Music Lessons for Children (preschoolers)… Is this recommended?
Many parents are very anxious for their young children to learn to play a musical instrument. This is understandable and we too are excited at the prospect of another up and coming musician!
For any child who is less than five years old, I highly recommend that they be exposed to music at every opportunity. This can come in many forms including classes at preschool, church activities, and child-friendly concerts and shows.
Hands-on experience is great for a very young child.
Go ahead and buy some toy instruments that don’t cost too much and that won’t be a great loss if broken. Let the child bang out some beats on a cardboard box while music is playing in the background, or strum the strings on a plastic guitar or ukulele. Another great instrument for preschoolers is the plastic recorder.
Certainly every child is unique and each child develops at his or her own rate. Sometimes a four year-old who can “play by ear” will demonstrate wonderful musical ability, but this does not mean that she is ready for private lessons.
Successful private lessons require that the student be able to sit and focus for at least thirty minutes and be able to follow and carry out basic routines on the instrument. They also need to be able to commit to an excellent practice schedule at home. It can be very difficult, if not impossible for a three or four year-old child to consistently carry out each of these basic but important aspects of learning.
Experience has taught us that that the following is a reasonable guide to starting ages for various types of one-on-one music lessons:
- Piano/Electronic Keyboard – age 5 and up
- Guitar, acoustic or electric – age 7 and up
- Banjo – age 10 and up
- Drums, Percussion, Steel Drum – age 7 and up
- Brass & Woodwind – age 10 and up
- Stringed Instruments (violin, cello, etc.) – age 5 and up
- Accordion – age 10 and up
- Vocal, Singing Lessons – age 10 and up
I always encourage parents to consider piano lessons if possible. Everything learned in piano lessons can be carried over to other instruments later on. Learning piano is probably the best way to get a well rounded education in basic music theory, notation, sight reading, timing, rhythm and pitch as well as the development of physical dexterity.
More will be added in another post on the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument.
What do you think? Speak your mind in the comments section (all the way down at the bottom of the page) or contact me using this form, with any questions you have about private music education.