When is it time to consider formal music lessons for your child?
Children love music. Whether they are watching their favorite cartoon or making a drum set out of Tupperware, pots, and pans, but when will YOU know to sign up your child for lessons?
Look into your circle of friends, and you will quickly find someone who will never play music again because they did not find a passionate instructor they connected with, you will also find someone who became first chair violin because they fell in love with the violin in second grade.
What age is the best?
It is usually not until five years old that a child is ready to learn to play an instrument. At that point, they are pretty good at being able to sit and focus with a teacher. We recommend the age of 5 to begin piano, voice, ukulele or drums, and the age of 7 for guitar, violin, woodwinds or brass.
Of course, there are exceptions. We have students who started singing and playing an instrument before they could talk. For those children, we have a program called Kindermusik, which is perfect for newborns to toddlers.
Here are five essential tips to consider when signing up your child for music lessons.
1. Watch your child, engage, and learn.
Quite simply, the easiest way to determine readiness is to watch your child's physical expression. How do they react to music? How often do they run over to a piano and bang on it? Are they excited when they hear a song? Are they starting to ask?
2. Sign your child up for a Summer Music Camp
Summer music camps provide a group experience and give access to all types of instruments. Often children don't know until they "feel" and "compare" a trumpet to a flute that they begin to develop an opinion. Find a summer camp that provides a different instrument each day; this helps them to touch, feel, and listen to their unique sounds. After camp, they will tell YOU!
3. Become your Childs Biggest Fan
Take a supportive role with your child. Encourage, reinforce, and follow up with rewards to keep them engaged and energized. When they feel loving support, they will want to "show you" and will be more likely to continue their lessons.
4. Join in the Fun
If you played an instrument, or still do, join your child. Your interest will keep your child's interest growing. Or find a local concert or musical theatre performance and take the family.
5. Find a Great Music Studio
Good studios have a month-to-month program that you can purchase a month of lessons at a time. And also make sure they have plenty of teachers to choose. Music can be a lifelong and fun commitment.
Stay tuned for my next musical tip when we introduce you to Kindermusik and the development of music with children under five.