Do toddler music programs really do much for your child? How can you tell the difference between a healthy, growth-minded music program and a glorified singalong? Here are a few things to consider. First of all, your little one can often pick up […]
Every now and then, we’re asked how early a child can begin private music lessons. Is there one right answer? Not exactly. As we all know, people are unique. We all learn at different paces, adjust to new situations differently, and have our own […]
In most Pennsylvania public schools, orchestra electives begin in third grade. That means that the average student doesn’t formally pick up an instrument until age eight. Is it possible to start learning an instrument younger than that?
Yes! In fact, at Learning Allegro, we’ve taught violin and piano students as young as four years old. If your child wants to start early, it’s totally a possibility.
Here are four instruments that, in our experience, are great starting points for young learners.
PIANO. This instrument is basically kid-proof! If you can teach the student to identify the right key, it will never sound squeaky or out of tune. Not only does that save mom’s ears, but it gives a young learner immediate feedback that sounds nice. Pianos allow our smallest learners to learn the basics of music and rhythm in a fun, tactile and pleasant-sounding way.
DRUMS. Don’t panic, mom! There are lots of drum-practicing methods that are easy on a parent’s ears, including practice pads and rubber drum covers. Drums are a big hit with young learners. Hitting things? Deep noises? Surprising sounds? What’s not to love!
On a more serious note, drum lessons are a GREAT way to give your child’s motor skills and sense of rhythm a boost.
VOICE. Your child was born with an instrument — and most kids already LOVE to sing. Don’t overlook voice lessons! Your child will learn the basics of pitch, proper breathing techniques, and how to be an effective communicator through song. This is perhaps the most natural instrument for a young child to learn, and it’s a great outlet for energy and creativity.
UKULELE. Stringed instruments can be tough at first, but what’s not to love about the sound of a ukulele? Ukes have four strings (compared to six on a guitar), so they are a little easier for a young learner to handle. The size also makes them perfect for kiddos! Since they’re smaller, they are not particularly loud, and they have a beautiful, mellow sound. If you have a child who has expressed interest in guitar, ukulele is a great starting point.
To learn more about lessons at Learning Allegro, visit our website.
For a decade, Learning Allegro has been offering group music classes for toddlers — and from time to time, someone will ask us, “Does music really make a difference at THAT age?” It’s a valid question! After all, the average two-year-old can barely talk, struggles to […]
What do you do when your child is taking music lessons, but you don’t consider yourself a “musical person?” How can you make sure your child is truly progressing? Miss Haleigh returns to the Learning Allegro Blog to tackle this common question. I grew […]
IN TODAY’S POST, MISS HALEIGH TACKLES A COMMONLY-ASKED MUSIC QUESTION.
One of my favorite parts about working at Learning Allegro is the diversity of the people I encounter every day. Music is one of those rare things that manages to pull people out of every walk of life and put them under one roof.
Diversity is not just a matter of language or background, though. It’s also a matter of age. Every week, I sit down at the piano with pupils as young as five and as old as…well, old enough that they don’t have to tell me their ages. *wink wink*
That being said, I’m often asked “When is the best time to start lessons?”
Scholars and critics are all over the place on this one. Some people insist that you should start young, citing a child’s powers of retention and motor skills. Others say you should wait a little while, citing the importance of self-discipline and initiative.
PERSONALLY, I FIND THE QUESTION — AND ITS PREMISE — KIND OF FUNNY.
The question seems to imply that there’s a magical age that somehow makes music lessons more valid or worthwhile. It also assumes that people are cookie-cutters, uniformly developing in every possible way. And both of those assumptions just aren’t true.
The best answer I can give you is this:
THE BEST TIME TO START IS WHEN YOU ARE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN MUSIC.
Maybe that’s too simple for the scholarly community, but really, I think that’s what the issue boils down to.
It takes time, patience, and practice to become a musician–and from personal experience, you won’t care enough to “stick with it” unless you have some baseline interest in what you’re doing. But that baseline will be different for every person.
I started taking violin lessons somewhere between the ages of three and four (yep!), and although I wasn’t always a diligent student, I stayed engaged in lessons for fifteen years. My sister, who started at the same time, swore off the violin at the ripe age of five–and my parents never made her play again. It just wasn’t her thing.
On the other side of the spectrum, we’re starting to see more and more parents take lessons at Learning Allegro. People are finally getting over the “too late” stigma and treating music lessons as a chance to “learn for fun.” Imagine that!
ARE THERE BENEFITS TO STARTING YOUNG? SURE — BUT I WOULD RATHER TEACH A 64-YEAR-OLD WITH GENUINE INTEREST IN MUSIC THAN AN 8-YEAR-OLD WITH PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY.
Why? Because the person with interest is the one who will practice, push themselves, and value the end goal: great music!
So what’s the right age to begin music lessons? It’s really a matter of personal discernment. Know yourself (or your child)–and if you see that glimmer of interest, give it an outlet! Whether you’re four or four hundred, a little bit of personal desire can go a long way.