Tune in to when and how to start your child on music lessons with tips from an experienced piano teacher.
There is no doubt about the fact that a child’s musical education is, more often than not, a rewarding one.
However, many parents who want to start their kids on music lessons often have many questions about how and where to begin.
In this article I address three basic questions that can help determine the overall direction of your child’s musical education.
When should a child start formal lessons?
Many parents have asked me if there’s a ‘suitable’ age to start learning music. Views are divided on this: some educators believe that children should start as young as possible. Others suggest starting later, (around the ages of six or seven), when the children are more mature and have better finger strength.
From what I’ve seen (having students from ages three to 65), age is not the key issue; there are more important factors parents should consider:
1. Interest and aptitude
Does your child show strong interest in the piano or music in general? If she enjoys listening to music, or demonstrates a great interest in musical instruments, singing, or rhythm, it’s usually a good reason to get her started.
Kids with good hand-eye co-ordination, an ability to count, or those with a knack for identifying patterns, often demonstrate good aptitude for music. Nevertheless, if your child does not demonstrate any special interest in music, this can be cultivated in time.
2. Discipline and concentration
Can your child concentrate for 30 minutes (the typical lesson duration for beginners) and understand the lesson requirements?
This is an important consideration as the ability of the child to learn is directly related to his ability to maintain concentration during the lesson. A less interested child will have to rely on his own discipline to maintain concentration.
3. Time and effort
Starting a music lessons requires time, commitment and effort- more from the parent than the child.
Time will be spent travelling to the teacher’s studio or the music school. Some parents may prefer for the teacher to come over to the house, but you need to consider if your child will get distracted.
Your child will be expected to practice daily for at least 30 minutes, as well as complete homework assigned. Younger students will require the assistance of their parents as they may not know how to structure their practice, or may not fully understand homework instructions.
Parents must be willing and ready to make some sacrifices to support their child in their music education.
Starting formal lessons requires the student to have the appropriate musical instrument at home.
If your child is learning the piano, are you able to set aside space for it? Have you also considered the cost to purchase the musical instrument or do you intend to rent first? How about the lesson fees, learning materials, examination fees, and any other miscellaneous costs?
How do you decide on which instrument is the right one for your child? Head on over to the next page to read more.