4.) How young is too young – starting at the right age
For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. If a child is put into lessons too soon they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented. Sometimes if the child waits a year to start lessons their progress can be much faster. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.
3-4 Years OldIf a pre-schooler has a keen desire and wants to start music, a group preschool music class will give them a good foundation in music basics which will be helpful in later private lessons. At this age, private lessons generally do not work as the child has not yet experienced the formal learning environment of kindergarten or school and learns more effectively through the game oriented preschool environment.
Piano / KeyboardAt our school 4 years old is the youngest age that we start children in private piano lessons. At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.
Guitar – Acoustic, Electric and Bass
7 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable. Bass guitar students generally are 10 years old and older.
10 years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the rigors of vocal technique. For children younger than 10, we have a children’s choir (ages 6-9) and a preschool singing program (ages 3-5) that teaches them how to use their voices properly, in a fun, relaxed environment.
The average age of our youngest drum student is 8. This varies greatly depending on the size of the child as they need to be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals.
Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet and Saxophone
Due to lung capacity (and with the saxophone the size of the instrument), we recommend that beginners start these instruments at age 9 and older.
ViolinWe accept violin students from the age of 5. Some teachers will start children as young as 3, but experience has shown us the most productive learning occurs when the beginner is 5 or older.
#5 Most Importantly… HAVE FUN!