#1
The mother of my 12 year old guitar student recommended me to another parent who is looking to have their child take music lessons. The problem... this other child is 5 years old.

My 12 year old student is the youngest I have ever had. I mostly teach people 16 and above. The 12 year old requires more patience but at least has the mental ability to understand a lot of the topics I usually go over.

I know right now that I would not spend as much time as I usually do with students if I were to take on this 5 year old. I would probably do a lot of rhythm exercises, yet the parents of this child seriously want them to learn guitar. The 12 year old I teach took "lessons" from a "Professional instructor" from the ages of 5-8, yet when I first heard him.. he sounded like he had just gotten the guitar that day.

What other things can I teach this 5 year old? Should I even take on this other student?
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#2
No. Physiologically, there is a good reason why the student who had professional lessons from the ages of 5-8 sounded like a first-time player - the muscles and bone structure of the hands are not developed sufficiently enough to play guitar with any real amount of success. This was told to me by a university-level guitar instructor who was also one of board of directors and one of the syllabus writers for the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Sure, there will be people who will say "yeah, well I.... " or "I know this person who.... " but the reality is that there are a lot of exaggerations out there, and the number of non-successes greatly outnumber the successes.

Basic child development. Don't start until at least age 8.

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#3
^ i agree to a degree, i'd say 8-10 if you dont want to kill yourself teaching. the most horrific part is the 5 year will most likely grasp the concept of music VERY fast (notes, scales, keys, things like that, kids brains are friggin sponges) but they wont be able to utilize what they learn to a very good degree because of the way they're built (unless you have some freakishly large 5 yr old)
#4
Quote by Dutch_Apples
The mother of my 12 year old guitar student recommended me to another parent who is looking to have their child take music lessons. The problem... this other child is 5 years old.

My 12 year old student is the youngest I have ever had. I mostly teach people 16 and above. The 12 year old requires more patience but at least has the mental ability to understand a lot of the topics I usually go over.

I know right now that I would not spend as much time as I usually do with students if I were to take on this 5 year old. I would probably do a lot of rhythm exercises, yet the parents of this child seriously want them to learn guitar. The 12 year old I teach took "lessons" from a "Professional instructor" from the ages of 5-8, yet when I first heard him.. he sounded like he had just gotten the guitar that day.

What other things can I teach this 5 year old? Should I even take on this other student?


Personally I would say 5 is too young, and recommend that they wait. I have actually tried to teach kids that young and have only 1 success story (actually he started at 6 and had been playing piano since age 4). The reason for this kids success is that the parents were very involved, and I have to say that right now the kid is doing great (always did actually). He plays guitar, piano, and cello, understands a decent amount of theory, and can learn songs and some solos be ear. But this is a really rare case.... he loves doing it and his parents are musicians and were very involved in a good way from the start.

from my experience as a teacher, they really need to be through at least kindergarten.... or better yet 1st or 2nd grade. Then they are more mentally prepared to handle the necessary concepts..... and MAYBE actually interested themselves. alot of times its the parents pushing it and the kid doesnt really want anything to do with it. You cant pay me enough to teach a 5 year old that doesn't want to be there. Thats a long half hour.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 14, 2007,
#5
young children sometimes dont even understand what the play, they just memerize everything and play it but it has no meaning, thats what happenend to me, i took piano lessons at age 6 through like 10, and learned how to play songs and stuff but never really understood the concept of notes, i just understood this note, then this note, then this one. at that age it doesnt have meaning, but now im 14 and im playing guitar and i have a much better understanding of music than i did playing piano. now maybee i had a bad piano teacher, maybee i was a bad student, but when i played piano i didnt really understand anything. so i hope that can help you
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#6
You could teach him a lot of theory. About technique, and playing, I don't think his body structure would compliment that. You could start him off on piano?
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#7
I teach a 7 year old piano and it's very difficult. She'll openly state when she's bored and won't play for me, and i don't enjoy it really. I'm teaching her Mum aswell, and if it wasn't for that and the fact i'm desperate for the money i'd not bother at all. Children are learning a million different things every day, and music is just another of them.

When they get older (above 10 in my experience) they'll start wanting to learn music, until then it's just another thing in their day.
#8
Quote by sTx
You could teach him a lot of theory. About technique, and playing, I don't think his body structure would compliment that. You could start him off on piano?


Teach a 5 year old theory ? I agree about the body structure...... but the brain is important as well. IMO that is not at all realistic. Maybe there are special cases, but I havent come across any 5 year olds that could understand the concept of a measure, or the idea of playing a note for a certain amount of beats. I cant imagine them being able to understand scale construction or intervals.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 14, 2007,
#9
I know a lot of people say you should start them young, but I'm tellin ya, when I first tried guitar and lessons a couple years ago at 14-15ish I was really discouraged and not having a fun time. Now that I'm just a tad older (about to hit 19) I find I'm able to appreciate and understand the theory and concepts of music a lot more and I'm actually finding inherent joy in playing and learning to play.