Why You Should Not Try To Teach Your Child To Play Guitar On Your Own

by Maurice Richard
Senior Instructor at Halifax Guitar Lessons

Your child has been showing a desire to learn how to play guitar which is awesome! Congratulations!

You decide to get them a guitar and to get them started you decide to teach them the basics.

It starts off really well. They are excited to learn. But then next thing you know they start to resist playing and practicing.

But you keep pushing them to learn more and things start to get ugly and they flat out refuse and want to quit guitar.

What just happened here?

teaching your child guitar can be stressful

You Are Not A Trained Guitar Teacher

Teaching someone to play guitar is not as easy as it looks and even more so when teaching children.

You may think that you can just find a book or go online and find someone who teaches it and then use that to help teach your child learn to play.

This sounds reasonable, but if you are not trained to teach, how are you able to recognize if another person is teaching things properly? How are you going to know that what they are doing is the right thing for your child?

Just because someone has an online guitar teaching website does not mean they know how to teach properly.

And even if they do know what they are doing how do you know if you are teaching it properly? Without a teacher’s input you could very easily miss many things that your child is doing wrong and train them with bad habits.

This can get your child stuck and frustrated and want to quit guitar and it can also put a strain on your relationship. So you need to be careful.

You Are Not Trained To Teach Guitar

Maybe you know how to play guitar already but do you really know what needs to happen to get that knowledge transfered to your child in a way they will understand?

There are many skills that need to be learned successfully to be able to play guitar properly. If you have not learned them the right way how are you going to properly teach them to your child?

Do you know what all of those are? Do you know how to spot problems in technique and correct them so they do not create bad habits and get your child stuck later on?

Sure, you could just show them a few chords or licks and hope that they figure it out and eventually learn how to play. You could go online and find some resources to help teach them.

You would still have to depend on those resources and hope you pick them properly so you do not overwhelm and confuse your child.

This can cause some real tension in your relationship too if things don’t go well.

Find A Trained Guitar Teacher

The best thing you can do for your child when they want to learn how to play guitar is to put them in lessons.

There are likely many guitar teachers where you live so how do you find the right one? They are not all going to be the same and will definitely not get you the same results.

What I would do if I were you is do some research on each of the teachers available and look for some very important elements.

The most important is training. Have they been trained on how to teach and even then, were they trained to teach guitar specifically?

Next, you need to make sure they will accept children, that they already have experience teaching them and then actual proof that they have good success with them.

It would not hurt if the teacher you pick is also a parent and has kids of their own. That’s experience you can’t teach to anyone and will help them be a lot more patient and understanding with your child.

let your child enjoy guitar lessons

Let Your Child Enjoy The Process

Once you find a great teacher to help your child learn to play guitar properly you have to give them time and space to progress at their own pace.

If the process is not fun and enjoyable your child will stop progressing and quit. Maybe not in the short term but over time they will.

How can you do this? Don’t force them to practice at home for example. Don’t try to correct or teach them differently at home. Don’t give them extra materials, etc. Let your child’s guitar teacher do their job.

Children are different and progress differently and at their own pace. You must make sure to reinforce their enjoyment of the process and of guitar. If you do this they will learn to love and play guitar all of their lives!