Welcome to the California Conservatory of Music

We are very excited for you or your child to start learning guitar! You all are joining a dedicated community of students, parents, and teachers. We hope you can attend and take part in the performances we hold at our Santa Clara location, and at events around the Bay Area. Also, once students have reached a level of comfort and confidence with the instrument, they can start to participate in group music classes and ensembles!

Here is what you need to get started:

1. Guitar 

The first step is determining the guitar size you need. The best way to be sure the guitar fits is to bring it to the child's first guitar lesson and have the teacher check!

Guitar size is measured by the scale length which is the distance on a guitar from the bridge to the nut:

guitar scale length.jpeg


A pretty good guideline for picking the right scale length is to measure your child from the floor to the belly button, and consider a guitar with the scale length in this table:

Child from floor to belly button—Guitar scale length

24 inches - 40 cm

26 inches - 45 cm

28.5 inches - 50 cm

33.5 inches - 55 cm

35.5 inches - 60 cm

36.75 inches - 63 cm

Higher - Full size (65 cm)

Where and what to buy?

There are some really terrible guitars out there—be careful!

At CCM, we sell new guitars made by the company Kremona. They are really great quality. 

Kremona Price List
La Mancha Guitars
Cordoba Guitars

We also have a family guitar exchange. You can buy a used guitar from another family at the school, we are working on making a forum or list of what families currently have available, but for now, send us your child's measurements, and we can see what options we have for you!
Please email us if you have any questions - info@thecaliforniaconservatory.com

2. Chair or Stool

When the child is sitting in a properly sized stool, their thighs should be straight and parallel to the ground.

Junior Drum Throne

This is good for students 6-9

Ikea Stool
Good for students 3-6

Wooden Bar Stool
This is ideal. Bring it to your guitar lesson and measure a good height for your kid and we will cut it to-size for you.

3. Guitar Equipment



Guitar Tuner

4. Games

If you have a child who is 10 or under, you will want to make sure the practice at home is kept fun and exciting, which you will learn about in the Parent Education and in the guitar lessons. Here are some suggestions:

Foam Dice
Repetition is an important part of practice—rolling a die to see how many times a student has to practice a specific feat spices up the practice with a little chance and by also giving the child a little control over how many times they do something.

Fishing Game
Tic Tac Toe
Connect Four
After every successful set of repetitions the students get a 'move' in these games. These help the student feel a sense of reward for their work, and helps to make the practice more fun and dynamic!