Classical Guitar for children: what to expect from children in music lessons

As a parent, it's important that you know answers to certain questions that you have when first enrolling your child for music lessons. First of all, you're in the small percentage of parents that take the initiative to invest in early music education for their children -putting them way ahead of their peers.

How long should my child practice?

I think a healthy practice time for a beginner is 20-30 minutes of fun exercises and real musical practice 4-5 days a week. It's important that the child recognizes that practicing is simply a normal daily routine in order for that child to benefit the most out of his or her music education. Any more than half an hour for a child that is still in elementary school can be difficult simply because it takes lots of high energy and mental stimulation to keep a child interested in learning something like an instrument for long periods of time. Even as adults we can only sit and do one task for so long before we feel the need to stand up and stretch or change up the activity we're engaged in. To a certain extent, our high-speed internet smart phone culture has certainly complimented this lowered attention span in a lot of us. So, really focusing in on a particular activity for a burst of half 20-30 minutes is a great tool that consumes little time for your busy daily schedule. 

What kinds of songs should my child be learning?

This is a question that ultimately arises out of the belief that the most important and worthy study in music is the study of classical music. Classical Music IS NOT the end means of taking lessons. A child's music education should foremost be based on the roots of songs that are familiar to that child. Nursery rhymes, the Happy Birthday Song, Row Row Row Your Boat, are all great examples of melodies that any child can recognize. Starting the basics of an instrument learning these songs and connecting them with important educational aspects of music (like reading notation) is by far the best way to ensure that your child's musical development will be stimulating and effective.

How can I help my child? 

As a parent you absolutely want to feel some kind of efficacy and assistance with your child as they start something new in their life. The absolute best thing that parents can do to engage with their children is to sit in lessons and learn with the child! Even if you're not looking to learn an instrument yourself, there are many things that you can do as a parent during the beginning stage of your child's enrollment. First, sitting in the first few lessons with your child helps the child overcome any anxiety or behavioral complications that arise from meeting someone new. Having your presence in the room with the child boosts the child's confidence and can facilitate the learning process. Second, learn the material that is covered during the lesson yourself! Educate yourself along the way so that any homework given can be done with the child. 

Magdiel Zuniga