If you're like most parents, you probably feel excited if your child expresses an interest in learning to play the guitar. You want to provide your child with the best opportunities to learn, and you are willing to cheer them on as they learn a new skill.
However, playing the guitar requires specific skills that your child may not have developed yet. Being realistic regarding your child's ability to learn to play the guitar can mean the difference between a positive and a negative experience.
Is your child old enough?
A young child is less likely to have the hand dexterity or fine motor skills necessary to learn to play a guitar than an older child. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Young children are also less likely to have the adequate attention spans needed to sit and learn for extended periods of time.
Most children are probably ready to begin guitar lessons between the ages of seven and ten, but some children may not be ready until after the age of ten. A few children may be able to begin at a younger age if they have excellent fine motor skills and the ability to concentrate for a period of at least 15 minutes.
Does your child truly have an interest?
It's easy for parents to become overzealous when a child announces they want to play the guitar. If you want your child to learn to play the guitar more than the child does, it's not likely to lead to a positive experience. Pushing a child to play the guitar when they lack interest will only lead to frustration.
Talk to your child, and ask them some specific questions about why they want to learn to play the guitar. Find out what sparked their interest.
For instance, if your child suddenly becomes interested because their friend just got a new guitar, their heart may not be in it. However, if they have always showed an interest in music, there's a good chance their motives are sincere.
How to choose the right guitar
If possible, avoid ordering a guitar online since you will want to let your child test drive the guitar before you buy it. Your child is more likely to learn on a guitar that fits comfortably and is easy to play.
Visit your local music and guitar store. Explain your child's desire to the guitar store staff and let them assist you in selecting the proper guitar. You will also be able to inquire about whether or not they offer guitar lessons for children.
Learning to play the guitar can be a valuable learning experience for a child. It can also be the start of a cherished lifelong hobby. Once you're sure your child has the proper hand dexterity needed to play a guitar, and a genuine desire to learn, you can confidently go shopping for the right guitar and sign them up for guitar lessons.