L.V. asks from Arlington, TX on October 06, 2009
What's the Best Age to Start?
I have a 2 year old daughter, and she really loves music! I am not looking to start her in lessons right away, but I want to be aware. What is the best age to start piano or any type of music lessons? I think she will really enjoy them and benefit from them, but I don't want to start too early or too late. Thanks Mamas!
G.W. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2009
My daughter who is now 11 started piano in the 3rd grade so that would have been 8. Looking back, I can't imagine starting her any earlier than that. The first couple of years were tough because practice is not really that fun to a kiddo that young or younger but it is the only way to improve. We had lots of tears on her part and mine because she just didn't have the motivation to do it without being nagged :-) That being said, she is better now that she has a better understanding and can play music that is actually impressive to others. I wouldn't say she's running to the piano at every free moment she has but she's mature enough now to know that she can not get better without some effort. I think the bottom line is that kids do better when their reward is pretty instant and unfortunately with music lessons, it takes awhile before the "payoff" sounds good...does that make sense? I've heard of kids starting as young as 5 or 6 but personally, I would not make the choice to start that young.
J.C. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2009
L. - The earlier the better! In fact, there is a music program designed especially for your little one! It is called KINDERMUSIK. The curriculum for your daughter is called "Our Time." It is about a 45 min weekly class that you participate in with your little girl. During the class, your child will explore age apropriate instruments, listen to and sing many songs, do finger-plays that help develop fine-motor skills and much much more! This is also a wonderful bonding time with your baby girl! Now, your child will not start learning piano, or any other advanced instrument until she has graduated from the Kindermusik program at age 7. Then it would be your choice to enroll her in private lessons, but Kindermusik helps lay the foundation for learning music and develop your childs individual learning style. As a Kindermusik educator I do not suggest you enroll your child in any formal lessons until age 7 or 8 because they will become overwhelmed and may burn-out quickly, becuase they have not developed enough. Kindermusik is a music program that focuses on the development of the whole-child and will be beneficial if you choose to enroll your child in private music lessons later or not.
I am a Kindermusik educator and would love to invite you to a free class to experience the many joys of music with your daughter!
Please call me
T.F. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2009
My daughter (now 14), has always loved music and we did the Kindermusic, etc when she was little.
It was when she started Middle School in 6th grade (10) that she was "required" to take a music class. She picked orchestra and played the violin. Little did we know...she has a knack for it and LOVES it.
She now plays in a 10th grade orchestra in high school. We purchased a violin for her about 2 yrs ago when it was pointed out to us that she was a natural. Not Cheap! SHe has a great quality violin that will last her throughout high school at $3000.
Since, she loves her violin (as do her instructors...they are always playing her violin), she listens to a song on the radio (Coldplay for example) and can play the song within a day or so, she also writes songs.
We had no idea that our little princess, socialite, popular cheerleader had any interest in this. She is seriously considering music as a career path...following her business MBA (that is as of now...you know how 14 yr olds change minds....LOL)
Enjoy it....don't start too early..
J.C. answers from Amarillo on October 07, 2009
I'm not sure in your area, but most of the people I've talked to say that the age of 4 or 5 is best to start piano or violin or some type of lesson. The church choir started at age 4. What we did until our daughter was "of age" was exposed her to everything we could. We were lucky and my MIL paid for Kindermusic classes. Those are great if you can afford them. Also, we played CD's at home and in the car of ALL music types (country, christian, rock, classical, etc.). Her favorites are christian and classical. We also took her to concerts in the park during the summers, choir/band concerts, the symphany, watched musicals like "Sound of Music", we sang to her all the time, etc. If we had friends who played any instrument, we asked them to perform for us if they wanted to.
Whatever you can expose your little one to, do it. It will help with school when she gets older too. Call the local Chamber of Commerce, local colleges, theaters (sp??), etc and as about free music activities. Good Luck!!
I just want to add that my daughter is 6 y/o. She started piano lessons last month. Instead of private lessons, we found a piano center who gives group classes. She's in a class of 7 kids, same age and same learning level. While practicing every day doesn't happen, the theory lessons we practice every day are sticking. We're not forcing her, but she really enjoys being able to play when she can.
K.P. answers from Dallas on October 07, 2009
Have you considered possible enrolling her in a choir for a while till she has the motor skills for an instrument? I started singing in the church choir at age 3 and loved it, in fact I was in choirs year round till high school graduation. This may just be a good way to start her in some kind of music study that doesnt also require motor skills or dedication to a set daily practice time.
S.V. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2009
My parents started my piano lessons when I was four. Luckily, my teacher made my lessons almost like games. When I was a little older, my parents encouraged me to play pieces that fit the mood I was in and not just what the teacher wanted me to practice. Because of that flexibility, practicing was not really too much of an issue.
I started teaching my oldest when she was ten and my youngest when she was six. To keep them interested, I let them pick out the pieces they want to learn. Afterwards I would download that piece onto their IPOD so they can listen to it even away from the piano. Sometimes I catch my daughters moving their fingers as if they were at the piano while listening to their songs.
I believe you can never be too young to learn how to create beautiful music.