deciding on music lessons for young kids

Music Lessons for Kids – When to start


Music lessons for kids

Way back in the day – okay it doesn’t seem that long ago, but back then, I was a band geek. My aunt had played clarinet and quit so when 5th grade came along, I played clarinet. And then, I started learning new instruments: baritone, trumpet, saxophone, flute: You get the picture. While I do not play now, I do want my kids to have an appreciation for music. I want them to have lessons and at least try to learn an instrument.

Which instrument to start?

Choosing a starter instrument for a young child really comes down to whether you have a preference, the cost, and whether you have an instrument you feel your child “must” try. You can also head to a music studio and have your child try out a few instruments, listen to them and see if they come up with something that interests them. Of course, that is dependent upon a company having these sorts of opportunities.

Even before formal lessons, musical rhtym and the like can be taught through something like Music Together or classes like that. (See this old post about Groovy Kids with Teacher Kevin.

Violin for early music learning

Many children my kids’ ages start with violin using something like the suzuki method, which introduces the instrument in a way like you’d learn a language at a young age. At the beginning it is about the sound and not which “notes” – and then there’s progression. However, there are no suzuki method teachers near me. There is violin here but it is pretty pricey when the only reason my daughter is interested in this music is because her friends who live near my in-laws play this one. We’re not near by so peer learning isn’t likely to happen.

Ukelele and guitar lessons

Then, there’s ukelele. This is a pre-guitar class that the nearby music studio teaches. My daughter has said she wants to take this but then says she wants only a real guitar. So I’m letting this sit.

Keyboard or piano classes

Next is keyboarding. This is also taught nearby, but this isn’t the same as piano classes like you’d find at Steinway Pianos Los Angeles or other reputable place. Parents here actually say, “oh my son is taking casio.” Not that i have anything against Casio as a brand… so I bought, I mean Santa delivered a small keyboard that was inexpensive so we can see if the kids are enjoying. My daughter, does like it, but she thinks she’s a pro. She’s a typical almost 6 year old who has all the confidence in the world.

Finally there is intro to woodwinds with the recorder. I can teach this basics, but I’m not sure my daughter is ready yet, since when we’ve discussed how music comes, she doesn’t have the patience to learn from me at this time.

For me, these are the starter instruments for a child who is under say age 8.

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  1. My nieces and nephews all started with the recorder around age 8 but they are in public school. I’m not sure what I’ll do with hy baby when she’s old enough. Right now we go to Kindermusik every week so she is learning about rhythm and sounds but I’m not sure how many years we’ll continue. (She’s only 8 months now.) you’ve given me some great things to think about!

  2. I fully believe in music lessons for kids as soon as they start showing an interest in an instrument and wanting to learn. But even before that, exposure to music from infancy, and even pregnancy, can be beneficial.

  3. I played the recorder and trumpet. I stopped in high school but I think of all the concerts I was in to this day! Wish my kids would play something. Music is good for the soul.

  4. I had this nice long comment typed out, and somehow managed to delete it! Anyway, I started on the piano at 7 and the cello at 9, both of which I still play. I’ll probably start teaching my son basic theory and note on the piano when he’s 5. I think the piano (or keyboard) is the best instrument to start on, because they learn both treble and bass cleft, and it’s an instrument even a tone deaf kid can play. Violin…not so much. If they don’t have a musical ear, it’s always going to sound horrible. And if you use the Suzuki Method for any instrument, read up on the controversy, and make sure your child is learning traditional ways to read music as well!

  5. This is great to know. I have a six year old who might be interested in picking up an instrument. I played the clarinet and later was in the top choir in high school and college. Music is a super important part of our lives.


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