Is My Child Too Young To Learn To Play Guitar?

by Maurice Richard
Senior Instructor at Halifax Guitar Lessons

Has your child been nagging you to play guitar for a while now?

Maybe they have a toy guitar and they have been playing it every day on their own without being told?

Congratulations if that is the case because playing a musical instrument provides kids with a lot of really good benefits that will help them now and for the rest of their lives.

The only problem is that you are not sure if they are too young to be able to start learning in a more structured way.

You’ve checked around and a lot of teachers will not take kids under 8 and many will not even accept kids until they are 12!

Maybe they are not ready then?

is your child ready for guitar lessons

Why Do Most Guitar Teachers Avoid Children?

Because their physical, mental and emotional systems are still developing children can really struggle to learn to play guitar.

That’s because guitar requires them to have the ability to coordinate several skills together right away and for many younger children this can be overwhelming if not done properly.

That means you have to change your approach when teaching children, things go much slower and you have to have a lot of patience as a teacher. For many people who teach it’s not worth it for them. So, they only take on older kids.

It’s much easier to teach children that are older because by then it is reasonable to expect all of them to have developed sufficiently and be able to teach them the same way you would adults.

Unfortunately, many children are ready before this and miss out on years of training because no one will take them on.

They Are Not Trained To Teach Children

I don’t blame them. It’s better not to take them than to try and teach children unsuccessfully.

Most guitar teachers do not do it full time so it would not make sense for them to teach children anyway. They just do not have time for it.

To try and figure out how to change what you do to accommodate kids takes a lot of time and effort that could be better spent with people you can already help.

They struggle with this because they have no training on how to teach and specifically no training on how to teach children guitar.

So what’s a parent to do when they have a child that is eager to learn?

Find A Teacher Experienced With Children

If you feel your child is ready to learn to play guitar it can be very discouraging when you hear teacher after teacher say they do not take kids that young.

Don’t give up on your search. There are teachers out there who are experienced and will teach your child, if they are ready.

You will know they are the right teacher because they will want to find out more about you and your child before they decide and will likely want to meet with you to assess their true readiness.

They will be honest with you and make recommendations that will help you decide the best course of action. That may very well be to wait until they are older.

a trained guitar teacher can assess your child

Have The Right Expectations

Once you have found the right teacher and they help you understand where your child is and how to proceed, and assuming they are ready to start lessons, you must have the right expectations.

Many parents of very young children expect way too much from their kids when they learn to play guitar. It is not the easiest instrument to learn and if the guitar teacher you get is good they will not rush your child forward.

The most important thing for you and your child right now is to make guitar a positive and fun experience.

The danger with guitar lessons and it seems most music lessons is for parent to think that their child has to go home and practice, like it’s a homework.

Instead treat this like you would sports, not a school program. When your child goes to a sport we do not expect them to come home and practice it every day. We let them enjoy it and let the coach worry about that.

If they do practice or play the sport at home, that’s great but it should not be the expectation when they are this young.