I get calls from parents all the time who tell me that they have one of the following scenarios:
My child is begging me for piano/guitar/voice/violin, etc. lessons. What do you think? What age is appropriate to start lessons?
My child’s music teacher at school called me and told me that my child has above average ability in music and thinks that we should pursue some private lessons.
I was reading a book/a magazine/online and saw that children who take music lessons do better in school than other children. Is this true and what do I need to be aware of?
I also get calls from adults who say one of these things:
They always wanted to take [instrument] lessons as a child and never had the opportunity.
They took as a child and wish that they had not quit or wish that their parents had made them stick with it.
They enjoyed taking lessons for a number of years before college and would like to resume.
These scenarios are very common and relate to WHY music is so important in our lives!
First, let me address parents of children who are contemplating private music lessons.
If your child is begging you for lessons, then chances are they have fallen in love with an instrument and want to find out more about it. Or, perhaps they saw one of their peers playing an instrument at school and were inspired by it. They may be interested in discovering how music is made and how they can be a part of it.
This DISCOVERY PROCESS is one that is very natural in a child. A well-rounded child has experience with many things, especially the creative process which includes music and the exposure to instruments. How will they know if they can excel at an instrument unless they TRY?
Each instrument has a different age-appropriate starting point that is based on several criteria. That said, Music Star Studios has had students that range in age from 2 to 70.
If your child’s music teacher has contacted you about your child’s exceptional ability, let me tell you this is a very good sign and not very common. Music teachers see lots of different talent levels. YOUR CHILD HAS STOOD OUT TO THEM, in a group setting, as an individual with natural musical abilities. The benefits for your child in taking private music lessons are many. Think of the self-confidence that can be gained by your child if they excel in music! If they work hard, they will be recognized for their efforts, perhaps even winning awards! Think of the pride they will feel in these accomplishments and how this can set them up for future success in life.
If you have read somewhere that children who take music lessons do better in school than their peers, then you understand correctly. Norman Weinberger, professor of neurobiology of learning and memory at the University of California Irvine states, “Music is widely believed to have many benefits for children beyond those within the realm of music itself. These benefits are thought to contribute importantly to development by improving intellectual, motor, and social abilities and skills.” Read more about the scientific research on how music can positively affect your child’s academic success. I do believe in the Mozart Effect!
If you are an adult and contemplating music lessons, there may be a reason for this! I believe that each of us needs a “healthy outlet” to express our feelings and emotions. While exercising and other sporting activities can help us release our pent-up aggressions, music enables us to touch a different emotional place inside of us. We all have an internal rhythm – think of your heart, which, if you are healthy, beats in rhythm, keeping you alive. We connect to our innermost feelings, thoughts, dreams and frustrations when we play a musical instrument. I have taught many lessons where a student expresses different emotions which are stirred by playing the piano. One finds A DEEP CONNECTION WITHIN YOURSELF that occurs naturally while playing an instrument!
If you want to take music lessons, make it a priority. Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you or your child(ren) may achieve! Whether it’s with a Music Star Studios teacher or another reputable one, you will find your life enriched!