However, many recitals and competitions often have entry fees.  You will need to discuss with child's instructor their philosophy on this subject.

 

Internet sites worth investigating for brand name guitars...

 

Did you know....

That the instrument that your child begins with may not necessarily be the one that they stay with forever.  They are however,  learning the basics of music theory and harmony that can be easily converted to another instrument.

You will know when your child is ready to enter competition when he/she feels extremely confident and is willing to play in front of people. This is the best sign that your child is ready to go out and be judged for their performance.

Rewards work very well for children. Be sure to grant an occasional simple reward to help encourage practice.  Stickers are a great way to show approval.  Praise also tends to be a great reward; there is no substitution for a pat on the back for a job well done.

Instruments are very delicate and should always be protected from heat, cold and quick changes in temperature.

It is important to properly maintain your instrument at all times. It is a good habit to clean a guitar regularly after use.  Strings must be clean in order to produce a good tone and accurate tuning. Each time the strings are cleaned wipe the fingerboard with a dry, clean cloth.

 
Amplifier Electronic device for boosting the signal from a pickup or microphone
Chord Two or more notes sounded together
Flatpick Object for striking the strings held by the right hand.  Also know as a pick or plectrum.
Friction Peg A round wooden peg to hold each string on a solid headstock.
Guitarist Person playing the guitar.
Harmony Two or more different pitches sounding at the same time
EVERY GOOD BOY DOES FINE A rule to remember the lines of a staff by using the first letter of each word (EGBDF).
Duet A composition for two players.
FACE A rule to remember, from bottom to top, the spaces on a musical staff.
Practices Time set aside for your child to review what the teacher has taught them during their normal lessons.
Solo A composition written for one player, often with a piano accompaniment.
Staff The five lines and four spaces used for writing music
Musical Alphabet The letters A through G.  These are used to name the notes on the staff in a LINE - SPACE - LINE - SPACE order.