The Best Guitar Lessons | Lessons for Younger Kids in Preschool
This content was created for Curtis Music Academy
Hi, this is Andrea with Curtis Music Academy here with another podcast, and music in this particular one is about how to teach the best guitar lessons to very young students. So ages three or four. And I have had, I think, four students now in that age group. And it’s a lot of fun. And I’ve learned things along the way. And I’ve also researched some different ideas via Google and via YouTube and found a lot of really great ideas. So when a student comes in and they are three years old, they don’t know a lot about music and they don’t know a lot about guitar and they don’t know a lot about numbers and letters and different things they know about having fun and different things like that.
So I have learned a lot, especially at first, how to have a really positive fun music lesson with them. Also, I want to mention that I did read an article that studies show that when students start learning the best guitar lessons at a very young age, it helps them later in life tremendously with things like brain development, learning languages, and just being more successful in thinking and patterns and learning. And so even if the student never really becomes a musician or doesn’t even carry the best guitar lessons into their adulthood, I think it’s still a benefit for them for that purpose. So first things first. If I have a student who comes in and they are three years old, usually their parents will want to meet and talk and everything.
And that’s wonderful. And we want to get the parents on the same page as well. And I have seen some interesting things about getting in touch with the parents and just letting them know that their progress will be slow because there is no rush. I’d rather have fun with them and get them learning to love the instrument and get them looking forward to coming to the best guitar lessons rather than pushing them to play a song and pushing them to have to produce and to to seem proficient and things like that. That is not my goal, Michael, especially for that age group is literally just having fun and learning and having fun while doing it. So the very first guitar lesson, we might incorporate some different things.
Another thing to realize in this goes back to my days of working at a daycare when three year olds have a very short attention span. And so you can’t let them sit at the best guitar lessons for longer than two or three minutes because they’re going to get wiggly and they’re going to want to do something different. So their attention span is three minutes maximum. And so that kind of goes with their age. If you’re five years old, you have a five minute attention span. If you’re 10 years old, you have a ten minute attention span. So that kind of is a good rule of thumb for me. So one of the things that I always do is I have short little activities and games and then I just change often.
One of the biggest strategies of doing this is actually changing locations in the room, we might be sitting on the guitar bench for two or three minutes, then we might come down to the carpet. And actually, I have made that kind of my routine. We’re back at the guitar doing something different. OK, now let’s go back to the carpet. Let’s do something different, changing the activities so that they are constantly engaged. Now, I did read an interesting thing about teaching students: they need to be taught multiple ways in a variety of different ways, the same thing. So we might learn something at the best guitar lessons and then go to the carpet to do a fun kinesthetic way of driving at that point.
So the kids don’t even maybe realize that they’re learning the same thing in a different way, but they really are. And so that’s the point. Like, I had a guitar lesson with a four year old yesterday, and so we kind of did that where we are learning a song about quarter notes and it’s one, two, buckle my shoe. And so we might sing it and play it, because that’s another thing that this young age group loves. And I forgot all about this, but when I started teaching them, they do love it. They love rhyming songs. So anything like chants or songs work really well with them. So we started the guitar lesson with one, two, Buckle My Shoe and he likes to sing it.
And then we started learning how to color and draw quarter notes, stand up or stem down. Is it the right hand or is it the left hand? So that’s just an example of he’s singing the song and he’s kind of learning about the quarter notes with that consistent steady beat. And then later on during the best guitar lessons, he’s drawing quarter notes. So that’s just an example. Another example of something I really focus on, like a game that I do with young , really young students is left hand versus right hand. So I printed off these giant hands and it kind of just became a game like which hand should you give a high five to?
So sometimes students try to high five the right hand with their left hand, and then they have to think about it and say, oh, wait, it’s not that hand, it’s this hand. So another really big idea that I have when it comes to teaching young students is they start off on the carpet with the guitar puzzle. And so it’s just back and forth patterns of two black notes and three black notes. And usually it spins the whole little area that we’re in. And so that is a really fun way to get students started off, especially if it’s their first guitar lesson, because a lot of times these young children come in and they’re a little bit nervous about doing something new. Maybe they’ve been to day care or something like that or a church nursery.