Reply To: Appropriate age to start guitar?
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In the Clark County School District, we start beginning guitar in 6th grade, which is the first year in Middle School. Most students are 11 or 12 years of age. We teach guitar in classes. Many of our beginning guitar classes have as many as 30 -40 students in a single class. We also use full-size nylon string guitars. Most students in the 6th grade can handle the full-size guitars.
There has been a great deal of conversation of adding a guitar component in elementary school during the 4th & 5th grades. In that case, the guitars used would be 3/4 size and the skills would be limited to chord playing.
There is a complete Suzuki Series for guitar. Some of the best Suzuki studios in the country start students as early as 4 years old. However, these are private lessons, and much of the first year of lessons is devoted to sitting still on a stool for 30 seconds and holding a cutout of a guitar.
For private lessons with a skilled teacher, starting at age 6 or 7 has worked well for many young guitar students. For the classroom experience, age 12 seems more appropriate.