Picking up a new instrument is not a walk in the park. Learning to play a musical instrument from scratch requires commitment, discipline, and perseverance – all abilities and traits that a young child may lack in abundance. Therefore, it is imperative for the parents to create a wonderful learning environment that encourages and helps the child play the guitar well. It has been proven that children who are trained musically tend to perform better academically, socially, and artistically than their peers. If you are in the dark about how to help your child play the guitar well, fret not, as we have listed some tips to help you.
Hire a guitar teacher that your child is comfortable with
A good musician doesn´t necessarily make a good educator. Therefore, you should do your homework before hiring a guitar instructor, and when doing so, you should hire someone your child prefers. A good guitar instructor will make guitar lessons fun for your child and will prove to be your child´s role model. Therefore, it is important for you to know how your child feels about his/her instructor.
Purchase a decent guitar for your child
Many parents are of the opinion that a child must start with a guitar starter kit and must earn their way towards a decent guitar. However, we would advise you from doing so as guitar starter kits are tough to play. And, if your child can´t produce quality sound from the instrument, he/she may be discouraged and quit in a short period of time. Decent guitars can cost less than $200—that is certainly a small price to pay for your child´s future.
Never rush their learning process
There is nothing to be gained from rushing their learning process. It is of paramount importance for the kids to have good technique and that means hitting the right notes and having accurate, precise fingering. You need to be patient with your child´s learning process and not expect them to show progress immediately; after all, progress is not uniform among everyone. Some may struggle with mastering the basics first, but then thrive later, while others may be quick to learn their basics and struggle later. You should also discourage your child from playing fast as that can lead to the formation of poor technique.
Inspire the kids
If your child is forced to learn to play the guitar, he/she will quit eventually. Therefore, it is necessary to inspire them, allowing them to build an interest towards the instrument. You can inspire them by taking them to concerts, music shops, and teaching them about what you know. You may not know anything about guitars, but letting them know about the music you prefer, or the music you grew up listening to, can prove to be equally beneficial. You can also hold impromptu family performance for your child to showcase his skills, in turn, inspiring him to get better.
Get them to practice while sitting down and standing up
Playing the guitar while standing up is very different to playing the instrument while sitting down. When practicing on a chair, the child sees where his/her hands are, which is a terrible habit to begin with. And, when your child plays the guitar with the instrument slung across the shoulder, he/she will not be able to see where his/her hands are. You should encourage your child to practice and rehearse both while sitting down and standing up.
Your child may have the best guitar teacher around, but he/she won´t go anywhere without practice! You should hold your child accountable and ensure that they practice regularly, according to their schedules. And, if they do follow their routines, you can even motivate them furthermore by providing them with rewards; you shouldn´t hesitate to be generous with your praise.
What you, as a parent, must never do
You should never force your musical choices on your child and criticize his/her taste in music. Of course, as a parent, you´d like nothing better than for your child to shine in front of your peers and family members. However, if the child is hesitant to perform in front of an audience, you shouldn´t force a performance out of him/her.