Teaching elementary-aged kids can be something many guitar teachers avoid. It requires a different level of patience and style of teaching to accommodate the learning needs of children. Their shorter attention spans and smaller hands require a very age-specific curriculum. I have a very well-tested pedagogy for kids age eight and up, teaching them how to 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.
Not only does my studio 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. I make sure to keep lessons fun and develop a friendly relationship with each child. I want coming to lessons to be something they are excited about and enjoy because, let’s face it, if kids aren’t having fun, they don’t want to do it!