GUITAR LESSONS FOR KIDS - THE CHILDBLOOM DIFFERENCE
Are you looking for a fun, yet challenging guitar program for your child? The Childbloom Guitar Program teaches life-long fundamental music skills in a positive and low pressure environment.
A child’s early experiences with music can help shape his or her approach to future challenges and opportunities. The Childbloom program encourages development of diligent practice habits, listening skills, persistence and team work through ensemble playing.
We take music education seriously. Begun in 1980, the Childbloom Program is one of the longest running guitar programs for children in the world. That is why we know that parents must be involved in their child’s musical growth. We want a parent to be present in the lesson with the child. You need to know the details of what the child is learning, the goals for the week, the technical aspects that the child can’t see from his or her viewpoint and help encourage practice in an effective way. The quality of that involvement will change as the child matures but parental involvement has been a key ingredient to the success of the students in our program from age 5 -18. This is the the highest cost – YOUR time and attention. It will provide the greatest value to your child.
The Childbloom Guitar Program is a comprehensive music education program developed in 1980 by Kevin Taylor, of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. It is currently being used by educators around the country and is the largest program of its kind in the United States. Incorporating a well developed, innovative approach in a positive, low-pressure environment, we help build the foundation for a lifetime of confident involvement in music and the arts.
Through a researched and proven method, students are able to play music quickly and successfully. “We want to give the kids a learning victory in the first few lessons,” says Taylor. “They don’t want to wait to play music. Can you blame them?”
The Childbloom curriculum and group structure allows the student to gain both solo and ensemble skills. The curriculum has been carefully developed, employing an understanding of the science of modern child development. Traditional classical guitar technique is taught, using the fingers of the right hand rather than a pick.
Much of the music is arranged in multiple parts, necessitating that the students learn listening and blending skills, and confident independence. We prepare students to continue in classical education as their skills progress, or use their reading and ensemble skills to branch out confidently to play other styles of music. Public performances are encouraged, though not required.
Kelli studied guitar at Boise State University under Dr. Joseph Baldassarre. She was a 1992 Summa Cum Laude graduate, earning a Bachelor of Music degree with a guitar performance emphasis. She began taking students in 1989.
In 1995, she brought the Childbloom Guitar Program to Boise and has been the Director of the Boise program since that time. Childbloom has awarded her the following honors: Motivator Award, Outstanding Program, Outstanding Director, Teacher of the Year and Childbloom’s highest honor, the Master Teacher Award.
Several of Kelli’s students have gone on to study music in college, two of which have become Childbloom instructors, themselves. It is estimated that one in a thousand students go on to a career in music. With that in mind, her goal is to inspire each student to a love of music and cultivate the skill for them to be able to incorporate it into their lives at whatever level to which they aspire.
In her spare time, Kelli devotes a good bit of time working with her therapy dog, Jamaica. She and her husband, Jim, enjoy sailing and cycling and spending time in the San Juan Islands.
Jessica has been playing guitar since age 9. She fell in love with the instrument and that love has only grown over the years. She has participated in many music festivals over the years and played at many venues including Disney Magic Music Days, Boise’s Festival of Trees, a recording session at Twentieth Century Fox studios in Hollywood, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and various local coffee shows. Jessica studied music at The Master’s College for 4 years, during which she participated in the annual Christmas concerts, played for the Jazz Band, the Wind Ensemble, and participated in 6 musical theatrical performances. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Youth Ministry and has been teaching guitar since 2009. Jessica loves reading books of any kind and spending time outdoors such as hiking and biking with her family and friends. She has 3 children and a wonderful husband who are the joys of her life.
This older brother-little sister duo is quite the bomb! They are working their way through the curriculum very quickly and gracefully. We have hit only a few bumps along the way, but for the most part, they are very fast learners and cool, fun kids!
They have made their way to this post because they both won the national Childbloom Christmas Contest in their age groups. Each won $25 and they received a letter from the president, Kevin Taylor, telling them what he liked about their playing. He congratulated Janie on her good tone and James on his good timing. You can hear their pieces in the audio section of this website.
What Janie likes most about guitar is the fun pieces. Kind of Blue is her favorite. She doesn’t mind practicing and she thinks she will enter some more contests. She also plays soccer and enjoys playing the piano, too, which is about as fun as guitar to her.
James thought the process of recording his pieces was challenging, but worth the effort. He likes playing for his grandparents and his favorite tune is also Kind of Blue. James also enjoys being out on the soccer field.
These great kids are getting ready to head out on an adventure. They are going to spend the summer visiting campsites and parks in the western US, and then, they are off traveling for about a year in an RV to see the national parks. You can bet I will miss them, but what a great opportunity!
Thanks, James and Janie!
I would like to take this opportunity to give accolades to Cody L. for his accomplishments. Cody recently completed the Level Promotion process. This program was developed as an adjudication process, whereby each student is evaluated with regard to technique, ability and general knowledge before moving to the next level of curriculum. There is a total of 4 tests.
Because of Cody’s progress and his diligence, he was invited to play as a junior member of La Bella Corda, the advanced ensemble. He participated in the performances in December and will be playing again with the group this spring.
Here is a short interview with Cody:
“You have come a long way, Cody! How do you feel about your accomplishments?”
“Well, my mind can be put to ease because I finally accomplished what I set out to do: complete all the level promotions. My goal was to finish so I could earn a trophy. But, don’t worry, I’m not going to quit!”
“I am glad to hear that! Do you remember why you wanted to play guitar in the first place?”
“My brother played an instrument and I wanted to learn one, too.”
“Was there ever a time when you wanted to quit?”
“Actually, there was. Practice was just another thing I had to do before I could have fun. It was a chore.”
