Teaching a 6 Year old

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by TobyZ28, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Just wondering if anyone on the board has/is any experience teaching 6-7ish year old's guitar... What kind of approach are you using? What songs, music etc do you start with?

    I'm striving to keep it interesting and fun for my daughter while still teaching pieces of "useful boring stuff" (theory/finger position/posture etc.) where possible. I will switch to a real teacher once I feel the time is right. Right now her attention span means keeping the lessons short and having to mix it up...

    I've started with tuning the guitar, open chords and seeing if we can work towards song with C/D/E open chords, however she's wanting to jump around to other things (like diddling with the amp till her guitar sounds ready for a heavy metal concert!).

    Any general tips / thoughts appreciated, wouldn't mind some really specific pointers though if it was something that worked for your kid or one you've taught!

    Thanks!

    -T
     
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  2. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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  3. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Why don’t you follow her lead? Help her play with everything. Then show her some chords.
     
  4. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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    silly fun songs...make it wacky and fun.
     
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  5. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had some success teaching my niece by using an open G tuning and the one finger 4 & 5 bar chords. That let her focus more on the rhythm and playing along with me. She wasn't ready at that point to learn chord fingerings and guitar scales along with pick technique, timing, etc. It's a hard instrument for little fingers to get started on, really.
     
  6. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, thats a great idea! Tonight I just let her decide if she wanted to practice or not, she said "nah not tonight Daddy" and then i started playing some beginner songs out of a songbook.. she came in almost immediatly to watch/listen. I told her these are all beginner songs with the chords she was learning... so she started writing down every song she liked (which literally was every song i played) so she could learn it later on!
    @Recce I think that's great advice, it's a little tricky though when she's eager to learn but isn't sure where to start sometimes haha... I'll definitely be letting her determine the pace of things to start!
     
  7. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

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    Fundamentals fundamentals fundamentals.

    Teacher to tap the pulse (the beat/quarter notes) on her leg with her favorite songs. Once comfortable there, tap 8th notes.

    Reading music. Now is the time. She will thank you for it down the road. Simultaneously teach the open position c major scale. Learn all the nursery rhyme tunes (Mary had a LL, old McDonald, etc)

    All open basic chords.

    Chromatic scale up a string in #, then down in b's.

    4 finger, 4 pick per note picking excercise.


    Sing what you read using solfeggio (do re me).

    Count your rhythms as well.




    Most of all, don't teach them like they are a little kid. Children are able to absorb an incredible amount of musical information at a very young age. I've taught children who knew more theory than half the guys in a guitar center.


    Good luck an have fun!!!
     
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  8. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Get ready for the -why is Em/Am a minor chord?- question, in some form,

    and need an answer that will satisfy them for a while...:D


    honestly, I had no idea what to do when I decided the younger kids needed guitars in their hands and volunteered at the local school to run their rock band and train up some younger ones for the band in a few years time... did it for 6 years ..good fun... ;)

    guitar class 17 smaller.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  9. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Start with uke and then move to guitar when she gets a bit older. After all, the chord forms are the same. That was what the teacher at the shop I worked at recommended, and she has decades of experience, so I trust what she says.
     
  10. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not and never have been a music teacher. I did study classical music performance at the highest level and from about your daughter's age. The important thing with a kid is to play a lot, talk a lot, and teach a little. Your daughter will remember the connection with you, and will value it far more than any chords she may learn. She may be motivated to learn those chords, theory, etc later and take it further, if she has fond memories of your time together.

     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  11. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

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    I started with a tenor uke restrung DGBE, I did both acoustic (nylon) and electric versions of this. She then moved up through the Hannah Montana "Secret Star" to a Bullet Mustang.

    If you already have a guitar, then removing the E and A strings might be a worthwhile simplification.

    The "Loog" guitar is a similar idea, except that it only has three strings.
     
  12. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

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    I've got only one comment(question, rather) for this...

    Does the kid WANT to learn to play the guitar?

    If(and only if) this is confirmed; proceed with the whole Yoda schtick.
     
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  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    This.

    And be prepared to let them walk away if they choose.
     
