Is a Guitar a Good Present for a Child?

If you want to buy a gift for a child, the gift of music might turn out to be the best present they’ll ever receive. It is possible to purchase guitars in all sizes nowadays, so you should easily be able to find a guitar that the child will be able to hold. 

Don’t expect a child to take to the guitar straight away and become the next Jimi Hendrix overnight, and putting pressure on them to learn won’t make the experience enjoyable, but if they do manage to figure out some chords for guitar songs, then this new hobby will have lots of benefits. It takes patience, passion, and discipline to become a good guitarist, and these are good habits we all would like to see children get used to. 

Playing the Guitar as an alternative to Screen Time 

Children nowadays seem to be around screens a lot. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, television, or computer, it may seem that kids are often glued to these screens. Too much screen time can have a devastating effect on a child’s mental health including:

  • Causes sleep deprivation, not just in children, but in people of all different age groups.
  • Can be one of the main causes of obesity when children just laze around the house, staring at a screen.
  • It can cause vision problems.
  • Due to the lack of activity and staying in the same position for long periods, many children complain about aches and pains, especially with their back and neck.
  • Children often find it difficult to interact with other children and adults.
  • Outbursts of aggression and mood swings are common amongst children who spend too long on screens. 

The guitar is a great alternative to watching YouTube or playing games on a device. Learning a musical instrument, especially a guitar has a long list of mental and physical benefits for a child.

This year is a perfect time for a Child to Learn the Guitar

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is still spreading across the world. Many businesses have been forced to close, experts advise us to practice social distancing and wear masks. The pandemic has been especially tough for children. In some areas schools remain closed to help reduce the spread of the virus and others have opened but under strict Covid-19 guidelines. Most children are not allowed to go and play with their friends.

Lots of parents have been forced to homeschool their kids, which has proven for many a very difficult task. Keeping children entertained while they are cooped up in a house is also very difficult. 

However, purchasing a guitar for a child during the pandemic might prove to be a great idea. Nowadays, there is an abundance of guitar tutorials on YouTube and other websites to help your child learn without leaving the house. There are plenty of online music stores, selling all types of guitars and any other equipment such as strings, plectrums, and capos that your child will need. Shopping online for a guitar will reduce the risk of contracting the virus because you can request that the store deliver it directly to your house. In the past, beginners needed to buy books with chords but are now widely available online. You can easily find your favorite artists’ songs on the internet that allow you access to U2, Oasis, Blur, Bruno Mars, and adele chords

Many students who feel pressure when learning the guitar, often give up. Learning from home allows a child to learn how to play the guitar at their own pace will make playing and learning very enjoyable. 

Having this spare time is an opportunity that your child might never have again in their lives. You may feel regret in the future if your child doesn’t do something productive during the pandemic. A skill like being able to play the guitar will bring some positivity from a negative situation. 

Private Guitar Tutorials Online

With many music teachers unable to give music lessons in person, they often offer their services online which is in many cases just as effective. Issues like tuning might prove hard to teach over the internet, but there are plenty of guitar tuners in case the guitar doesn’t have one installed already. There is also a wide range of applications online that will help a child tune the guitar, and there are many videos on Youtube that will let the child listen to the sound that each string should sound like. The same problem goes for replacing a string. Teachers would normally show a student how to take off and put on a string in person, but thankfully there are many videos uploaded to Youtube on this topic. 

The downside about learning the guitar with a teacher online is that sometimes the audio on the device might not sound good. If the internet connection is not very slow, or the quality of your speaker or microphone on your device is not up to standard, there is a strong possibility that your audio will be compromised. To fix this problem, you might have to replace some of your audio devices and change your internet provider. 

Health benefits to Learning the Guitar

When you think about a child learning the guitar, you probably think that it will be a nice hobby, a great way to keep them entertained and that they will be able to play some nice music. This is true, however, there is plenty of other benefits when learning how to play the guitar such as:

  • Discipline: Learning the guitar takes discipline. This doesn’t mean that you should force your child to learn at a certain time throughout the day, to become a good guitarist it takes a lot of self-discipline which is a vital lesson in life for a child. 
  • Exercise a child’s brain: The child will need to use their brain to help them focus and they will also need to memorize chords and strumming techniques. 
  • Helps a child boost their motor skills: When a child learns how to play a new sport, they improve their hand-eye coordination. Learning the guitar has a similar effect. During the early days of learning the guitar, every child will struggle to do complex movements required to play the guitar well, but after time and lots of practice, they will improve. 

Learning the guitar gives a child a chance to gain new tools that they will be able to use in the real world. 

Conclusion

If you purchase a guitar for a child and they don’t seem interested in learning at the start, be patient. In many cases, it takes years until the child decides they want to learn how to play. 

When buying a guitar, don’t cut corners by purchasing the cheapest guitar in the shop. These cheap models are often very difficult for beginners as the action of the guitar is far from the fret. Children will find it difficult to press their fingers down on the strings. Even experienced guitarists struggle with these guitars.

