* Parents are the key to success: Parents are without a doubt the best teachers of all. As any teacher without parents knows, even our best efforts have very little impact. Because we understand this so well, we have created this page to help you as a parent understand what your children must do to finally achieve success on the guitar.
* Practice as a habit: By giving your children (especially young children) the option to practice or not, they will generally choose not to. Genuine practice in most cases is a tedious and boring task, but a necessity. Think of learning music as learning to read. The early stages require concentration and are not particularly pleasant. If young children were given a choice, they would probably rather watch television than ever learn to read. But later in life they would regret it. The fact is that most parents work hard with their children teaching them to read and write. Music is no different. If you are serious about your child learning music, we encourage you to get involved. The first year is when they need you the most. Children do not have the wisdom of adults and leaving them the choice of what, when and how to practice them will cause them to give up. Overtime kids will make practice a habit. In almost every case where a child excels on the guitar, there is a very supportive parent behind the scenes.
* So what do they need? – Third year students will work mainly from two sources;
Progressive Guitar Method Book 1
The G4GUITARMETHOD student portfolio
These items are included in the starter kit. Additional brochures will be provided as needed.
* As a parent, what do I need to know about the G4GUITARMETHOD? – There is a checklist on the front of your folder. (open your folder and it should be the first page you see). This checklist will have a list of all the requirements for the current level. As a student progresses, boxes will be checked to show that they have successfully performed a particular skill or song. Basically the focus of your practice should be where a box is a check mark. Sometimes the teacher will write comments in the next section. Parents should check this every week. Once all the boxes are checked, they will receive a certificate and proceed to the next level.
* So how can I help with your practice? – Take a little time each week to see what they are learning. Ask your child exactly what he is working on. The best time to ask is immediately after the lesson. If you ask them regularly, they will often pay more attention in class knowing that the questions are yet to come. Try to understand it yourself. Better yet, try learning how to play the guitar yourself. We also have classes for adults, so feel free to sign up.
* Performance: Set specific dates for your child to perform his latest piece for family or friends. Once a quarter (4 times a year) would be good. That way you have something to work for. Make sure to reward them in some way.
* Incentives: It is important to understand the difference between an incentive and blackmail. Blackmail is forcing someone to do something that only works for you. An incentive is a positive way to encourage the individual in question to reach their potential. Using incentives with children helps them eventually discover that practice has its own rewards. Instead of just taking your kids to see a movie or buy them a PlayStation game, use them as incentives.
* Starting at a young age of 5 to 7 years: The approach for young children is more fun to build positive associations with the guitar. Learning to play the guitar requires the development of fine motor skills, auditory awareness (listening), and understanding. Fine motor skills for the guitar develop more slowly in a young child, but the work they do at this age pays off later. These skills are the same as learning to speak, read, and write a language. You should expect their development to be roughly the same. If your child practices writing for 10 minutes a day, he will notice gradual improvements over time. Because children practice spoken language much more than reading or writing, they develop speech more quickly. It is simply a matter of practice. We wouldn’t expect a 5-year-old to write a novel, but we do expect him to communicate at a reasonable level. The early years are essentially building foundations and developing the practice habit. Don’t wait too long, just encourage and be mindful of the time they put into your practice.
* Listen: the music your children listen to plays an important role in their learning. If you want your child to appreciate and ultimately be a passionate guitarist, you need to expose him to guitar music. Instead of 2 hours of television or computer a day, give him 30 minutes of music appreciation. Find music with obvious guitars like Eric Clapton, Santana, The Beatles, Green Day, etc. Why not try classical, flamenco or jazz guitar? Most libraries have a good variety of CDs. Especially the Sydney Conservatory of Music. Also try renting a DVD of a concert instead of a movie. Take a look at the DVD “The School of Rock”. His lighthearted comic look at elementary school-age children learning music.
* Guitar Aptitude: Learning to play the guitar is often confused with playing the guitar. Many people decide to learn to play the guitar because they think it will be fun. They are focused on playing the guitar. Learning to play the guitar is not particularly fun. Playing the guitar is fun. Playing the guitar is one of the best sensations anyone can experience. But learning to play the guitar is HARD WORK. It’s like being in shape. Getting in shape is hard work. Being in shape is a great feeling. But as you get in shape, it gets easier. Young children need a lot of parental support and involvement. Try to sit with them when they practice and watch them. Pay close attention to what they are doing. For children under 10 years it is essential.