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The resources on this site that deal with teaching kids to play the guitar were originally designed with professional guitar teachers in mind but the reality is that a lot of the feedback that I get is from parents, grandparents and family friends who play guitar and who would like to (or who have been asked to) help give a youngster a good start on guitar but who do not necessarily have the plans and resources immediately to hand. I get loads of positive feedback from pro players too but it gives me a buzz to know that my materials are often used to facilitate family centred activities that a child will remember (and gain from) for the rest of their lives. Twenty years from now folks will be saying "My grandpa taught me the basics of guitar when I was really young and I suppose I never stopped" To have played a small part in that gives me a good feeling
Homeschooling a child to play guitar is a relatively simple thing to facilitate. All you need are the resources and a plan. Of course it helps if you play the guitar (or know someone who does). Before we take a more detailed look at a proven series of guitar lessons tailor made for younger children it may be worth taking a look at at an overview of how to teach children to play guitar
One of the real advantages that a homeschooling situation presents is the chance to spread and reinforce the learning over the whole week rather than just in a single weekly session as is typical in the school system. Regular schools tend to present kids with a timetabled weekly instrumental lesson. This is perfectly understandable from an administrative and practical point of view but there are several disadvantages that come along with this kind of arrangement. The first is that with lessons spaced seven days apart there can be a tendency for students to "forget" to practice until the day before their next lesson (when they will have likely forgotten just what they should have been working on anyway). Homeschooling allows the instructor to guide a child with a (little and often" approach that can pay dividends in both the long and the short term. Rather than a single hour or half hour long guitar lesson each week it can be a good idea to divide teaching and learning into more "bite sized" chunks throughout the week (or even the weekend). This arrangement has the advantage that because of the increased regularity of guitar sessions it is far more likely that a student will be able to retain and build on information, techniques and repertoire presented to them
Whatever type of guitar lesson is going on the reality is that for younger kids in particular to engage with the material presented to them the lesson needs to be fun BEFORE they will readily engage with the educational element of it.
This means that we as educators need to keep a careful eye on the content of the lesson so that as well as guitar lessons being a "fun" part of the homeschooling week/day we actually create a situation in which real progress is made and the child/children on the receiving end of the education actually make real and meaningful progress.
Its not only children who love to have their achievements recognised. "Salesperson of the month", "Employee of the week" and those mugs with "Worlds best Grandpa" written on them. The reason that all of those things are out there is because they work. Stuff like this encourages people to sell even more, to work even harder and to keep on doing all of that really cool Grandpa stuff that goes down so well. The gaming business knows what it is doing when players are encouraged to work their way through levels earning badges and "bonus" ammunition etc and when teaching children to play guitar we would do well to follow their example. A great way to encourage children and keep them motivated is to give them certificates that recognise their efforts and progress on the guitar. Further down this page you will find a link that will allow you to download one of our range of FREE certificates designed to recognise the efforts of your younger students. There is a FREE certificate of achievement to download and print from each one of the first five kids lesson pages on this site. When I started using them myself (after many years of teaching younger kids to play guitar) I was absolutely stunned to see how popular they were
If you arrived on this page from a search engine it might be a good idea to take a look at our page that provides an introduction to How to teach Children Guitar: An Overview
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