“I’m glad you hung in there! Does playing guitar serve a purpose for you?”
“It’s just fun! Learning new solos is the most fun thing about guitar.”
“What do you like best about guitar?”
“Well, I have a really fun teacher! Also, music is like learning a whole new language.”
“Do you have any advice for anyone who may read this?”
“Persevere through it, even if you want to quit. It’s worth it in the end. Learning to play an instrument is a skill to be valued and not taken for granted.”
“A sincere thanks and congrats are extended to you, Cody. You are a great student!”
”My two boys started taking lessons with Kelli through Childbloom last year. Having very limited musical background, I have been amazed at how much they have learned in such a short time. The lessons are easy to understand, yet still challenge the boys. Their teacher does a wonderful job of making the lessons fun and engaging. The boys look forward to the days when they have guitar lessons. I have been absolutely thrilled with our experience.”
”It’s been a joy for my husband and I to watch our son’s journey through this program through the guidance of his devoted, professional, caring teachers. He has developed from having a very basic interest in guitar and music to being a self-motivated and skilled musician. We’ve literally observed his love of guitar ‘blossom’ into a talent that has enriched his life and the lives of many others. We are deeply grateful for this program and Childbloom’s exceptional teachers.”
“Kelli has been a fantastic instructor for our son. I see the impact she has had on his life as something that goes way beyond him learning how to play the guitar and read music. He’s a child who struggles with self-confidence and perfectionism. Her gentle and encouraging spirit has had a profound impact that will last him a lifetime. She is a most valued treasure to our family.”
“Collectively, as a family, we have taken piano, guitar, saxophone and cello lessons. Childbloom is the best music experience our family has ever had.”
”We always appreciate Kelli’s ability to adapt to each kid. We currently have three children taking lessons and they have different learning styles, strengths and weaknesses. Kelli handles each one with care.”
“Kelli is a great instructor. I love her sense of humor. She is able to push kids in a fun way. I am amazed at the beautiful guitar pieces my daughter can play in a relatively short period of time.”
”Mrs Larson is wonderful. My son is an ”all about sports” kid, but Kelli has successfully shown him that he can also be a musician. Cannot say enough good things about her and the program.”
“My 9 year son has been taking lessons with Kelli over the last year. Her mixture of flexibility and structure are outstanding. I have found her teaching style to be highly motivating and fun. My son is a challenging student, but through Childbloom, he has developed a passion for the guitar and I am sure we will be taking lessons here for years and years to come.”
”My daughter has been in the Childbloom Program for 9 years and absolutely loves it. In addition to learning to play guitar, she has learned theory, developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of music, and has gained a tremendous amount of confidence by performing. The Childbloom program is great and Kelli is an amazing teacher!”
It is so very important that your child have an appropriate guitar on which to learn. Please call us for recommendations (375-9768) before you purchase one. We are not in the business of selling instruments (though we sometimes consign used instruments for our clients who are moving up to larger ones.) So, we can give you an unbiased view of the marketplace. We try to keep abreast of what the good instruments are and where you can get them close to you. Childbloom has been in this business for over 30 years and know that kids learn best on an instrument that fits them. Consult with us before you buy. Its a free service!
Young children will outgrow their instrument. You should plan on getting a new one every two to three years until the child can use a full-sized instrument – usually around age 12. But an old instrument can be be sold as used. The market price (at least in Boise) for a used one is about 50-75% of the full retail value of a new one depending on the condition of the instrument.
The best brands of guitars in Boise area are: Cordoba (3 fractionally sized) and Yamaha (2 fractionally sized). They are all nylon-string instruments, which is what we strongly recommend for the high-skill technique that we teach the children. Don’t know which to buy? Contact us.
Tuition is computed on a 42 week yearly schedule. Some months will have 3 lessons, some will have 4 and some may have 5. A monthly calendar showing the schedule of classes will be provided.
Tuition is due on the first lesson of the month.
Students must pay the full monthly tuition regardless of any classes they miss. If the student misses a class due to a conflict, the tuition will not be prorated. In the event of an emergency or illness we will try to schedule a makeup lesson.
A 2 week notice is required if you’re going to withdraw from the program.
There is a $30 enrollment fee per family into the Boise Childbloom Program. When you enroll we give you 2 things: the initial enrollment materials, which includes a CD of the music, lessons, exercises that the student will be learning. This material provides a key ingredient to the Childbloom success – listening to the music before, during and after learning it. We also provide easy-to-read music for the non-musician parent to help at home. You also receive a subscription to The Childbloom Monthly Newsletter. This helps parents deal with the many ups and downs of motivation that will occur in the musical education process. The newsletter also has local events and contests your child can participate in. Contests are geared to every skill level.
Tuition is $70/month for a small group setting (2 to 4 students). A private setting is $90/month. Siblings take at 1/2 price, making it one of the most affordable music education programs in the area. We are also the best!
Here are some videos of Childbloom students.
Click on the play button to view them.
Here are some audio recordings of Childbloom students.
Click on the play button to listen to them.
Berceuse - Boise La Bella Corda
El Cachimbo - Boise La Bella Corda
Faz Hoje um Ano - Boise La Bella Corda
Hiding behind the Waterfall - Boise La Bella Corda
Avalon plays "The Answer"" by Kevin Taylor -
2016 Christmas Contest Winners
James plays "Go Tell it on the Mountain"
Janie play "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel"
Our Instructors are usually teaching between 3 and 7 PM, so it may be difficult to reach a teacher during that time. You can reach us easier by phone in the mornings. We want to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Please call us at (208) 375-9768 and leave a message. If you are inquiring into guitar lessons for a child, fill out the form below and include your phone and a convenient time to reach you.