What Parents Need To Know About Guitar Lessons

So your kid wants guitar lessons. Cool. Guitar is awesome and it can very well change their lives forever.

But what does every parent need to know about music and learning the guitar?

There are 5 key areas, which we call The Five Fundamental Skills. They are Chords, Picking, Aural, Reading and Songs. A true guitar master knows each of these areas extremely well, but this will take years and years of dedication and practice. These can be learnt in general lessons, but we created The Ultimate Guitar Method to deliver them in a structured and logical manner, so they can be learnt as easily as possible.

Should They Follow A Course and Undertake Exams?

Typically, the answer is yes. Structured learning is ideal because it develops even progression and grades are a great way of measuring skill and knowledge so that students can see improvement. However, a curriculum isn’t for everyone – and that’s ok. I’ve taught plenty of students on a “week to week” basis, where we choose a few goals and songs to learn. I often have students show up and request to learn a song I’ve never even heard, which I have to figure out on the spot.

How Quickly Will They Improve?

This is all about how “good” their tutor is, how much they practice and how quickly they naturally learn. Some students learn immediately after being shown something, yet others take months of practice. Both are fine and parents will still see progress in their child, it’s just a matter of different time for improvement. As a VERY general guide, students should know how to pick multiple songs on the lowest string within 3 lessons and know several chord songs within 3 months. They should also be able to play along with the music for at least one song. By 12 months they should know most open chords, basic scales and how to read music for 2-3 strings.

What if my child doesn’t want to learn sight reading, music theory, scales and all of the “boring stuff”?

Well, whilst I always recommend learning everything, it’s not always so bad to just learn songs. The bottom line is that we want your child to be motivated to play and interested in what they’re learning. Forcing unwanted components can sometimes result in a backlash and they end up losing interest. This is quite typical for us humans, but particularly true for young students and guitarists in general. A more effective approach may be to teach them songs, which eventually generates interest in theory, scales and other such areas.

What Do MOST Kids Want To Learn?

Songs. More accurately, easy songs. Typically, kids don’t want to be challenged or to learn anything boring (this is usually anything other than a song). They find Sight Reading, Scales, Aural and Theory all very boring. This is why we usually start everyone off with easy songs that they can play with minimal practice.

What Can I Do As A Parent?

A few general tips are to always be encouraging, reward young students after practice, schedule their practice on some sort of “Household Routine”, expose your child to a range of music and have realistic expectations. One of the most important things to do is to communicate with your tutor as much as possible. Ask them questions if you’re unsure of anything and give them feedback as to what you see your child playing at home. The more you inform your tutor, the better job they can do at guiding the student.

Hopefully this information will prove useful for you, but please do not hesitate to contact us is you have any questions or comments!

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