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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Worship Guitar Class for Kids

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The guitar is not an easy instrument to learn to play, especially for little ones. Stretching those short fingers around the fretboard can be frustrating, especially if your adult instructor does it with ease. How to keep up?

Jean Welles has developed Worship Guitar Class for Kids, a series of short guitar lessons specifically for children ages 5 and up. The program includes:

  • A DVD with 9 Lessons, 2 1/2 hours long.
  • A downloadable eBook - over 30 pages!
  • A Practice Session for every lesson, that starts with prayer.
  • A Practice Chart you can photocopy.
  • Lessons are also available as streaming video on the web.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received unlimited access to the Worship Guitar Class for Kids lessons via video streaming and a free download of the accompanying book for review purposes. I received no other compensation.

Mary (age 6) has been begging to learn to play guitar, and was blessed to receive a half-size guitar for Christmas, so she was eager to try this out. The weekly lessons are short, averaging 8 minutes long, and each lesson has an accompanying practice session (about 5 minutes) intended for daily use. The first lesson begins by explaining the various parts of the guitar, how to keep time with rhythm patterns, how to strum, how to “walk” the fingers on a string, 2 guitar chords, and how to play a simple song with them. Jean does a good job a speaking in an even tone in simple words a child can understand without talking down to them. There are plenty of close-ups showing finger placement and there’s plenty of repetition, demonstrating the moves at a regular pace and then more slowly.

At first, Mary seemed to feel a bit overwhelmed by the lesson. It was something new, and even with a half-size guitar, wrapping those fingers around the fretboard is not an easy task. But then Abigail appeared on the screen. Abigail is a 7-year-old girl featured in the lessons as a student who is learning right along with your child. Suddenly, Mary felt more up to the task when she saw someone close to her own age having a hard time reaching those frets and who wasn’t nearly as perfect as the teacher. Including a student on these videos was a brilliant idea!

The practice sessions begin with a prayer and continue by going through all the things learned in the lesson. These are quick and painless, and Mary enjoys doing them. Lesson 2 moves on to picking out a few single notes. Mary feels uncomfortable with this lesson and so we have not moved on, yet. She has a great deal of difficulty getting her left fingers placed correctly and feels like she’s not doing it right because she’s a lot slower than the instructor. So, she asked to go back to the first lesson. She wants to really get that one down before moving onto the 2nd lesson, again. And this is fine. With persistent practice, she is improving her speed and accuracy on the chords. The beauty of these lessons is that you can go at your own pace. We’ll move on when she is ready

The video streaming quality is about average, though I have to turn the sound way up for Mary to hear the lessons above all the other racket in our house. The buffer is more than sufficient, we’ve not had any trouble with the videos stopping or hesitating. I do find having to go online and stream the videos on the computer inconvenient. There are times during the day when I simply prefer to keep the computer off so it’s not a distraction, and other times when my older child needs the computer to complete an assignment or work on a project. If I were purchasing the program, I would prefer to have it on DVD.

Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class for Kids is available:

  • on DVD for $29.97
  • or as video streaming online for $28
  • or get both for $33
A sample from the first lesson and from the ebook is available for preview on the website.

For other reviews of the product or of Worship Guitar Class Vol. 1 (for older kids and adults), go to:

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1 comment:

  1. It is true that learning a instrument like guitar is not easy. If we have to learn something we have to put are soul in it and it is like a worship only. Then we can be expert in our learnings.

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