Monday, 23 May 2011

What is the best age for a child to take music lessons?

A number of parents have asked musicians at what age it is best to teach children music. The answers received can be very interesting at times. Today I want to share my view on this matter.  I know that I will help clear up any doubt that exist and motive parent’s interest in allowing their child to take music lessons at an early age.
The question asked frequently by parents – (At what age should my child start taking music lessons?)
Before I give a specific answer to the question I would like to let parents know that music is naturally apart of human nature. While some persons might not agree, I want to highlight that there is no factual research that have given any proof as to where and when music started. When a child above 12 months old can dance and shake to music without any instructions this tells me that human beings are created and born with this unique gift.  
From my experience of teaching music to different age group for more than 10 years, I can say that I have seen great results when children start taking music lessons from ages 5 or 6. While teaching this age group I have realized that these children will follow basic instructions given to them clearly and their interest and attention span is fairly high. Five and six years old children will be able to sit in a music lesson for 20 to 35 minutes. But younger children have shorter attention span. Most 5 and 6 years old children are able to use their fingers to do a number of things. When your child is involved in music lessons from as early as 5 or 6 years old, they tend to do well in the future and most of them turn out to be great musicians as early as age 10.
What about the younger kids? Children younger than five years old are good at manipulating objects and are still exploring their surroundings. Their attention span is shorter and parents might waste a lot of money having them doing music lessons so early. I would recommend that parents use this time to create a musical environment for their children. Parents can do so by buying some musical gadgets and some “kiddie’s versions” of musical instrument to develop their interest in music. A lot of parents have done this and it worked well in their favor.
So based on my experience in teaching music to children, I would say that between  ages 5 to 6 is a good time for children to start doing music lessons. Yes! Let them learn to play the piano, guitar and even the drum kit. Age five and six is the later part of the preoperational stage of cognitive development in one of Jean Piaget’s theories. Children at this stage are able to understand basic information and are able to relate to their parent, peers and teachers. However, some parents allow their children to be involved in music lessons as early as 4 years old.
It is very important that parents do researches pertaining to child development. This will give them an idea as to what age is suitable for their child to be involvement is extra and academic activities. However, there are some children who are born with higher IQ (Intelligence Quotient); these children normally catch on to practical and academic activities faster and earlier than others.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Carlinton Singh

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