How Quickly Should My Child Progress When Learning To Play Guitar?

by Maurice Richard
Senior Instructor at Halifax Guitar Lessons

Your child had been bugging you about it for a while now and you finally decided they were ready to go.

So, you bought them a guitar and then put them in guitar lessons and you were both very excited!

They always come out with a smile on their face after their lessons and tell you all about the cool things they learned and how much fun they had!

A few weeks pass and you can’t quite make out what they are learning yet. You start to wonder when they will be able to play something you can recognize.

Shouldn’t they know a song by now? Aren’t you paying the guitar teacher to show them how to play music?

kids progress on guitar depends on individual

Every Child Is Different

We live in a world where you are compared against baselines from the second you are born. Some of these are very useful and are good for your life and health.

Then at one point you go to school. We gather up everyone who is at a certain age and we throw them all in the same class/grade.

Everyone is then taught the same things, the same way and expected to understand them all at the same rate.

But we all know that every child is different. All you have to do is look at several children of the same age to realize that they don’t all develop physically at the same rate.

So why do we expect kids to develop and learn at the same rate in school or even in guitar lessons or in anything?

No One Knows How Fast Anyone Should Progress

Kids will learn and develop at their own pace when it comes to everything they attempt to do. You can push them and try to make them learn faster, but it usually does not work very well.

How do you know how fast your child should be progressing with guitar? How do you know that they should be able to play a certain technique or concept after a certain time?

Are you a trained guitar teacher with years of experience teaching kids to learn to play guitar? Not likely. So where do these unreasonable expectations come from?

I’m not really sure but what I do know is that children are at different stages of development physically, mentally and emotionally and all of those factors contribute to their ability to learn and progress.

Guitar requires them to develop fine motor skills and because there is a lot of coordination require their mental abilities will be pushed. You can’t rush this or you will overwhelm them and they will quit.

The reality is that even I don’t know how fast any given child should be progressing. They are all different and even for me, a trained guitar teacher with years of experience, to try and put pressure on them to be what they are not is not acceptable.

Make Sure They Have Fun

So instead of creating some random baseline of what your child should or should not be able to do on guitar after a certain time you should be focusing on making sure they are having fun.

If they enjoy going to their lessons and enjoy learning things then that is a good thing. Over time they will break through the physical and mental barriers that are limiting them and make more progress.

Learning guitar is not the easiest thing in the world and the beginning is the part that is the hardest. So if your child has a teacher that can make that part fun and enjoyable, you should be thankful because they are instilling a love for guitar into your child.

Over time your child will make progress and when they are ready they will break through and be able to play the things you expect them to. But it will be in their time, not yours.

Be patient.

the right guitar teacher is key for kids to progress

Finding The Right Guitar Teacher With The Right Approach Is Key

Not all teachers out there understand what I have shared in this article. This is normal and I was the same way until I learned differently.

It is very important for you to carefully select the right guitar teacher for your child because this is one thing that can determine their future on guitar more than anything else.

Look for someone who has been trained to teach and also how to teach guitar specifically. Look for someone who has experience with children and proof that they can get results.

It is not necessary but it helps when they are parents themselves. That gives them a perspective that other guitar teachers just don’t have when it comes to children.

Then learn to encourage your child to enjoy guitar, and let them progress at their rate.