Frequently Asked Questions From Parents
Q.: What age is best for guitar lessons for my child?
A.: There is no research that suggests any age is better than any other. However recent research from University of California indicate that the positive effects of learning to play a musical instrument on cognition and brain development in children is most dramatic before the age of 12. The best time is when a child wants to learn. The Childbloom Program specializes in teaching children guitar and music between the ages of 5 and 12.
Many parents call us with toddlers who are mysteriously drawn to the guitar. We recommend that the parent let the child go through that very important “pretend and play” phase, usually through age 4, before beginning focused music instruction. Most pre-instrumental music programs are also excellent exposure. If you are such a parent, don’t worry! The interest in guitar will not go away. It will increase and provide terrific motivation when the child is ready.
Q.: What kind of guitar should I get for my child?
A.: To avoid injury and to develop the highest skill technique it is important to get a child-sized guitar. Ask your local Childbloom Teacher for help. We recommend a small nylon-string guitar for the beginner’s maximum success at technique AND ear development. Parents shouldn’t scrimp on an instrument. Get the best you can afford. It does make a difference in your child’s motivation. Expect to pay $120-$600 for an instrument. There are very good ones for less than $300 in most markets. The better guitar you buy, the more resale value it will retain as your child moves to larger sizes. The critical dimension is length, not width of the guitar. Here is a suggested size according to the general age of a child. The lengths given are string lengths: Age 4 – 6: under 18″ • Age 6 – 8: under 21″ • Age 8 – 10: under 23″ • Age 10 – 12: under 25″. Some useable, mass-produced brands are Cordoba, Strunal, Montana, Jasmine. Hand-made instruments are wonderful and usually start at about $600.
Q.: What should I look for in a guitar teacher for children?
A.: Being able to teach a child guitar is a specialty. Any teacher of children who does not allow parental attendance should be avoided. The teacher should be able to relate to your child and YOU. Communication with the teacher is critical for long-term, successful music education. Teachers should have experience and training with children. All Childbloom instructors have had in-class training, training in child-development, training in the natural use of the hands to avoid injury to the young musician. Childbloom teachers are the most trained and studied in how to teach a child guitar playing and how to open up the world of music to the growing child
Q.: For guitar lessons with children, what is better, private lessons or group guitar lessons?
A.: Guitar lessons for a child on a one-on-one private lesson with a teacher is often stressful and inefficient. The small group lessons used in the Childbloom Program has the additional value of allowing a child to learn ensemble musical skills as well as solo skills. There has been shown no difference in learning pace between Childbloom classes and private lessons. However, besides the added benefit of learning ensemble music, the Childbloom lessons tend to be enjoyed more by the students who stick with the learning longer and develop to higher levels of solo skill than in the other formats. But if you want a private lesson, most Childbloom guitar instructors have individual lessons available for students who, for one reason or another, do not fit into a social learning environment or are at an advanced level of playing.
Q.: When are the lessons and how much do they cost?
A.: Because every area is different, the individual Childbloom Directors set their own prices and schedule their own students. Typically, the Childbloom Program’s guitar lessons for children are one of the least expensive music education programs in your area. We hear the comment all the time, “Wow, I thought it would cost more than that!” Childbloom guitar lessons are surprisingly affordable. Contact your local Instructor for specific information.