Many children find it difficult to express themselves. Lots of children find it much easier to express themselves through playing musical instruments. Experts claim that children suffering from ADHD find it very enjoyable to express their emotions while playing the guitar. 

5 Benefits of Enrolling Your Child in Music Lessons

Have you ever thought about enrolling your child in music lessons? It can be hard work for any parent to keep their children busy. However, it can be even harder for parents to keep their children busy with healthy activities that actually help support their development. Human development research shows that childhood is the most important period for a child’s brain development, and early activities can have a lasting impact on a child’s ability to succeed later on in life.

Now, does this mean you have to keep your children in a bubble so they never get hurt? Of course not. However, there are some activities out there that might be beneficial for your child to get started with— such as music lessons!

Below, we have listed the five benefits of enrolling your child in music lessons. Check it out!

1. Music lessons help children develop language skills.

It is common knowledge that not all children begin speaking at the same time, and some take to the art-of-gab much faster than others. For a child who is having trouble expressing themselves verbally, however, music lessons may allow them the chance to “speak” in a different way while they practice. Many studies have found a connection between music and language development in kids. One notable study by MIT recently found that music lessons were just as helpful for children as extra reading lessons when it came to developing language.

2. Music lessons help children develop motor skills.

If you’ve ever tried to slide a bow across the strings of a violin, press the pedals of a drum set, or get your right hand to play the piano at one pace while your left hand plays at an entirely different pace; then you know that music is an extremely physical activity. With consistent practice, children who take lessons will get the chance to develop not only their music skills but also their motor skills.

3. Music lessons help children learn patience.

Remember those tricky violin strings, that confusing drum pedal, and those different piano notes for different hands that we just talked about above? Well, all of those things happen to take hard work and patience to master. Children in music lessons will not be masterful at any of the techniques when they begin—and, as their parent, you will probably get exhausted of hearing them miss the same ear-screeching note again and again. However, in this process of trying and failing, children are developing key traits: the art of hard work, determination, and patience. Even if they don’t end up becoming the next Beethoven, they will still be able to take these skills with them into the rest of their lives.

4. Music lessons help children develop creativity.

Along with hard work, music lessons also foster a sense of creativity in children. If you have a child who yearns for the chance to build kingdoms, tell stories, and think outside the box, then music lessons could give them the perfect opportunity to unleash this creativity! Creative thinking not only helps satisfy a child’s appetite for life, but it also leads to better outcomes in adulthood. Creative thinkers learn how to be productive and proactive, develop problem-solving skills, and navigate many different situations in life. Music lessons can be the perfect activity to help your child build these key skills.

5. Music lessons can help children gain confidence!

Finally, music lessons help children gain confidence in their ability to learn and succeed at challenges. Even if the notes don’t sound perfect—or, let’s face it, even close to perfect—your child can still feel a sense of accomplishment over learning that new song on the piano, or finally figuring out how to read a sheet of music, or having the courage to sing in front of a crowd at class recital. No matter what your children’s goals are, the simple act of having a goal and moving towards it can help them feel a sense of pride in what they’ve accomplished.

What about you? For those of you who took music lessons as a child, comment down below to share what you learned. For those of you looking for a recommendation, we’ve found Sloan to have competitive rates on music lessons prices.

Film Review “Obvious Child”

Starring: Jenny Slate and Gaby Hoffman
Directed by: Gillian Robespiere
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 24 mins
A24

Our Score: 1 out of 5 stars

Even though this film only runs 90 minutes, it made me want three hours of my life back. I really wanted to like this movie; sadly I did not.

The film has somehow earned the label “an Abortion Comedy,” something I find offensive as the film is not funny at all. My not finding humor in the film has nothing to do with the subject matter. I just felt the jokes were lame and that there was no originality to the story. It followed all of the same tropes we see in generic New York-based romantic attempt-at-comedies. There is the quirky but lovable comedienne, her gay buddy, and her more world-wise best-friend. Nothing unique about this story at all; except for the subject of abortion. The film’s stance is that abortion is okay and that there should be no stigmas attached to the subject. Which, in my only comment on the subject, I agree with.

Lead actress Jenny Slate hasn’t been around for too long. In fact, I only know her from “Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” and don’t know of much else she has been in. While she was fine and amusing in the Chipmunks flick, I found her completely unappealing and unattractive in this role I’m commenting here on just her personality only; my comments have nothing to do with her physical attributes. I just didn’t like Donna Stern, the character she plays. She isn’t as clever or witty as she thinks she is, and I felt no sympathy for her character. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and begins to react like so many other woman in the same situation do in movies like this: she gets drunk, leaves rude voice-mails (always followed by apologetic voice-mails), drinks some more and then hooks up with a stranger. The result of which is pregnancy.

