Every child goes through the phase of wanting to be a rock star. Sooner or later, your kids will be bugging you to get them a guitar. When my son started primary school, he said that he wanted to learn music and he asked me for a guitar for his birthday. He said he wanted to be like the guitar gods he has seen. Of course, how would he know how to play the guitar? Some opt to enrol their kids in guitar schools, where your child will be taught by guitar teachers, especially if they think their child is serious about it. Some kids choose to learn on their own. Maybe some of you would say that nothing beats formal guitar classes and lessons because they are more comprehensive; others would say self-teaching is better because the child can learn without pressure. But I’m sure they both have pros and cons. I really don’t know what to choose for my son, so I did a little research. Let’s see…...
- A formal instructor can motivate your kids to practise
- Guitar classes and lessons are good for young students, as they tend to be easily distracted. Good choice for those who have no musical background. Traditional guitar lessons include introduction to music theory and all the basics that young children need for music literacy.
- Formal instruction will provide students proper guidance, syllabus and structured lesson plans.
- Teachers will point out mistakes and weaknesses that kids may not be able to discover by themselves.
- Schedule of lessons can sometimes interfere with other schedules.
- As parents we need to choose a teacher that our children will relate too. Otherwise, if the kids are not enjoying the guitar lessons we are just wasting our money.
Thoughts on self instruction:
- There are endless possibilities for children to learn guitar on their own. There are books, CDs, DVDs, computer software, and other resources
- Cheaper than hiring an instructor or enrolling to formal lessons
- Kids can learn at their own pace, with no pressure
- Accessible anytime, anywhere. They can even learn in the comfort of their bedroom!
- Self-taught guitar players have the freedom to make their own discoveries and create their own style
- The satisfying and rewarding feeling of discovering and accomplishing something on your own
- There will be no one around to help the student if he is having trouble with something
- Since kids follow their own schedule, they will tend to put off practising and do other things instead
- No structured lesson plan
- Lets face it - can we really teach ourselves anything? Especially kids, distractions, fighting with siblings, the list is endless
As an activity for kids - I don’t think one is better than the other one as long as they are enjoying playing the guitar. It just depends on your children’s purpose of learning the guitar. Maybe let them learn on their own first. If you see that they are serious about it, then maybe you can enrol them to formal lessons. Or you can enrol them first and see if they are enjoying it and are making any progress. There are some kids who are not comfortable having to practise in front of people. Some people learn better with external guidance; some choose to discover things on their own.
To help you decide on which kids activities are helpful for your children,check out the 'ActiveActivities directory for guitar classes and lessons in your local are. Whichever method your child goes with, what is important is that they are enjoying the guitar and having fun while learning. The important factor here is discipline. Your kid should be determined to learn, with or without a teacher, if they really want to be a guitar hero. But what do you think?
Has your child managed to teach themselves a musical instrument?
Share your experience! What do you think should I choose for my son?
Have Fun Kids
Virginia is a busy working mother to two energetic school-aged children. With the help of her supportive husband, Virginia successfully juggles the dual roles of career woman and loving mother. Virginia is particularly passionate about health and fitness, and is always looking for new ways to keep her children happy, healthy and active. Virginia lives in Sydney and is a veteran blogger of almost 5 years.