by Stacey Schifferdecker
Childhood moves at a much faster pace now than it did when we were kids, and music lessons are just one example. While we may have started piano lessons in late elementary school, kids now toddle up to the piano bench for lessons when they are still in preschool. When is the right age for music lessons and are condemning your child to a lifetime of musical mediocrity if you start too late?
In addition, your child must be able to
- Understand and follow directions
- Focus on a particular subject for a given time period
- Practice regularly
Finally, it helps if your child is really interested in taking music lessons.
If you decide your child isn’t ready for private music lessons yet, there are plenty of other ways to introduce him to the joy of music:
- Attend a concert together and point out the different varieties of instruments and what sounds they make. Children are more likely to stick with and practice an instrument if they like its sound.
- Look into group musical activities, such as a “Mommy and Me” music class or a local church choir.
- Listen to lots of different types of music together. Dance and move your bodies to the music.
- Play rhythm games.
- Make music together. Sing simple songs, bang on pans, or make shakers out of plastic eggs filled with beans or popcorn kernels.
There is no harm in waiting until your child is developmentally ready for music lessons. Beginning a child on a musical instrument in preschool does not ensure that he will grow up to be a gifted adult musician. In fact, starting children too early or pushing them too quickly is just frustrating for the child and can make him hate both music and music lessons.
Stacey Schifferdecker is the happy but harried mother of three school-aged children—two boys and a girl. She is also a freelance writer, a Children’s Minister, a PTA volunteer, and a Scout leader. Stacey has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and French and a Master’s degree in English. She has written extensively about parenting and education as well as business, technology, travel, and hobbies.
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