One question I hear parents ask most often is, "How old does my child need to be to start lessons?" Many times they are looking for a magic number. "Oh, well you should wait until Suzy is 5 years old before she starts lessons." But every child is different. Every child grows, learns, and matures differently; so a magic number just won't work. So how do you know when it's the right time for you child to start music lessons? Here are 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning Lessons.
Is My Child Ready for Music Lessons? 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning Lessons
One question I hear parents ask most often is, “How old does my child need to be to start lessons?” Many times they are looking for a magic number. “Oh, well you should wait until Suzy is 5 years old before she starts lessons.” But every child is different. Every child grows, learns, and matures differently; so a magic number just won’t work. So how do you know when it’s the right time for you child to start music lessons? Here are 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning Lessons.
1. Can my child focus on a task for 10-15 minutes? Music lessons today will not require your child to sit still and listen to the teacher for 30 minutes at a time. There are multiple components to a lesson (learning songs, reviewing concepts, theory, games..) and a lot of teachers will shift locations and tasks quickly to keep students engaged and entertained. However, your child will need to be able to focus on a task for at least 10-15 minutes in order to ensure progress. S/he must also be able to listen/perform/focus on a task assigned by you or their teacher.
2. Is my child excited about music? We interact with music daily. Music is on the radio during a car ride, in the backgrounds of movies/TV shows, it even accompanies sporting events or trips outside; it’s everywhere! Watch for signs in your child that indicate their interaction and/or attraction to music. Do they sing along to the radio? Do they constantly tap on things? Are they always dancing or moving?
3. Can my child see patterns? Do they know the difference between up and down? Being able to recognize patterns is especially helpful for beginning piano lessons, as black keys on the keyboard are grouped in a pattern of 2s and 3s. Pattern recognition can also be helpful when learning to read music. Knowing the difference between up and down will help students better understand the relationship between pitch and the staff.
4. Are my child’s fingers developed enough to play an instrument? This is an important factor to consider. If your child really is interested in guitar, but cannot reach their fingers around the neck to push down the strings, they will not be able to play their instrument. This is one of the reasons why violin and piano are usually recommended as first instruments. However, if your child does not have enough finger strength to push down a string or key, it may be better to wait a little while for your child’s hands and fingers to grow and strengthen.
5. Am I ready to support and assist my child’s music lessons? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before considering lessons for your child. A lot of your child’s success will hinge upon your involvement with lessons. You will need to find the time to schedule your child’s lesson, make sure they are present and ready for their lesson, have an idea of what they are supposed to be practicing and consistently enforce regular practice time. Your support and assistance show your child that their lessons (and their time and talents!) are important and worthy of your attention.
So there are some things to consider before inquiring about music lessons for your child. Hopefully these questions will set your child and your family up for musical success and a lifetime love of music!
Did you answer yes to these questions above? Do you have a music lover in your home who is itching to get their hands on an instrument? Contact Music Star Studios today!
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