Breaking Down the Traits of Successful Young Guitar Players: Guitar Lessons for Aspiring Artists And Their Parents
Welcome back to the second part of our series on the habits and behaviours of successful young musicians enrolled in childrens guitar lessons.
In the first part of this series, we explored the importance of practice, goal setting, parental support, and playing the guitar for fun.
We also discussed the need for long-term commitment to music education and the value of developing a lifelong love of music.
In this second part of the series, we’ll focus on 5 more traits of successful young musicians.
We’ll discuss the importance of discipline, curiosity, playing with other people, time management and most importantly, self-reflection.
So if you’ve got a child enrolled in a kids guitar lesson program, you won’t want to miss the important insights gained from reading this article as we dive deeper into the traits necessary to excel as a young guitarist.
Develop Perseverance To Help Long-Term Success
Learning how to play guitar or any other instrument is a long-term game.
Over the many months and years it takes to learn motivation will wax and wane.
There will be periods of high motivation and lots of practice, as well as periods of low motivation and no practice.
One thing I’ve noticed is that all the successful guitar players persevered through the low motivation periods. In fact, it’s like they never lose motivation.
Whether they wanted to or not they practised, because they saw it as a means to getting to their long-term goals.
Perseverance is a trait that comes naturally to some, while others need to work on it.
As a parent of a child enrolled in childrens music lessons, you need to help them work on being resilient and persevering, especially when times get tough.
Pulling them from lessons prematurely isn’t the solution. Doubling down and persevering through periods of low motivation is essential.
That way when the pendulum swings the other way and they find their motivation again, they’ll have continued to build up skills and knowledge which they can launch from instead of starting again from zero.
A good friend of mine Eric Bourassa has written a wonderful article on how to properly set expectations for your child’s progress in music lessons which I highly recommend you read.
Curiosity Is The Key To Successful Learning In Kids Guitar Lessons
Successful young musicians often have a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to learn.
It’s this desire to learn and thirst for knowledge or better skills that drive practice and fuel learning at home.
Where some kids spend all their spare time playing, those who take some extra time to research guitar by reading articles, looking up guitar videos, or finding out more about the hobby in general always end up going further.
Parents can support this by helping their child further explore the hobby. Take them to guitar shops, show them interviews with famous guitar players, let them buy a CD every once in a while or help them start a guitar pedal collection.
All of these things get the child further involved in the hobby which is likely to lead to further curiosity and long-term retention in their childrens guitar lessons and beyond to their teen years.
Great Time Management Is An Essential Skill Needed For Success In Guitar Lessons
Two guitar players can spend 10 minutes playing their guitar at home.
Both could be working on exactly the same piece.
The first guitarist spends 2 minutes learning and 8 minutes practising.
The second guitarist spends 8 minutes learning and 2 minutes practising.
Who makes more progress at the end of the 10-minute session?
Answer: The first guitarist. They actually make 4x the progress of the other person.
Kids who excel at learning don’t necessarily practice more than those who don’t, they practice more efficiently and better manage their time.
This often has the side effect of freeing up more time to be reinvested back into practice which helps them improve even more.
Once they get some momentum going, learning becomes fun and easy and they are increasingly more motivated to pick up and play.
If you can help your child build up that initial momentum by helping them manage their practice time in the early phase, it will create a habit that fuels successful guitar practice for life.
Jamming With Other People – The Secret Sauce For Accelerated Learning In Your Child’s Guitar Lessons
Why are sports so fun for children? Because they get to hang out with their friends and play games together.
Playing the game is the payoff for all the effort they put in during the training sessions.
It is also a test for all of the skills they have been working on and offers a competitive environment and gratification for winning.
Guitar students will often spend several years learning one on one with a teacher in private lessons and practising at home in their bedroom without ever playing or jamming with another person.
This severely impacts skills like timing, musical communication and makes them feel like total beginners when they eventually do play with other people and can’t keep up.
Furthermore, they are missing out on how much fun playing and performing with other people can be.
Enrolling your child in group guitar lessons for kids will give them the ability to learn and play with other people and work on these important skills.
It will also teach them the value of organization, communication, and help them overcome the nerves felt when playing with or in front of other people.
You can also organize jam sessions with other friends who play guitar or any other instrument so that they can work on songs together and put on performances for friends and family.
The more your child plays with other people, the more they will apply the skills and knowledge they have learned and the faster they will progress.
Before long, they’ll love coming to their childrens guitar lessons so that they can jam and play with others!
Recording Themselves And Reflecting Upon What They Hear Is The Secret Weapon For Rapid Progress In Guitar Lessons
I am amazed at how many people spend years learning guitar but never actually listen back to themselves to hear how they are progressing.
The student just plays and plays and plays without ever becoming aware of what needs improvement, what bad habits need fixing and where their weaknesses lie.
Fortunately, we can do simple things like recording a video of them practising or performing and playing it back to them.
As they listen you can point out areas for improvement that you notice and with new awareness, they can base their practice on fixing these problems.
It’s also great to be able to show your kids a video of where they were 6 months ago and how much they’ve improved in times when they aren’t feeling motivated.
That way they can see they have gotten better and that all their effort is making a difference.
By recording your kids during their guitar practice or encouraging them to make video playthroughs of songs and helping them review it they will be able to see what needs work and reflect upon their progress over time.
You can also ask your guitar teacher to make recordings of your childrens guitar lessons so that they can watch back and know exactly what to work on during the week.
Successful In Your Kid’s Guitar Lessons Comes Down To Good Habits
Every kid I’ve taught that did very well in their guitar lessons had 3 or more of these habits.
Yes, some kids are naturally more resilient than others, and having a naturally curious attitude to learning might be an individual personality trait, but all of the traits can become habits over time with the right encouragement at home.
The key to success in your childrens guitar lessons can be directly affected by your involvement in the learning that takes place outside of the lesson.
You’re going to invest thousands of dollars in their musical education, but you also need to invest time into setting them up for success at home.
Doing so will be the most important investment you ever make into their guitar lessons.
Parents Set Their Kids Up For Success
While we’ve reached the end of this article, in part 3 we will be exploring 5 traits shared by parents of successful music students.
Up until now, everything has been about our kids and the traits and habits they need to be successful in their guitar lessons.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the more involved you can be in your child’s learning outside of their lessons, and the more proactive you can be in creating good habits for them, the more it will ensure long-term success in learning guitar.
See you in Part 3 where we’ll be looking at the traits shared by parents of successful young guitar learners.
About The Author – Kids Guitar Lesson Specialist – Michael Gumley
Michael Gumley is a professional guitar teacher and childrens guitar lessons specialist with over 15 years of experience. He is a published author of 12 books on guitar, three of which are specifically designed for kids, and has developed the curriculum for Guitar Ninjas, an innovative approach to teaching guitar to children.
Michael is known for his fun and friendly teaching style, which combines humour, creativity, and a deep love of music. He has successfully taught hundreds of kids to play guitar, inspiring a love of music that lasts a lifetime.
With his patient and enthusiastic approach, Michael is passionate about helping children develop the skills and confidence they need to become successful young musicians. He believes that music education is not just about learning to play an instrument, but about fostering creativity, discipline, and a sense of accomplishment that carries over into all aspects of life.
When he’s not teaching, Michael can often be found playing guitar with his band, exploring new music, or enjoying the great outdoors. He is dedicated to helping children discover the joy of music and looks forward to sharing his passion for guitar with young learners around the world.
If you’re a Melbourne-based parent looking for guitar lessons near me for your child, look no further than taking lessons with Michael at Melbourne Guitar Academy.