Without proper knowledge, buying a child their first guitar can be a daunting experience for parents. When Moms and Dads walk into the music store, they face a vast number of options and choices that will ultimately dictate their child's music experience. Making the wrong decision can have a severe impact on the amount of enjoyment a child gets out of playing, and whether or not they'll stick with learning, so it's vital to get it right the first time. Thankfully, Antonio Padula, the founder, and director of operations of a small studio in Kirkland, Quebec, has a wealth of knowledge both as a music professional and instructor as well as a parent.
Antonio Padula's 3 simple tips to ensure you find your child's first guitar:
1. Make the right choice between acoustic and electric.
Sometimes parents don't have a lot of choices when faced with the question of acoustic or electric for their child's first guitar, because kids who will be learning guitar through school are often required to have acoustic guitars. In cases where both types are an option, the most significant consideration should be what kind of music the child likes, and is, therefore, most likely to want to use the guitar for. For instance, a kid who enjoys heavy rock music will probably enjoy playing an electric guitar more than an acoustic guitar, because they'll be able to learn their favorite songs more accurately.
2. Don't go for the cheapest option possible.
Parents are often tempted to purchase one of the cheapest options presented to them for fear that their child might not stick with playing and that their investment might end up collecting dust in the corner. This is a grave mistake. The playability of the lowest-end instruments is generally highly sub-par, and playing a poorly built guitar can be frustrating for even the best of guitarists, let alone someone just starting. By spending just a little bit more and buying something in the low-mid range, parents can ensure that their child has a guitar that won't make learning any more difficult than it has to be, which will positively influence the likelihood of their child sticking with it.
3. Take the child to the store to pick out the guitar.
It can be very tempting to purchase a child's first guitar in secret and surprise them with it, especially if it's a birthday or Christmas gift. Sometimes this works out well, and sometimes it doesn't. There are many reasons why having the child present when picking out their first guitar is of benefit. First, it's essential that the child has the chance to sit down and hold some guitars to figure out which types are the most comfortable for them. Secondly, by allowing them to pick their guitar, it's more likely that the child will emotionally connect with that instrument. Both of these factors can go a long way in ensuring that kids enjoy playing and stick out the rough, early stages of learning.
Learning an instrument is an incredibly beneficial experience for a child, and the guitar is a popular and fun option that many kids embrace. However, just grabbing any old guitar isn't the best way that parents can ensure their child not only has an enjoyable experience playing but also sticks with learning long term. By making the right choice between acoustic and electric guitars based on the child's musical tastes, not limiting themselves to only the cheapest options, and giving the child a chance to pick out their instrument, parents can be confident that their child's first guitar will be the right one. After all, Moms and Dads want to ensure that their child has the best experience possible learning to play an instrument.
About: Antonio Padula is the founder and main teacher of a small studio, a musical education program for children and adolescents. In the studio's ten years of operation, Tony Padula has become a staple of the arts community in Kirkland, Quebec. He is praised for his combination of patience and drive, encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through hard work and passion.