“Is my child ready to start playing guitar?” is one of the most frequent questions we get from Singaporean parents looking to sign their children up. From our observation and teaching experience, most kids under six years old are probably too young to benefit from guitar lessons.
Some kids may be ready to take up the music lessons as early as five years old, while others might need to wait until they are ten years old or older. Still, learning music during a sensitive period while growing up may have greater effects on brain structure and behavior.
How to know if my child’s ready?
Before you sign up your kid for guitar lessons in Singapore, find out if your child has the following:
- Sufficient Hand Dexterity to Play Guitar
The biggest obstacle young children need to overcome when learning guitar is their lack of fine motor skills. Playing guitar can help develop these motor skills, but maintaining their interest in guitar lesson during this development can be difficult.
- The Ability to Focus for an Extended Time
Improving on guitar requires patience and practice. If your child doesn’t have the attention span to practice guitar for fifteen minutes or more at a time, consider waiting a while.
- A Significant Interest in Playing Guitar
Forcing young kids to learn anything they are not interested in will not produce good results. If they haven’t show interest in guitar yet, pushing them may lead to a distaste for playing music in general.
How to get children’s interest in learning guitar
Just because your child isn’t ready for guitar lessons now doesn’t mean you can’t make them interact and appreciate the instrument on their own terms. The following are some approaches that you can take in getting your child to become interested in learning to play guitar or similar string instruments:
- Lead by example and encourage singing songs they like
Start by playing popular children’s songs that they know and encourage them to sing along. If they want to strum your guitar while you’re playing, let them.
- Help them to choose the right instrument
Your average guitar is too big for them, so you may want to get a half size or three-quarter size guitar that your kids can handle comfortably.
- Provide positive feedback on what they play
Your kids will likely default to banging the strings as hard as they can. Show them to play really quietly, and how pretty the guitar can sound when played right.
- Encourage practice but don’t make it a chore
Initially, best results are obtained by short stints of practice rather than long ones. We think 15 minutes for three days a week is good enough.
Anyone can learn music at any age—even in late adulthood. So don’t worry too much if your child starts a bit later than their friends. Once your child shows an interest in learning (classical, acoustic, electric) guitar or ukulele, consult with us to get a dedicated teacher on a schedule that fits your child the best and maximize their learning result.