You’re early into your learning experience as a guitarist, and it’s time to either be teaching yourself, or more commonly, looking for a good teacher. A good teacher is always critical at this point, even if you, as we mostly do, end up teaching yourself. Even though I am a completely self-taught guitar player, there was a period in the beginning where I got the guidance of a wonderful classical guitar teacher. I was very young, only ten, but I found that her lessons gave me a deep respect for the guitar, especially as the result of so much classical and very stringent technique. I also found that her attitude towards me, which was so supportive, was extremely helpful. She was very tuned into my good ear, and I learned so easily from her just by watching and listening. This encouraged me no end, as I could see that she was quite proud of my natural abilities, and always nurtured them.
This is certainly what I always try to do with any really gifted students of my own, and if you’re looking for a teacher, always be aware of their supportiveness, and also be on the lookout for impatience, and someone who is just too critical. This is important, because at this stage of your development, you must always be encouraged! You never know when a student may finally “blossom”, and it takes a good student/teacher relationship to help the process along. I have noticed that a lot of my early and very young students’ development seems to move right along with their growth development too. It really seems that when a student’s hands are finally large enough, they are also suddenly much more capable of finally tackling the more difficult techniques. So don’t be too discouraged when starting early, especially if you are still growing; your ability will surely grow right with you!
Also, if you are a parent taking your child to lessons, always be on the lookout for what he or she may have to say about how the teacher treats them. Even better, try to “sit in” on some of the teaching sessions if you can, without being too disruptive to the lesson itself. I often welcome a parent who likes to be there during the lesson, but I can’t stand when they try to “take over” the lesson, and totally disrupt my rhythm. In the end, they’re doing much more to hurt their child’s learning process than to help it!
So, always try to find a good student/teacher relationship, and make sure the teacher takes a truly relaxed, yet professional approach throughout all stages of the learning process. You’ll be glad you did, and it will pay off for your entire musical life!