Parents make a lot of wonderful discoveries as they watch their children grow up and experience new things. There are many lessons learned along the way, but nothing can prepare a parent for the moment their toddler discovers music. No, we’re not referring to the adorable bounces and shakes they do when an upbeat song plays on the radio. We’re talking about the moment your child discovers they can make their own music.
My toddler loves to boogie down and quickly mastered his own version of the “air guitar” so naturally, I thought getting him his own guitar would be a great way to encourage his creativity. I bought him one of these “kids guitars” from Guitar Sumo, and when it arrived, his face lit up in a way I hadn’t seen since Christmas morning.
I couldn’t get the package open fast enough. His tiny hands clawed and pulled at me until they were wrapped around his new instrument and I’m certain they’ve been attached ever since. My ears are ringing and throbbing thanks to the never-ending strumming of those kid-sized strings. But as badly as I pine for silence, I wouldn’t dare deprive him of a single music-making opportunity. While his so-called “music” fills my ears, his joy fills my heart. And it’s the magic of this little gift that I now can’t stop telling the world about.
Think your toddler is too young?
If you are anything like me, you may find yourself wondering if buying your little one a guitar would be a waste of money. Wouldn’t they be better off playing with plastic automobiles or building blocks? I couldn’t imagine that my toddler’s tiny, clumsy hands could benefit from a legitimate musical instrument. Boy, was I wrong!
Anyone can learn to play the guitar, regardless of their age. But learning to play an instrument is especially beneficial to children. If you are unsure about whether your child is ready to learn to play the guitar, consider the following proven benefits of children learning to play a musical instrument:
- Teaches the child patience and perseverance
- Teaches responsibility
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves reading and comprehension skills
- Exposes children to different cultures
- Enhances coordination
- Encourages the development of problem-solving skills
- Encourages self-expression
- Boosts memory
- Improves social skills
Soooo.. what guitar should I get for my child?
Shopping for a guitar for your child is a little different than shopping for a more traditional, adult-sized guitar. To make sure you find the right guitar for your child, you need to know what to look for.
The first thing to keep in mind is that while there are plenty of toy guitars available that are specifically marketed to children, these items are typically best avoided if you want to encourage your child to develop a true, long-term interest in music. Cheap toy guitars may be fun at first, but it’s important to get a good quality instrument that will help your child develop their musical ability.
This is also why it’s important to find a guitar that is easy for your child to play. How comfortable your child feels when playing the instrument plays a major role in how likely they are to continue playing it. Take into consideration the size of the instrument and the size of your child when deciding which guitar is right for them. You want to avoid buying a guitar that is too big or too heavy for your little one to play.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to empty your wallet to pay for a good quality guitar. There is a kids’ guitar for every budget. There are also different styles to consider, based on the individual interests of your child. Girls don’t necessarily need different guitars than boys, but they may enjoy some of the fun designs available from companies like Fender. You can also purchase guitar straps with fun designs as a way to highlight your child’s unique personality, but you’ll want to look for a guitar that has buttons for a strap if you plan on having them use one.
It’s also important to remember that some guitar companies may advertise their products in a way that encourages you to buy more than you need. You don’t necessarily have to buy the starter pack just because your child has never played the guitar before. Consider what accessories you would like to have, as well as which ones aren’t necessary.
The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a guitar for your child is that it’s supposed to be a fun experience. While there are many benefits to a child learning to play the guitar, you want your little one to enjoy themselves. You may find yourself enjoying it as well, despite the effect it has on your ears.