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guitar lessons the right choice?

(11 Posts)
Mrsfullhouse Thu 24-Apr-14 11:04:48

Dd is 7 and at a prep school, she has been been earmarked for a music and drama scholarship in a few years time due to her 'exceptional singing voice!'. This has come as a bit of a revaluation to us, we always thought she had a lovely voice, but apparently it's rather special (something to do with pitch, tone and strength) Dh and I are tone deaf so have no idea!
Any way, enough of the surprised boasting...
They have recommended that she have an instrument to back her singing. We have a piano, but with another baby on the way, it's becoming a space eater and the consideration is to get rid of it. She's never shown much interest in it.

So the question is, which instrument? The snob in me thinks violin, flute etc to fit in with the School, but realistically, and practically, I see her singing along and strumming a guitar.

They do lessons at school, but they are £40 an hour!! I was thinking of home tutoring etc. Any advice welcome, we're both total musical dunces.

Mrsfullhouse Thu 24-Apr-14 11:07:08


(pregnancy sausage fingers)

OldBeanbagz Thu 24-Apr-14 13:10:59

The guitar is a lovely instrument and you're right, it is something she could sing along to. Personally i wouldn't pick an instrument which she couldn't combine with her singing.

What does your DD think about it? Does she have a preference on instrument? Does she want to play in an orchestra? I think it's got to be something she wants to play or she might not practice.

My own DD only started guitar lessons as she was told couldn't she couldn't start flute until her adult front top teeth were through. Six years later she's still playing and she's also been having piano lessons for the last 2½ years. She's found both of them useful with music lessons at senior school.

We're paying £13 for a 30 minute lesson on guitar at home having just moved from lessons at school. Lesson at school are £15/30mins. I don't think home tutoring would work if you're not musical. I'm not either and would not attempt to teach my DC.

ReallyTired Thu 24-Apr-14 13:20:10

I think that a twenty minute lesson is more than enough for a child begining a musical instrument. Certainly with guitar your fingers have to toughen up and a child would feel wretched after an hour's lesson. Lots of guitar teachers won't take young children because they have to go through a pain barrier while their fingers toughen up.

If you want your child to get a music scholarship then they will probably need more than one instruement to grade 5 standard by the time they are eleven. You need to think about an instrument that she can play in an orchestra. Schools that offer scholarships want someone who can contribute to the musical life of the school.

As far a musical instrument goes, I think your daughter should choose the instrument she fancies. I would start off with one instrument and make sure she practices every day for at least 20 minutes. If she does have musical talent (and desire!) then she will make rapid progess. When she reaches grade 3/4 then you can add a second instrument. If she has a solid musical grounding in one instrument then she will quickly pick up another instrument.

turkeyboots Thu 24-Apr-14 13:21:20

DD is learning guitar. Lessons are from the local Music Co-op and the teacher goes to school. Similar in price to the previous poster.

From day one DD could get a nice sound from it. Which is more tha I can say for the recorder we had for a bit.

Mrsfullhouse Thu 24-Apr-14 14:46:38

Update... Just picked up guitar from the music shop and explained the situation- going to teach her myself until we've decided how to proceed with lessons, she was very enthusiastic until I asked which way up the guitar went, at which point she said..'please don't teach her yourself, you may put her offmusic for life...'

I think she may have a point.

The school of our choice, and the school our prep is the main feeder for, has a specific 'music and drama' scholarship for theatrical types! The purely musical scholarships are out of our reach, most children in dd's class aiming for this have been playing since 4.

So, an instrument to support singing ie piano, guitar harp would be better.

So... School or private lessons? The school ones are £19 for half an hour and are of course aimed at little ones.

Mrsfullhouse Thu 24-Apr-14 14:51:01

Oh, also dd loves guitar, but not had much thought about any instrument, except extreme dislike of recorder!!

ReallyTired Thu 24-Apr-14 14:57:05

Can you play guitar? If you try to teach her yourself she may pick up lots of bad habits. My son tried to teach himself guitar before having individual lessons and he picked up some horrendous habits. There are lots of videos on youtube, but they are variable in quality.

Why don't you ask the music shop if they have the details of any guitar teachers. It worth seeing if your county music service provides group lessons. If you live in or near bedfordshire something like this would be ideal for trying out instruments

schilke Thu 24-Apr-14 15:18:58

Well if they offer guitar lessons at school then I'd go for that.

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