Picking up an instrument like the guitar is a fun and enriching hobby, and the love for playing strings can spark at any age. Parents who are musically talented may find it easier to inspire their children to learn music at an early age. The guitar is one of the more popular instruments, and therefore comes often attracts fledgling musicians.
While people of all ages and abilities are encouraged to play music, there are general limitations. Kids that are eight-years-old and above are the usual enrollees, while children between five to seven-years-old are not as common.
The reason children this young typically don’t play the guitar is that they don’t have enough strength to position their hands and arms in the right place. Even so, it is possible to teach the rudiments of the guitar to children as young as five-years-old, so long as you have the right approach.
Kids that are five-years-old and below can’t follow the same curriculum as your students who are seven-years-old and above. This means you have to throw your regular timetables out of the window—each session should be short enough to engage but not bore the little ones.
This involves introducing strings and how each produces different sounds. You may find that some kids can only sit still for ten minutes before their attention span wanes. Once they are no longer in the mood, it’s best not to force the lessons, or they might begin to dread learning.
Part of the fundamentals of playing the guitar is not only learning the chords but when to play one before moving to the next on time. A fun yet simple way to instill the fundamentals of rhythm is to incorporate games like “Simon Says” in your guitar lessons.
You can incorporate “Simon Says” into your music lessons by saying, “Simon says G major,” to encourage children to find and play the right chord. Doing so in beats can also help instill a sense of rhythm, even if your student can’t understand the theory to back it up just yet.
Learning dozens of chords, even in a span of a year, can be frustrating for children at this age. Sooner or later, even fun activities can become repetitive, but the worst of all is that it will limit their ability as they may find themselves stuck with the chords without learning how to apply the basics on other songs.
Many guitar teachers have found it best to focus on easy chord shapes like C, A G, E, Am, Dm, and Em. Those simple basics allow kids to play guitar-friendly pieces without feeling like they have to learn too many chords. Just the ones mentioned above allows them to unlock thousands of fun songs, so don’t be afraid to start with the fundamentals.
The point of teaching children as young as five-years-old or below how to play guitar isn’t necessarily to help them have some form of mastery over the instrument. Rather, it’s to encourage a more profound love for music and instill transferable skills as they grow older.
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