You can learn for enjoyment only or take up the exciting challenge of doing grades. Either way, students will greatly benefit from following a structured graded syllabus even if they choose not to take the exams.
Juniors (age 6-11) Classical Guitar or Ukulele
Teaching juniors at this age Classical guitar gives them a good grounding in guitar playing technique, basic music theory, ability to read standard notation (system of music writing used by most musical instruments) as well as teaches them to play some great tunes. What is generally left out is much work on chord strumming for song accompaniment. This approach has many educational benefits for the child as well as prepares them well to take up Acoustic Guitar if they want to switich at a later stage.
Acoustic Guitar is often more about accompanying songs with chords. I have found many children (not all) younger children often struggle with chord playing as their hands and fingers are often not developed sufficiently. Also if the child does not sing, such playing can seem a bit meaningless when playing on their own.
If the child likes to sing and learn to accompany himself or others, the Ukulele is probably the best instrument to learn on. For this reason, it is now becomming common in primary schools for the Ukulele to be taught over the Guitar.
Adults and Juniors (age 11 upwards) all instruments
Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar or Ukulele taught.
RGT - LCM (University of West London) Acoustic grades: Up to grade 8
Acoustic Guitar Topics Taught (dependent on the needs of the student):
Development of Rhythm
Popular finger-picking styles: Contemporary Acoustic, Folk, Blues, Alternating Bass, Classical.
Music Theory for Guitar
Developing good Fretboard knowledge
Sight Reading skills and methods to speed up reading
Using Visualisation in playing, memorising and sight reading
Along with some selected topics taught with the Acoustic guitar the following syllabus is used:
RGT - LCM (University of West London) Classical Guitar Grades. Up to grade 8.
Repertoire: Renaisance through to Modern (includes music from around the world)
Scales and Arpeggios
Sight Reading (including tips and exercises to speed up reading)
Trinity College Classical Guitar Grades. Up to grade 8.
RGT - LCM (University of West London) Ukulele Grades. (Up to grade 4)
Picking techniques: melodies and accompaniment