Plenty of kids hit an age where they show an interest in music. Maybe they haven’t, but in your role as a parent, you’re wanting to open their minds and give them a new experience.
Learning an instrument is a great and educational way that any child can explore their musical tastes and talents.
But, how do you make the lessons fun? Anything that young children learn has to have an element of fun.
You need to pique their interest, and you need to hold that interest for the duration of what you’re trying to teach them.
On that note, we have put together five fun ideas that speak to a beginner level and a kid mindset. You might even find them fun as an adult, that is up to you to decide!
The Guitar Lessons Tailored For Kids
This guide has a list of five fun guitar lessons for your children to try. They can be good fun to play together as well if you are musically inclined.
One of the main things to try to avoid when teaching any child a new skill is not to bombard them with too much information.
We keep things light and simple, it’s the best way forward, and it maintains a level of engagement that is needed for practicing and playing the guitar. Or any instrument for that matter.
Lesson One: Strumming Along To Your Chords
As the title suggests, this one requires a certain skill level from yourself. If you are a teacher or a professional player, this one will be no problem at all.
If you’re not, it might be worth investing in and doing your research toward finding a professional guitar tutor.
Let’s face it, we’ve all tried to teach our kids something and thought that it might be just that bit easier if someone else was doing it instead.
Well, there is truth to that theory. Children can be more receptive to an external influence with regard to their education.
It is a more formal pull that triggers a higher level of receptiveness and responsiveness in their concentration and learning.
For this lesson, all you will need are a few basic chords and your instrument.
For this lesson to work effectively, it’s best to pick a song that your child knows and loves. Engaging them on this level can keep them interested.
They will automatically be more receptive to something that they like, as opposed to an alien song that they’ve never heard before.
The basic principle is this – you get your fingers into position on the fretboard to form the chords of the song. Instead of strumming the notes yourself, you allow the child who is learning to do so.
By doing this, they not only get used to the feel of the strings, but they also get to hear the efforts of their fingers firsthand.
Over time, they will even start to watch your fingers too and subconsciously absorb fret position knowledge in their minds.
So you can see, there are already lots of benefits. It is low-key and it is low pressure. They also get an immediate result, which will provide instant educative stimulation.
Some ideas for a song choice include popular nursery rhymes such as twinkle twinkle little star and row row row your boat.
If your child is past the nursery rhyme age, there are plenty of popular song choices that are simple enough to keep up with for them, too.
Lesson Two: Fretting Some Notes
It’s no secret that pressing your fingers down on the frets in order to form chords or notes can be arduous for a beginner guitarist’s fingers.
So this is a stage that you will have to introduce slowly and gently.
In this lesson, you will be strumming the chords while helping out with the fret fingers.
Try at first to allow the learner to place a couple of fingers on the fretboard so that they are creating a few of the notes on their own with a bit of guidance.
Stick with the really simple chords such as D and G. This way you will introduce them gently to how the fretboard works, where the notes lay, and how chords are actually formed.
Alternatively, instead of strumming chords, you can use the fret method to introduce them to scales and help them get to know the notes of the guitar.
This can be a fun way to introduce the theoretical side of guitar playing and help them to get to grips with memorizing some of the notes that they are going to use over the course of their musical careers.
You can do this on any string of the guitar – just let them play around. You could also ask them to pick a note and then help them find it.
Lesson Three: Simple Melodies On Just One String
In this lesson, the child will be using all of their hands to play the guitar.
You have to pick a song that is simple and that they are guaranteed to be really familiar with for this lesson to work properly.
Our choice would be something like baa baa black sheep, or the happy birthday song. You want something that they know the words to do so that they can sing the melody.
This will help them guide their hands to the right notes and make them feel a bigger connection with the song as they progress in their lesson.
If they see immediate results with something that they already know in their brain, they will be more inclined to come back and try again.
Expect to play this melody over and over again so that the child can see and observe how and where the fingers need to go. They may learn through copying your technique.
What you are trying to achieve with this lesson is a spark of recognition and some natural musical ability to come through.
Lesson Four: Mix It Up With A Ukulele
This one may seem a bit farfetched, but stick with the logic here. A ukulele is a smaller, more manageable fun, similar instrument to the acoustic guitar.
You can look at it as a stepping stone towards managing the bigger guitar challenges.
If they can get their heads and hands around a ukulele, they will ultimately feel more confident when they pick up their first big guitar.
You don’t have to use these exclusively, but you can start off with them in practice sessions.
They are cheap, and they are easy to come by.
You will have to commit to a certain level of string tuning maintenance, but aside from that, they are a really accessible instrument that you can buy online or from shops.
They even sell them in toy shops now.
With a ukulele, you can start to get their fingers used to forming chords and fingering frets.
The strings are less thick and less harsh on the hands than those of the acoustic guitar. They are also smaller and have a different sound.
However, the movement is still the same, and we are focusing on building muscle memory with this lesson.
If you can teach the child how to create a chord on a ukulele, they will be able to transfer this knowledge, muscle memory, and technique over to an acoustic guitar with very little hesitation or hiccups.
You can stick to the simple chords such as C and D and G.
Lesson Five: Adapt A Chord Structure To Make It Easier
Everyone knows the challenges that establishing fully fledged chords can hold.
Thankfully, there are shortened, or half, versions of chords that you can try first. By doing this, you are building up stamina and a skill set.
You are teaching the fundamentals of music notes, the music alphabet, and even music theory. But, you are also working on the physical side of playing the guitar as well.
In semi chords, you are going to opt out of using certain strings. Therefore, the focus will be on a selection of strings as opposed to the whole of the six string set.
This breaks the learning process down into a more manageable structure. It is also a great sounding board to build up from in future lessons.
Once a child gets the hang of a shortened and condensed chord, their fingers will naturally be able to adapt to the full chord much more easily.
In order to learn the chords, they have to learn the notes.Through breaking the chords down, this also teaches them the notes.
They will start to recognize the strings intuitively and also naturally begin to recognize the notes as well.
That is the goal, right?
These are just five of the hundreds of ideas out there.
There are so many fun ways to teach a kid how to play the guitar, and our lessons prove that. There is no rule against breaking things down and starting small.
Achievement comes from learning and practicing. You will encourage the child to practice everything that they have learned in your lessons in order to build up their skill base.
But, if you keep things fun and light and bite size, then the learning process stays fun and light and bite size too.
That makes it so much more accessible and motivating than other, more traditional ways of learning a musical instrument.
Encourage daily practice, but encourage it in short chunks! Any practice is better than no practice at all.
You can use any one of these lessons for beginner guitarists, so take your pick!