Teaching a 9 year old girl how to learn guitar is not an easy assignment. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when her Dad called me up and asked if I would teach her how to play. Usually kids fingers are not strong enough, and arms are not long enough at 9 years old so I knew from the start that this would be a challenge. So I started thinking about how I was going to go about my first lesson because obviously teaching a 20 year old how to learn guitar and 9 year old how to learn guitar require a completely different strategy.
When I showed up to her house I had it all planned out. I was going to tell the little girl to grab a CD with her favorite song on it. Then I would learn how to play the song real quick and show her the basics of how to play it.
I honestly had no idea she would bring out a Grease CD. That was far from what I was expecting, but it turned out it was a great choice. Being a song I was already familiar with “Summer Lovin" and that it is probably the simplest song to learn on guitar, it was absolutely perfect.
I spent the first 15 minutes of our 30 minute lesson going over the song with her and she was loving it. Unfortunately, the only note she was was able to play was the low E string of the guitar open because she did not need to press down on the frets. Her fingers were definitely not in any condition to learn how to play guitar. I told her that she really needed to practice everyday if she wanted to learn. She said that she would.
As I was leaving, I told her Dad exactly what happened. That her fingers were weak but if she practices she will learn. I was thinking in my head it would be a great if she did practice but I really did not think she would stick in there and actually learn how to play guitar.
At least this is what I thought. When I went back over to the house the next week her Dad told me she had been practicing and sure enough she was able to play the melody for the Greece song. I was so happy that she had been practicing I was speechless. This was truly a ray of hope for her to learn guitar. Her fingers were strong enough!
Since I was able to grab her interest, which is what you need to do when you start to teach yourself, I was able to go about teaching her.
As the weeks went by she was able to play scales and she was able to play some basic chords. It took months for her fingers to get strong enough to play most of the chords though.
Even though she was still struggling, she was practicing, and with her motivation she was able to learn how to play guitar.
This goes to show with practice and determination anyone can learn how to play guitar. Just stick at it and don't give up.
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This article was written by, Jeff L Morse a guitar teacher.
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