In a new commitment to providing excellent guitar instruction for students ages 4 through 8 the Preparatory has launched a Suzuki guitar program. Suzuki music education is a time-tested, highly successful method of teaching young children in a developmentally appropriate and fun way! A few facts about the program:
Appropriately-sized guitar: Children must obtain a classical guitar with nylon strings of an appropriate quality. A good general sizing guideline is that when standing next to the instrument, the guitar should come up to the student’s waist. You can obtain guitars at the following online or brick and mortar stores:
Students without the appropriate instrument may not be able participate in the program. Please reach out to department co-chair Zoë Stewart if you have any questions before purchasing an instrument.
Note: smaller (aka “fractional”) guitars are generally sized on string length. Assuming an average percentile of height for their age, young kids (4 – 6) will do best with a ~ 44cm string length; 7 – 10ish with a 51-55 string length; ages 9 – 12 a 55 – 58 string length. Often around age 12 or 13 students can manage a full size guitar.
Appropriately-sized portable chair/stool: Parents will have to bring their child’s seat to lessons and group classes. Seats should have no arms, and allow the student’s legs to be at an approximately 90 degree angle (very flat lap) when are flat on the floor. Kids’-size drum stools are comfortable, break down well and adjustable; however collapsible step stools or even small armless chairs can work well also.
Guitarist’s footstool: This is essential for proper seating position.
Recording: students must listen to the recording of the book 1 repertoire very regularly.
Tuner: There are many smartphone apps that work well to tune your child’s guitar. I also recommend the snark tuner that is quite accurate and easy to use.