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10/31/2010

Comments

Brandtschneider

I am sure this requires a lot of coordination, discipline, and $$. Any figures or plans on how to implement this? I'm starting band kids in 4th grade and I'm struggling to get instruments in their hands at that stage.

Any evidence that they stick with it more or less than the traditional system?

Dr. RizzRazz

- - I am sure this requires a lot of coordination, discipline, and $$.
** Knowing the above would only help guide appropriate decisions. It's informational, especially for teachers and parents who want to start children on instruments.

- -Any figures or plans on how to implement this? I'm starting band kids in 4th grade and I'm struggling to get instruments in their hands at that stage.
** How so struggling? Don't have instruments? . . . To be clear, I don't think children should start early on instruments unless the above readiness list is met.

Dr. RizzRazz

To YUNiversity:
For guitar, a typical age is usually around 7 or 8. Some start very early but there are dangers with starting too early if it's not anything by completely enjoyable for the child. It needs to be "play" even up until 5 or 6 years old. After that, there can be 15-30 minutes of day of practice and some formal instruction from a kid-friendly and professional teacher. Some early guitar programs start at 5 or 6 years old and are based on Suzuki-style instruction. Play by ear and play by modeling. No note reading. This is key at the earliest ages that you avoid note reading. The less information, the better. The more playing and enjoying music better—whether that's with or without the guitar.

I would strongly recommend buying a ukulele (or actually two, so you can play together) and play melodies for him. Then he can pluck and you can finger it. Show him by demonstrating. Start simple. When he's done, you're done. No pushing for anything extra.

Also, play great music for him. I recommend Julian Bream for classical, also Ana Vidovic is tremendous. For jazz, no less than Django Reinhardt (early jazz). He's a pure genius.

I'm sure there are plenty of other greats: John McLaughlin (with Shakti, especially "Natural Elements[great Indian fusion]), Charlie Christian (40's jazz) and Al DiMeola (70's jazz).

Find and share YouTube videos with him. Ask a great guitar teacher what he should do while he's growing what I call "instrumental babble." This stage can last a few years, so you have to be patient about it. Let him lead the way. Listen to him and his needs.

To be clear, NO formal instruction at this age. Maybe by 5 years old, but starting early does not necessarily breed long-term success. There is NO hurry. Just enjoy.

Hope this helps.
Feel free to ask questions.
Best,
Eric

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