I am happy to introduce you to Craig Smith a musician who has taught children how to play guitar giving us his thoughts on music and children.
1. What is the youngest age you have taught?
I think the youngest I've had was a 6 year old little girl. It was a bit of a challenge, but she was enthusiastic and her Father played Guitar too, so that helped.
I think a good rule to follow is, if a child under age 10 shows an interest in the Guitar or music in general, it should be encouraged. If you force a young kid to take lessons, it may ruin any future interest in a musical instrument later on.
2. Do your students learn to play music easily?
I think generally that children do well with Music. Adults have a tendency to overcomplicate things. Children are a blank slate. Kids that start reading music between ages 8-10 often learn it like a second language and with little difficulty.
3. Do you find the younger children harder to teach than the older ones?
Certainly below the age of 8 it can be more difficult. That being said, the best student I've ever had was a 10 year old boy who has grown into a world-class professional musician. At 28, he now tours in various bands, teaches lessons himself, and has several worldwide music and video releases to his name.
I think the magic number for successful music students is around ages 10-12.
4. What is the hardest music lesson you had to teach?
I had a Special Needs child a few years back. While there are many challenges for the teacher, I would encourage music education (and the arts) for any child that shows an interest, even those with special needs.
5. What advice do you have (to parents?) getting their children ready for their first music class?
Don't force it. Just because you or your spouse have a love for music, it doesn't necessarily mean your child will take to it. Often times parents will force children to take lessons for all of the wrong reasons.
The other problem that has become more prevalent in the past 10 years or so, are parents who put their children into too many activities at once.
For example, I had a family recently that had two siblings taking Guitar Lessons from me at the same time.
Child #1 - Was involved in Karate, Soccer and a few other after-school programs.
Child #2 - Was more introverted and was really only interested in playing the guitar.
Child #2 excelled at music because (she) didn't have the distractions of too many activities. When you spread a child's often limited after-school time between too many activities, much like everything in life, they will never really get good at any one particular thing.
My challenge to parents is this: I understand physical activity is important, BUT... in 5, 10 or 20 years from now your child will probably never touch a soccer ball again... but a music education can be a fulfilling hobby that can be nurtured for a lifetime. (And passed on to your Grandkids!)
Craig Smith is a Professional Guitarist, Writer and Blogger in Sanford, Florida. After teaching and performing for over 25 years he started h as an online outlet for his writing passion.
An Educator at heart, Craig loves to teach people how to play Guitar and Blog.When he’s not playing Guitar, Skateboarding or arguing with you about why Vinyl Records sound better than CDs, you may find him by the pool with his wife Celeste, 4 Chihuahuas and a drink.
If you want to learn more about Craig check out
Hi, I'm Marcie Kenny, the women behind this blog. I am not a mother, but I am number seven in a family of nine. I worked in childcare for many years before retiring; now I enjoy blogging about all that I have learned along the way.