One of the biggest fears that most parents experience is their child not being able to handle the challenges thrown at them from all quarters of life...
The problem is not with the capability of the child to absorb the pressure and excel at multiple things, it's the lack of adequate development of the skills & work ethics required to accomplish this...
Over exposure to technology & a highly sedentary and less creative life style adds to these challenges...
Here's a list of skills & work ethics, that I feel are beneficial to perform well in any situation...
We'll also see how learning guitar can help develop a child in each of these areas...
1) Patience: One of the first things that I learnt on my guitar playing journey is the importance of patience, and I constantly instill this value into all my students.
In case of children, it's not just about the patience of the child, but also the parent who want's the child to experience and get better at it.
How fast somebody can learn and perform a piece of music is highly dependent on the existing skill level and strengths.
Somethings might come easy to the child, whereas other things might take a while, which is completely normal.
The child definitely benefits from this process and can build high levels of patience through the learning years.
Parents on the other hand have to be even more patient and not push the child beyond the work prescribed by the teacher.
The constant patience always pays off not only in their guitar playing, but in all walks of life.
2) Observation: Learning guitar requires students to pay high attention to details, whether it's learning a piece of music, or observing the instructions provided by the teacher on the guitar. Children also start observing their favorite guitar players and musicians to imbibe their positive qualities which in itself makes them better at this skill. I've experienced big changes in the observation skills of children in the class as they develop their guitar playing & musical skills.
3) Listening Skills: One of the biggest problems with most children is the lack of good listening skills. Learning guitar & music is a constant process of listening to various sounds and then attempting to produce them on the instrument. Along with this, there's considerable learning involved in the process of producing sounds your hear in your head through the Guitar. There's a high amount of focus put into constant training on developing the musical ear of students during my lessons. This is bound to have a direct impact on the listening skills of students and will prove useful in later life.
4) Persistence: Probably one of the most important of all these skills, as this is something that cannot be taught verbally or in writing. Learning a piece of music, or overcoming a challenge in your guitar playing, without giving up is something that can be only experienced. When the child goes through this consistently over a long period of time through the lessons, they'll automatically carry forward the same approach towards tackling other challenges in life and come out a winner always.
5) Composure: The worst effect of the today's lifestyle is the loss of ability in children to stay calm when dealing with challenges. The joy of learning music and playing an instrument is proven to be highly beneficial in relaxation.
All the skills listed above also contribute towards developing the composure of the child indirectly.
6) Confidence: Setting guitar playing and musical goals, and consistently achieving those goals is a direct confidence booster. The knowledge of accomplishing something on the guitar that you considered as hard in the beginning works wonders for ones confidence while handling other things in life. I've seen children becoming more and more confident about learning, playing and performing as they go through the continuous improvement process through the lessons.
7) Clarity Of Thought: This is very important, as just have confidence without any clarity is a recipe for disaster. I constantly encourage my students and help them set clear guitar playing and musical goals and not getting distracted on the path towards their goals. Students are bound to carry the same work ethic towards other things in life, be it education, career, sport or life in general...
8) Team Work: A large part of learning an instrument is about the joy of being around like minded musicians and collaborating to create music. Children get to understand and apply the skills required to be a team player and how to eventually lead the team towards creating great music.
9) Problem Solving: One of the most important learning that my students get is the ability to analyze a problem in their guitar playing, identify the causes, and resolve it from the root. This is highly important, and probably the biggest reason for faster progress on guitar. When children consistently practice this skill in the right way, its imperative to come handy in other life situations.
10) Adaptability & Evolution: One of the best things you learn as a guitarist & a musician is to constantly adapt and grow continuously. Children realize very soon that the end result of playing a piece of music to their satisfaction, is only the consequence of focus and attention towards the process that was laid out for them through the lessons.
The benefits of learning guitar is definitely not limited to development of the above skills.
As good as it sounds when you think about our children developing in these areas, it's more important to understand the role that we as parents, need to play in ensuring their success on this journey.
For guitar lessons that are specially designed around the needs of children, and focused on helping them experience the benefits highlighted in this article, head over to Guitar Teacher Pune For Children for more information.