Recently my 8 year old niece has expressed an interest in learning guitar. I've agreed to give her weekly lessons but having never taught anyone before I've been mulling over how to approach it. Here is what I've come up with for her first lesson I would be interested to know if I'm being realistic in my expectations.
I've bought her a 3/4 guitar, music stand, "The Guitarist's Way Book 1" and a set of colourful sand timers that range from 2mins to 10mins.
first off I've decided that I'm not going to have her sit in the correct posture yet. I think it's only going to complicate things at the moment. I'll just have her sit on a chair, guitar on one leg. I'm going to have her play the first two exercises in the book Apoyando. - They both use open strings, and simple crochet and minim rhythms - I'm choosing rest stroke firstly so that she plays with some volume/tone and secondly to ensure that she alternates her fingers. I'm going to give her the 2 minute sand timer and ask that her mom/dad sits with her and does 2 minutes of concentrated practice each day.
One thing I have noticed about her - and I'm sure all budding guitarists - is her impatience. She wants to be able to play something she knows. I'm sympathetic to her eagerness, so I'm going to teacher her the tune to Frozen's "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman". The opening phrase is made up of all open strings apart from one A note played in second position on the G string (Tune goes G,G,G,D,G.B,A,B) I think this is ideal because that A note is the first fretted note I would want to teacher her since it's fretted with the middle finger. But my main reason for choosing "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" is that it begins with a percussive rhythm she can tap out on the body of the guitar. I'm hoping that she'll gain a little confidence/motivation from being able to play the percussive part. With this I'm going to give her the 3 minute sand timer and have her practice it once a day.
That's it - I'm planning on taking no more than 20 minutes with this first lesson. The first part is her technique study - this is what I want out of the lesson. The second part is fun - which is what she wants out of the lesson.
Are these realistic expectations?