Giving a child the gift of music is one that can serve them for a whole lifetime. Music lessons can teach children good practice habits and discipline, while also providing them with the tools to express themselves and think creatively. As they grow older, it becomes an opportunity for social connection and passion seeking. I use my guitar lessons to help children and teens explore music at their own pace, instructing them in the fundamentals while also fostering their love of the instrument. I hope to help kids love guitar in the same way I do!
Teaching guitar lessons to elementary-aged kids can be something many guitar teachers avoid. It requires a very patient teaching style to accommodate children’s learning needs. Their shorter attention spans and smaller hands require age-specific lesson plans, regardless of whether they are learning acoustic or electric guitar. In my 10,000+ hours of teaching experience, I have developed a well-tested pedagogy for kids age eight and up, teaching them how to first read melodies via tablature in order to strengthen their fingers before moving them to reading standard notation. Once their fingers and knowledge of the guitar are adequate, I begin teaching them how to sing and play popular songs.
Teenagers are a whole other story. They are often extremely motivated, but need help focusing their efforts in the right direction. Keeping this in mind, I help them select tunes or exercises aimed at pushing their skills to the next level. This is also the time when they become very creative and look to express themselves through music of their own. I’ve helped many teens write and record their first songs, pushing them to get over self-criticism and doubt. I’ve even helped students prepare for successful college auditions.
Twice per year, I offer rocking recitals so the kids can strut their stuff! I hire a professional sound person and videographer to create wonderful performance videos for friends and relatives. I make sure to keep lessons fun and develop a friendly relationship with each child. Unlike at a large multi-teacher guitar school or group classes, I won’t be missing lessons for performances or treating them like a side gig. I want coming to lessons to be something kids are excited about and enjoy because, let’s face it, if kids aren’t having fun, they don’t want to do it!
Not only does my home studio in North Austin offer a quiet, relaxed atmosphere to foster children’s learning, but it also offers a comfortable waiting area for parents. There is a couch in the studio on which parents may sit and observe each lesson. If they’d be more comfortable, there is also a waiting area outside the studio where they may sit. To help parents, I give clear practice guidelines through an Evernote page and allow lessons to be scheduled (and re-scheduled) online.