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My husband loves playing guitar so I’ve anticipated that at some point our children would express an interest in learning how to play guitar just like their dad. However, I never would have guessed it would happen in the way that it did.
I imagined that when one of the children expressed an interest, we’d find a music store that offers guitar lessons for kids. And we’d somehow fit another outside commitment into our schedule. I was surprised when the opportunity arose for our children to try guitar lessons from the comfort of home with Gentle Guitar, guitar lessons for kids.
Initially, I was hesitant to try private guitar lessons via Skype because I wasn’t sure how effective the lessons could be. I love the idea of music lessons from home but I mean, really, guitar lessons with a teacher who is from New Zealand? We live in Wisconsin, in the U.S., so how was this going to work?
But when I mentioned the opportunity to our son, Kellan, who is seven-years-old, he immediately said that he’d love to do it! He was eager for the opportunity!
After seeing his excitement over it, I knew this was a great opportunity. (I decided not to include our five-year-old girls in the lessons.) It’s a perfect situation for Kellan to learn a musical instrument and not have one more “place to be”. We already very busy homeschool schedule so this is ideal.
My first communication with Inga at Gentle Guitar was through email and she was professional, friendly, and responsive. We were given blocks of time to choose from for our lessons, so I picked a day and time that fit well into our schedule and began to get things in place for the first 30-minute lesson.
To prepare for Kellan’s first lesson, I had to set up a Skype account and print out the included workbook packet that we received from Gentle Guitar. Since I’d never used Skype before I wasn’t sure how difficult or easy it would be to set up. I was pleased when setting up the account and logging on turned out to be fairly simple.
For Kellan’s first lesson we set up the laptop at the dining room table with the guitar and printed lesson pages nearby.
Inga from Gentle Guitar introduced herself and explained how the lessons would work. She answered all questions we had so were able to get started with the lessons pretty quickly.
For the teaching component, Kellan followed along on his worksheets, filling in information and answering questions as needed. He was then prompted to pick up the guitar and practice what he was learning. His teacher watched and corrected as needed.
She was very kind and gentle in her approach so Kellan felt comfortable responding to her and practicing for her.
And the result? Kellan loved his first lesson! Afterwards, when he actually asked to practice I was pleasantly surprised. It’s great that he is learning to play an instrument without being overwhelmed by it. He is enthusiastic and confident about his ability to learn which is exactly what I was hoping for!
Kellan’s eagerness to learn and practice has continued. Even in this fairly short amount of time, it’s clear that he is learning and improving. It’s been exciting to see his interest grow to learn a musical instrument and I credit the Gentle Guitar approach to that.
Why Gentle Guitar works well for children:
- Easy and fun for the child to learn guitar
- Material is age-appropriate
- Good learning pace and not overwhelming for the child
- Convenient lessons via Skype
- Child can learn from the comfort of their home
- Child receives exposure to new technology of Skype (if they haven’t already)
- Teachers are in countries across the globe ~ great opportunity for a geography lesson!
- Competitive rates
- Customizable lessons for gifted learners and those with disabilities
- Customizable packages for various budgets
- You, as the parent, don’t need any prior musical knowledge
Private Skype Lessons are for ages 5 1/2 to 12+; children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult. You can sign up any time and actually book a trial lesson for FREE!!
Things to consider before signing up for Gentle Guitar:
- A parent needs to be with the child (younger than age 10) for the lessons. While this may be a little extra work for you, there is definitely a benefit. You will know exactly what your child is learning so you can help and guide them when they practice.
- You’ll need to minimize distractions during lesson time. This could prove to be difficult if you have active toddlers in your home. I asked our five-year-old girls to stay in their room during Kellan’s lessons. They didn’t. At one point I thought they were going to derail the lesson so I had to intervene but it worked out. Three years ago that scenario would have been much more difficult.
- The pricing for private Skype lessons is competitive. It’s not the “cheap” option. However, there is great value in these lessons and many benefits to the Gentle Guitar approach. Gentle Guitar also offers group lessons so you can have two or more of your children take lessons together. Or you can take lessons with another family.
- Your child will benefit most with a student-sized guitar. Kellan completed his lessons using a full-size adult guitar which was clearly way too big for him. But he did the best he could and was able to complete the assignments. After the three private lessons were complete he wanted to continue to learn guitar so we bought him a 3/4-sized guitar. This allows him to learn and practice much more easily.
Kellan loves practicing on his new guitar and loves that he is actually learning how to play!!
As online education grows, Gentle Guitar is at the forefront of the trend as they specialize in online guitar lessons specifically for children. Stay up-to-date on all that Gentle Guitar has to offer by following them on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube!