Are you looking for a musical instrument for your child? Are you struggling to work out whether your child should take up brass, wind, piano or string? The choices are vast and narrowing them down to one can be tough for parents.
The guitar is absolutely worth putting on the shortlist for any boy or girl, no matter their age or size, personality traits, or musical experience. Read on to find out why.
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Why Play a Musical Instrument?
When you are considering musical instrument choices for a child, it is always worth refocusing on why you want them to learn a musical instrument in the first place. Your reasons may include:
For non-screen based fun
Having a new, enjoyable hobby is probably high on the list of reasons you want your child to learn an instrument. Most parents are pretty keen on reducing the allure of excessive screen-time and are looking for constructive alternatives. Playing the guitar is both fun and beneficial to so many aspects of childhood development. It’s also one of the more constructive out-of-school activities to choose from.
Learning an instrument can present your child with more opportunities to make friends. They could join a band or orchestra, or meet new friends through group lessons.
To foster some important character traits
Taking up an instrument can help your child work on some vital life skills and positive personality traits. Dedicating time to learning and practising music can improve:
- Perseverance and resilience
Learning an instrument amply rewards commitment and good time-management, which is an important lesson to learn when young.
Because learning music is good for brain development
Many academic studies over the years have proven the links between learning an instrument and getting better results at school. In particular, German scientists who studied elementary school students in Berlin found instrument learners to have higher non-verbal IQs and even to be better at spelling. The reason behind this? Playing and listening to music is thought to stimulate multiple areas of the brain.
Learning guitar, like other instruments, can provide all these benefits. However, there are some more unique benefits to choosing the guitar as your child’s first instrument, as explained below.
Why Choose the Guitar for your Child?
Here are the nine reasons that will help you to choose a guitar as the first musical instrument for your child.
1. Affordable and Easily Sourced
A look at your local music instrument store in Dubai will quickly reveal how accessible the guitar is for children. You’ll find guitars in a range of sizes and available in a variety of prices.
Smaller guitars come in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 7/8 sizes. A 1/4 size guitar means that your children can learn from as young as 4 or 5. A 1/2 size usually suits six-to-eight-year-olds while a 3/4 size is a good fit for eight-to-11-year-olds. A 7/8 size guitar bridges the gap between young teens and pre-teens who are not quite big enough for a full-size instrument.
2. Lightweight and Portable
Do you tend to feel sorry for the kids heading into school buckling under the weight or size of cellos, tubas and bassoons? While it’s not the smallest instrument, the guitar is very lightweight and easy for most kids to carry about.
3. Straightforward to Learn
Like with all instruments, truly mastering the guitar will take time, dedication and patience. However, it is definitely one of the more straightforward instruments to learn. Unlike some, it doesn’t take too long to get a good sound out of a guitar. Mastering a few simple tunes or basic chords will not take any child too long.
There are plenty of qualified, experienced guitar teachers in Dubai and your child’s school may be able to put you in touch with one. Plenty of helpful resources are available online, too.
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4. Good for Coordination
The guitar is great for promoting better coordination. The left and right hands have to work independently to produce a good sound. Plus, the brain has to convert written music into particular motor patterns. This makes for a really good workout for both fine and gross motor skills.
5. Great for allowing your child to play the music they love
If your kid already loves listening to music, chances are, they’ll already have a few favourite bands or songs they’d like to play along with. Having role models is a great motivating factor and there are so many great guitarists to emulate, from Chuck Berry and Eric Clapton to modern guitar legends like Nita Strauss and John Mayer. Perhaps your child may love the idea of being the next big guitar-playing singer-songwriter. Move over Ed Sheeran and George Ezra!
6. Designed to be Played in Multiple Styles
The guitar crosses a range of musical styles that few other instruments can match. Your child may start out learning classical guitar with their teacher, but the basic skills will quickly allow them to diversify as their musical tastes develop. Jazz, flamenco, classical, pop, blues and rock are all popular. Your child could also move onto the electric guitar, bass, or the 12-string guitar as their confidence and abilities grow.
7. Helpful When Socializing
The guitar is a really sociable instrument option, particularly for teens. The thought of joining a band will be a big draw to many.
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8. A Great Stress-Busting Tool
Sitting and playing the guitar is a really mindful activity. Having a guitar on hand is a really useful stress-busting tool when other pressures get too much. Playing and listening to this instrument is a particularly soothing way of taking a break.
9. Not Too Loud!
Finally, the acoustic guitar is a relatively quiet instrument compared to other instruments popular with children, like the recorder, trumpet and violin. Some parents may consider this an important factor when they are going to need to supervise many hours of practice in the early days of learning the instrument!
The guitar really is a great choice of musical instrument for your child; it’s universally popular, which makes it easy for parents to find both an affordable instrument and a great teacher. It’s also easy even for beginners to produce a good sound (regardless of the musical equipment brand you choose), which is great for building confidence. And when you consider how popular the guitar is amongst adults, your child will almost certainly be finding a hobby for life with the guitar.
Amrit Shivlani is the Founder and CEO at Music Majlis, a community-driven e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of musical instruments and equipment for every musician and sound professional. The company’s goal is to make music-making, recording, producing and mixing accessible and available to everyone.