Learning a musical instrument can be a rewarding experience for your child, or a great bonding activity for the whole family. Did you know that training in music can actually improve brain functionality? Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have found that both children and adults with extensive musical training show much more advanced functionality for working memory and processing speed when compared with those with no musical background. Could now be the perfect time for you to start learning to play the guitar?
Getting started There are many different types of guitar that you can learn. Your choice will generally be decided by the type of music that you wish to play. It could be a good idea to make a trip to a local music shop to try the different models and decide which one you like the feel of. When trying to get your child interested, consider ways to make practicing the guitar into a game to keep them engaged. Acoustic guitar An acoustic guitar is played by picking at the strings with fingers or a pick. The vibration of the strings makes the sound which is made louder by the hollow body of the guitar. A nylon string acoustic guitar is a common choice for beginners as the strings are easier on fingers tired from all that practice. Steel strings are also an option - these are louder to play. There are many affordable models of acoustic guitars on the market that are perfect for those getting started. Electric guitar In the past decade, sales of electric guitars have fallen from 1.5 million to 1 million, but don’t let that put you off giving it a go yourself. They are great fun to play but do need to be accompanied by an amplifier or some software with an audio interface and headphones. Electric guitars can be easier to play because they have a smaller body and thinner neck. Also as the amplifier is used to control the sound, it requires a lighter touch on the strings. Whichever instrument you choose to learn, it is important to remember that you will need to put in many hours of practice to perfect the art. If you are learning an instrument as a family, try to make the learning fun by getting everyone involved. And remember the effort is worth it because music really can help make you smarter.