  14. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    It’s pretty rare my 6 year old wants to play guitar, but there are times when he does. We got him a Loog, and I keep it in an open tuning so it sounds OK when he just strums it (it doesn’t stay in tune worth crap and the quality isn’t the best, but that’s a subject for another thread).

    In any event, he doesn’t have the patience yet for me to actually teach him stuff. I’ve tried a couple times but he’s not quite ready yet. But he does enjoy strumming it open from time to time. I plug him into an amp with effects so he can make fun noises.

    Six is pretty young. I can’t imagine kids having the attention span to learn real stuff. But if they do, I’m sure they’ll be virtuosos some day. Wish I would’ve started that early.
     
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  15. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I started the kids from gr3-4 onwards.... I figured by then they would have a lot more music knowledge from the good in school music classes on merimbas and drums....

    I explained a few chord shapes and put them down the side of the blackboard and printed out chord diagrams for them... told them they need to spend a few months getting their little fingers some muscle memory skills... once those shapes plonk in the right place every time and you can change between them then you can make up songs from the chords that sound good together for you...6 mths down the track what I'm saying now will make sense... most of the kids stayed the year and some even said, you were right about the 6 mths thing we get it now,,,

    the kids that picked it up the quickest were the ones who wanted to get up there and entertain at the end of year concert, they could see the guitar as a means to an ends, to do that.... the guitar part was quickly learned in a basic way and they started writing songs.. or bringing in chords for songs off the web they wanted to do.... and asked me to show them the new chords they didn't know yet...

    most of those few learned the G with the pinky, and the bottom half of the F or just drop the C chape down, all the quick changes... I explained you don't have to play all the strings all the time, you can play the treble side or the bass side and work melody in with the choice of string you play....

    all these concepts they understood about the instrument.... and away they went in little peer groups, leaving me more time with the other kids.

    a few of those kids got to play their piece at the concert (not on the bill)... I made sure they were ready to jump up while we were setting the rock band up between acts.... got your guitar? yep, good go get your gear, you're on as soon as you get back and we sound check you.... nailed it, they did the "cup song" with other kids doing the cup thing with them, crowd went off.......:)
     
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  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I bought my kids guitars when they were about eight years old. One of the three still plays. I bought my grandkids guitars at about the same age. One still plays regularly now he's in his twenties, two more are still playing when they feel like it. The other five lost interest, some quickly, some slowly. I reckon that's not a bad return.
     
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  17. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    This will work great with some kids and turn others off faster than an enforced nap time. There is a ton of learning that must be done before any fun is had if you do it your way, which requires the kid to be already committed or the practice must be made to happen. Source: My piano teachers were just like this and it turned me away from trying to play music for years.
     
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  18. bebopbrain

    bebopbrain Tele-Meister

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    If your kid is anything like mine (big if), outsource the teaching as quickly as possible. My kid craved external validation but wouldn't listen to me for two seconds; too much baggage.
     
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  19. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Vintage Love this is exactly what I was looking for. I will be keeping things fun to maintain her interest - but when the time is right i'll be able to slide in some of the useful theory stuff where it makes sense. I too agree kids need more credit than grown ups give them, we speak to their kids like they're adults and have never looked back. Thats great advise for teaching music too!

    We do have a Uke kicking around the house, she was not nearly as interested in it as my guitars. She's been begging to play/learn guitar for months now, so we figured we'll give it a shot if shes that interrested

    Thanks, I too fall into a similar category - I have since had no interest in piano, but years later have self taught myself guitar and am enjoying it much more!

    First I've heard of a Loog guitar, time to google this a bunch :) I did not consider a tenor uke either. I think I may the E removal, but she seems able to do notes on the A string somewhat ok already, though it's a bit of a reach for small hands. Thanks!!

    Interested she is, patience she has not ;) Yes she's been consistently asking/wanting to learn an instrument and has committed to doing lessons on a regular basis for at least year. We'll sell it if she loses interest (and she knows this haha)

    Thanks bEopbrain, because i'm letting her "want" it she's open to learning, but her attention span is still developing so were keeping it very short to start!
     
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  20. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I agree 6 is pretty young. She's actually 7 in about a month - I was not even considering teaching her until around 8 BUT she has been asking for a long time to learn an instrument, loves music and right now and with Covid has no extra curricular or music options at school.
     
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