Is your child keen to learn guitar, or are you a keen guitarist looking for the kids to follow in your footsteps? Learning a musical instrument can be a great skill, even if your child doesn’t want to be a professional musician. But then, each child is different and learns differently. There are several schools of musical learning that you might want to take a look at before choosing a tutor. We run them down below.
Each method has its own system and goals, but all have been proven successful.
If you’re looking for more information about guitars, techniques, learning, or equipment, Trusty Guitar has some great online advice.
The Orff Schulwerk method uses singing, dancing, acting, and percussion instruments to teach children about music by engaging their mind and body, and bringing play into the classroom with stories and poetry. Voice is taught first, then percussion using the body with claps and stamps, before the instrument is introduced.
The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki method was introduced in Japan. Created by violinist Shinichi Suzuki, it takes a child’s ability to learn their native language and applies that to music. Suzuki called it the ‘mother tongue’ approach and incorporated memory, repetition, listening, and vocabulary. Parents are also encouraged to support and motivate their child, as they would when they were first learning to speak. As well as the violin, the Suzuki Method is now used to learn to play the piano, flute, and guitar.
Fabulously named Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly believed that the best musical education started early and consisted of what he thought was of ‘high artistic value.’ Kids who learn via the Kodaly method starts with learning pitch with hand signals to visualize notes and ‘solfege’ (do re mi, etc.) singing.
Kodaly introduces new things based on your child’s development, so they’ll never be encouraged to learn something that’s beyond the capabilities of a child their age. Things like notation come along much later after games, movement, songs, and other exercises.
The Dalcroze Method
The Dalcroze method, sometimes called Dalcroze Eurhythmics, was developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, music educator, and music theorist. He used the body as the main instrument of learning – children listen to a piece of music, specifically to its rhythm, and express what they hear through movement. This connects music and mind, movement and body, and enables kids to think about sound and improvisation before they move on to play their guitar.
Now, while these different schools of learning all have their individual goals and ideas, there are crossovers. If you think no one method is exactly right for your child, take a look around, and see if you can find a tutor who combines elements of different methods and go from there. An excellent musical education takes years. Get it right, and your child will thank you for it. You’ll thank yourself, too!