How To Tell If My Child is Ready for Music Lessons?
A common question parents like to ask is, “How do I know if my child is ready for music lessons?” Here are some guidelines that we provide to parents to help them determine whether their child is ready for music lessons.
Does your child show an affinity for music?
Affinity for music is defined as having a natural attraction towards music. If your child is mesmerized by musical performers at a festival, your child enjoys music. Maybe you’ve noticed toe tapping, head bobbing, humming, or singing along to music. These are signs that your child is responsive to the music.
I read an article about a nine-year old boy who exclaimed “Wow!” after a performance of Mozart at Boston’s Symphony Hall. If your child has an emotional response to music like the one above, or they can’t stop talking about a performer or a music piece, they are showing that they have a natural attraction to music.
Some children show their interest in music through musical play. They stage an enthusiastic performance on the air guitar, play with a toy ukulele, fabricate a homemade violin, or experiment with the piano. Your child is likely interested in learning to play an instrument.
Enjoyment of music is demonstrated in many different ways so we like to tell parents to keep their eyes and ears open. It is definitely easier for a child to practice if they demonstrate an interest in music.
Is your child developmentally ready for music lessons?
You need to determine if your child is physically capable of playing the instrument. Physical constraints include fingers or arms that are not long enough for a particular instrument or lungs that have not developed enough to master a wind instrument. Although this is a challenge, music teachers can recommend suitable alternative instruments for students to learn while they wait for their body to catch up.
Another factor to consider is whether your child is mentally ready to learn. Can your child sit still and follow instructions? Can your child concentrate? Ideally, music students are attentive and interested. Mental readiness is crucial to determine if your child is ready to learn in a one-on-one setting and just as importantly, practice at home.
It is for these reasons our music lessons are offered for ages 5 and older. As an aside, we also offer preschool music lessons for ages 4 and up. This is perfect for children who show an interest in music but are not physically ready to play an instrument.
Still unsure of whether your child is ready for music lessons? We like to do a meet and greet with parents of potential students to determine their child’s readiness.
Next week, we will answer the question, “What qualities should I look for in a music teacher?”