Donna is losing her job, has no health insurance, no income, no savings, and now is pregnant. And, apparently in movie-land, pregnancy equals the end of the world. Donna spends the middle part of the movie moping around feeling sorry for herself, and sipping on wine with her friends. Instead of looking for a new job and trying to get her life back on track (pregnancy or not) she just complains, and uses her life for comedic material, which again is sad as none of it made me laugh. I will admit many people in the audience around me found it extremely funny, but all I wanted to do was see the credits roll so I could leave. About thirty minutes into the movie I was already checked out and knew I was in for another excruciating hour when David Cross’ character showed up. I was rejuvenated. I love David Cross. I’ve never not liked him in anything. Sadly, the film did the impossible: it became successful in making David Cross unfunny. His character was a sleaze-ball, which normally David Cross could play with his eyes closed. However, the character was unnecessary, and offered nothing but a minor plot twist, that only deviated the story for two scenes.

Altogether, I think the idea of what “Obvious Child” was wanting to bring to the screen was a good one; it just failed in its execution. Taking a serious subject and throwing a little humor at it is always a gamble but it is the lack of being funny that hurt this film. Instead of being a story that should have put a humanistic-yet-humorous spin on abortion as well as a statement for present-day women, this film did nothing but subject its audience to low-brow jokes about farting and peeing in public. I think instead of taking a step forward, this film takes a step back, and retreads ground we’ve seen too many times before. If it weren’t for the taboo subject of abortion this film would fall through the cracks and just be one of a hundred films of the same sort.

Free Passes for an Advance Orlando FL Screening of “Obvious Child” [ENDED]

 CLICK ON THE FLYER ABOVE TO VISIT GOFOBO.COM AND ENTER OUR CODE (ALL CAPS). 

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job, and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy, and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own. It’s allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. And be truly vulnerable. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Anchored by a breakout performance from Jenny Slate, OBVIOUS CHILD is a winning discovery, packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant human honesty. Writer/Director Gillian Robespierre handles the topic of Donna’s unwanted pregnancy with a refreshing matter-of-factness rarely seen onscreen. And with Donna, Slate and Robespierre have crafted a character for the ages – a female audiences will recognize, cheer for, and love.

Shirley Temple, Beloved Child Star of the Depression Era, Passes Away at Age 85

Shirley Temple Black, who as a young child captivated moviegoers around the world, died yesterday at her Woodside, California home from natural causes. She was 85.

Born on April 23, 1928, Black was placed on the road to stardom by her mother, who enrolled her in dance classes at the age of three. In 1932 a talent scout visited the school and she was signed by a small film studio, Education Pictures, where she appeared in a series of one and two-reel comedies. The studio went bankrupt and in 1934 she signed a contract with Fox Films. As she turned six years old she made her Fox debut in the musical/comedy “Stand Up and Cheer!” In December of that year she became the youngest actor ever to have their name above the title when “Bright Eyes” was released. Including what would become one of her most well-known songs, “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” So popular was her rendition that in a few months of release over a half-million copies of the song’s sheet music had been sold. In February 1935 she was awarded a smaller sized, Juvenile Academy Award for her contributions to the film industry. In March of that year she immortalized her hand prints and signature in cement outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

After Fox Films merged with the 20th Century Studio, producer Darryl F. Zanuck concentrated his attention on Temple and her career. With a contract calling for four pictures a year, the studio had a team of nineteen writers whose sole job was to find and create projects for the young actress. In 1935 the studio released such classic Shirley Temple films as “The Little Colonel,” “Our Little Girl,””Curly Top,” (which included another of her signature songs, “Animal Crackers in My Soup”) and “The Littlest Rebel.” In 1936 the studio released “Captain January,” “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Stowaway” and “Dimples.” All of these films, most of them made for under $300,000, were huge successes, even more so when you learn that Temple’s annual salary was $50,000.

Convinced that Temple’s talents and popularity would continue to grow as she got older, Zanuck turned down a huge financial offer to lend her to MGM Studios to star as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Unfortunately for Zanuck, several Temple films flopped and, at age twelve, her parents bought out her contract and sent her to boarding school. During breaks from school she continued to work in films but, at the age of 22, she decided to retire. 1950 also saw the end of her five year marriage to actor John Agar. It was Agar’s misfortune to have a fan of Temple’s as the presiding judge. When he began to address the court he was immediately interrupted by the judge who declared, “Don’t you DARE blame your troubles on Shirley Temple!”
Temple was also one of the first movie stars to have a merchandizing contract. By 1941, over $40 million worth of Shirley Temple dolls had been sold. In fact, with all of her marketing and endorsement contracts, she easily doubled her annual film salary each year, earning $200,000 in 1936 alone. Less than two weeks after her divorce from Agar was finalized, Temple married Charles Alden Black, a Naval Intelligence officer, who upon their meeting informed Temple he had never seen any of her films. That must have been the magic potion because the two remained married for 54 years until his death in 2005.

Despite intermittent television appearances, Temple wanted to devote her time to worthy causes. After an unsuccessful try at local politics, she was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969. Five years later President Gerald R. Ford appointed her United States Ambassador to Ghana. She was later named the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and inaugural ball. In 1989 she served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia after being appointed by President George H. W. Bush. Eight decades after her career started she would gladly answer fan mail and sign autographs. Some of today’s young stars should take note on how, with the love and support of family and friends, you can achieve your dreams without hurting yourself or others!