Planning a tween’s birthday can be difficult. At this age, one second they’re on a cell phone or learning to do makeup, and the next minute they’re setting up their dolls. Featured today, I’m sharing how my daughter and I organized a music-themed family birthday party for her 11th birthday.
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Tween Birthday Gift
The tween years are an ideal time to dive into more serious music instruction. After having played music for years, my daughter couldn’t believe how amazing it felt to hold a Taylor Guitar. We chose one from Sweetwater because of their selection and customer service.
Since she was a baby, my daughter owned a good but inexpensive guitar from a small shop Artisan Guitars in Franklin, Tennessee. Her grandfather bought the exact same guitar to add to his collection. It has been a nice full-size guitar, but she was ready to have a mini that felt better in her hands.
Taylor Mini Acoustic – Electric Guitars have a scaled down size, yet they still offer the impressive strum of a full-size guitar. We chose the Hawaiian Koa wood, which is amplified by the Expression System Basic (ES-B) system. It is powered by an onboard preamp that includes a built-in digital chromatic tuner.
If you aren’t that familiar with guitars, basically what this means is that the wood is beautiful, you can plug it into an amplifier if you want to (but you don’t have to), and it has a tuner inside the guitar. That’s perfect for tweens who might be more likely to misplace their tuner.
To encourage regular practice, she will continue to meet with her vocal coach, Jennifer P., who we found through TakeLessons. Vocal lessons have been great because even though Jennifer focuses more on piano, she’s been happy to work with my daughter on her guitar songs too.
Now, we will also add in guitar instruction too. Recently, I joined TakeLessons Live. They offer live group lessons in guitar, singing, French, piano, acting, and more. In the guitar group lessons, she can take classes about fingerpicking patterns, reading guitar tabs, chord progressions, scales, and more.
After trying out different teachers and styles of classes, it is possible to join the same group class again, or you can sign up for individual instructions with that person.
Since I have more free time lately, I even joined a few acting and singing classes together with my younger daughter who homeschools. It’s fun to do as a whole family.
Taking the classes has given us the opportunity to learn things we would have never thought to explore otherwise. One day, we’re learning to sing vowels with a heavy metal-style whine, and the next, we’re studying how to add twang to your country music singing. It’s also more engaging to interact with a live instructor and other students.
Since they offer a 14 day free trial, you can try out the classes to see if it’s a good fit.
Tween Birthday Activities
Since the guitar was the main attraction of the party, we turned our home into a stage for performances. We used an abstract backdrop to create a bokeh effect. I had planned on letting everyone do karaoke, but she had fun putting on an exclusive performance to share soon on her YouTube channel Samantha Sings.
Some of the activities weren’t specifically related to the theme, but they were activities that in general are fun for this age. She enjoyed getting the whole family, even her grandmother, to play a round of Among Us with the newly updated Airship Map.
Another activity we did earlier in the day was pick out plants at an outdoor plant nursery. She chose succulents, cactus, strawberries, herbs, tulips, and more for our garden and for her room.
During the party, the birthday girl wore a beautiful blue dress along with a hoop skirt to create a more fashionable shape. It reminded me of Cinderella and Frozen, even though she feels too old for them now. With the guitar, it also looked a bit like Taylor Swift in her ‘Our Song’ music video. Even better, the price meant that it was no big deal to only wear the dress once.
Tween Birthday Decorations
Decorations are still exciting at this age. I bought two 1 balloons at the grocery store where they could fill the balloons with helium, but I would recommend buying 11 balloons online because you don’t have to pay twice the price for the double digits. When you tape the back part to get them to stick together, they look great for photos.
We chose an eleventh birthday cake topper with a crown. Recently, she watched an American Girl movie about Julie, the 1970’s basketball playing character, who stars in a pageant with an unusual talent. She was inspired by the movie to add a bit of glamour to the cake. It will become a nice keepsake from this special day.
Eleventh birthday parties can be a wonderful time to let your child’s talents shine. Turning their talent into the theme for a family-only birthday party works well because they can be more comfortable and confident sharing those talents with family. They are also beginning to take their interests more seriously as they head into middle school and consider future careers. This party