Teaching others to play the guitar, especially teaching kids guitar is a wonderful experience because you’re not only teaching a skill, but giving them a wonderful gift that will enrich their lives and provide them and their audience years of enjoyment.
Learning the guitar like most things worthwhile is not always easy and teaching kids guitar needs some special skills to keep them interested and motivated. These important tips will help keep learners engaged in their guitar classes:
Short and sweet
Young guitar students usually can manage about 30 minute lessons before they start to lose interest, so limit them to this or have a good break if you’re having a longer lesson which, if you or the student have to travel a long time, is often more appropriate.
Every student is different and will require a slightly different approach, but the key to being a successful guitar teacher is being able to motivate your students and have them looking forward to each lesson.
In order to do this you need to:
- Find out the type of music they enjoy and the use these so they can identify with what you’re teaching
- There are many four to five-note melodies and two to three-chord songs that can be played or adapted to suit your lesson
- Rather than try and have a strict program, it’s best to adapt your teaching style to suit their abilities and interest levels
A good sample of how to keep learners in a 30 minute class engaged is:
- Start with tuning the guitar and finding the rhythm
- Begin warm up exercises the student already knows, that relate to the songs they’re learning
- Ask the student about any areas they have difficulty with or areas they want help with
- Review the songs or portions of a song from the last lesson and check the practice routine to make sure they are recognizable
- Introduce new elements or parts of the tune or song to have run it together
- Review past lessons and run over scales
- Once the student is comfortable with a tune and can play it with ease, it’s time to move on to a new challenge
Using teaching books can be a good way to help a student feel a sense of accomplishment.
Teaching teens requires you as a teacher to adapt the songs they relate to so they can learn the type of music they love. Your students need to feel each time they have a lesson they are really accomplishing something positive. Keeping them stuck practicing scales, songs and tunes they cannot really relate to will quickly turn them off, they will probably give up for more enjoyable pursuits.
Part of the art of teaching kids guitar or any other musical instrument is to bring out their creative energy and stimulate these parts of the student. Once they have mastered the very basic moves so they can play a recognizable tune move on to song they enjoy playing.
Learning to play the guitar is not always easy and the attitude and skills of the person teaching makes a huge difference to the amount of enjoyment and dedication that will be found when kids are learning guitar, find the right songs they are interested in.