The Quest for Melody: Best Age to Start Music Lessons
A World Awaits
Music learning unlocks a world of fun, and choosing what age to get your child started has the potential to impact interest, creativity, and ability. Get ready for an exhilarating adventure!
The Battle of Perspectives
Two schools of thought collide! Some swear by an early start, building confidence, discipline, and quantitative reasoning from an early age. For instructors like Paula Robinson from The Music Box, starting with younger ages offers the opportunity to “teach music appreciation and counting rather than excelling at the instrument.”
Others believe in waiting for a child’s genuine interest. Savannah Rutherford from Capella Music shares that “For voice lessons, I love between 8-10. They take direction well, they have opinions, and they can recognize change in their bodies when trying something new.” The younger the child, the more difficult it can be to get them motivated to learn, without it feeling like a chore or homework. Nick Bolchoz of Ensemble Music Schools encourages us to lean into the fun with lessons are ‘gamified.’
Regardless of these schools of thought, remember that it is never too late to start!
Introducing an Instrument: Fun and Frolics Await!
Find a Maestro
- Discover a music teacher patience and magic to light up your child’s musical path! Bolchoz reminds us that “finding a teacher who not only doesn’t mind, but enjoys working with the younger ages, can be really beneficial for a student’s development and relationship with music.”
Groove to the Beat
- Turn practice into a celebration!
- Sign your kiddos up for a summer music camp or add playful activities, musical games, and rewards that make learning an instrument an exciting experience! Robinson says that this can include “things like counting, mirroring hand claps, listening, and playing music games” for younger students. Lean into your child’s interests!
Encouragement is Key
- Fuel your little musician’s passion by creating opportunities for them to perform for adoring fans (aka friends and family). Cue the standing ovation!
The Instrument Riddle: Picking the Right Fit
Ensemble recommends starting with instruments that offer a smooth learning curve. When choosing which instrument to start your kiddos with, consider the following:
Physical Ability and Size
Your child’s age, size, and unique abilities will impact how they interact with instruments. Rocco Yeingst from Tampa Music School suggests that piano, ukulele, or drums are “much easier to produce a satisfying sound on initially.” Afterall, your child needs to feel able to make music in order to stay motivated to learn!
String instruments like the ukulele may be a perfect match for tiny virtuosos-in-training, since the instrument has a small frame and only four strings!
Piano offers several advantages too, according to Lakewood Music Academy’s Sara Hixenbaugh:
- Visual representation of musical notes
- Independent hand coordination and dexterity
- Note simplicity, since “piano’s keys are laid out in a logical sequence from left to right.”
- Transferable skills like reading sheet music, understanding music theory, and developing rhythm.
For more physically coordinated kiddos, drums can be a great way to learn rhythm. Robinson shares that drumming can be especially helpful for younger kids: “They love to hit things. Try hitting things in rhythm!”
Regardless of which instrument you and your child choose, remember that passion and interest are crucial for a child learning music.
Be it an early start or waiting for the sparks of passion to ignite, a nurturing environment is key. With a mentor, playful practice, and the right instrument, your child will compose a harmonious destiny!
So, dust off those notes and let the learning begin!
Author: Kayla Powers
Kayla is a globally competitive and nationally ranked debater who is currently studying Writing, Rhetoric, and Media at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Kayla has work experience as a writer for the HWS Communications Department and has interned at multiple law firms, including Deloitte and Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum. Aside from work, Kayla enjoys singing and found a love for musicals at a young age.