Frequently Asked Questions
When should a child begin guitar lessons?
The answer to this question varies from child to child. If the child interacts well with adults and possesses a good attention span, between the ages of 8-10 would be a good time to begin guitar lessons. However, the success of the child will largely depend on parental involvement both in the lessons (taking notes, observing) and supervising the practice sessions at home. Although I don't require parental involvement during the lesson at the Academy, it is strongly encouraged. It is important to try to make learning an adventure, not work for the child.
What are the benefits to learning to play guitar?
- Improves self esteem
- Increases fine motor skills such as hand/eye coordination, especially for young children
- Learning to read music enhances reading comprehension and math skills, based on research
- With parental involvement, it fosters positive parent-child relationships and communication
- Learning something new is fun!
My child has a learning disability. Can he or she still take guitar lessons?
Absolutely. Having worked for several years in a public charter school teaching a classroom of students with varying learning abilities, I am experienced in teaching students with learning disabilities. Although I understand that learning disabilities can sometimes present a challenge, I encourage parents to not let this deter them from deciding against their child taking lessons. In fact, learning a musical instrument often helps to improve self esteem and other academics.
Am I too old to begin lessons?
Absolutely not. I have enjoyed great success with older beginners. We are never too old to learn something fun and new like the guitar!
What kind of instrument should I buy?
This is a very important question and makes the difference between a pleasant or frustrating experience in the beginning. A poor quality instrument (such as First Act, sold at WalMart) will be more difficult to play and will not sound good. Children under the age of 9 should consider a half size guitar. The guitar head should not be higher than the chest with a properly sized guitar. I also recommend children learning acoustic guitar to begin with a nylon string guitar instead of a steel string guitar. It will be a more comfortable experience on their hand with a more versatile instrument. I recommend the Yamaha CGS for a half size nylon string guitar, which can be found by following this link...(you will need to choose 1/2 size by scrolling down on "select a style")
I recommend the Yamaha CG122 for a full size nylon string guitar, found by following this link...
Yamaha makes high quality, inexpensive instruments. Any CG nylon string model would be suitable for a complete beginner. The links above are only suggestions.
I also recommend a music stand, tuner, and guitar foot stool or support for acoustic guitar students.
What can I expect from guitar lessons at the Guitar Academy?
At your first lesson, we will discuss your individual musical goals and devise a plan for achieving these goals. Each lesson will be structured toward obtaining these objectives. In the context of the student's musical style of interest, all aspects of right and left hand technique are covered. I attempt to structure a student's lesson plan based on their musical aspirations and needs. You can always expect the highest level of professional and ethical standards to be followed.
What makes you qualified to teach guitar?
There are no professional standards or requirements to be a "guitar teacher" (there should be!). Most importantly, I have years of teaching experience and completed professional teaching credentials and certifications in Florida. I have taught for nearly 20 years and nearly 1,000 students. I have performed worldwide and in the United States within a variety of settings (solo, chamber, and in pit orchestras). I have two guitar performance degrees in which I studied under some of the best classical players in the world. For more information about me, visit the "About Us" section of the website.