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One of the most common questions parents of young children have is, “when is my child ready to start lessons?” Here are 4 things to look for to determine whether your child is ready to start music lessons.
- They can follow instructions. This is probably the most important indicator. If a child isn’t old enough to consistently follow instructions, he or she isn’t ready for lessons.
- They have an interest in music. Not all people are created to learn an instrument, and that’s okay. If your child has an interest in music, however, that’s a good sign he or she is ready for music lessons.
- They can focus for at least 15 minutes. For very young students (up to age 5), I start with 15 minute lessons. We cover several different techniques in that 15 minutes, so students are constantly moving around. If your child has a difficult time paying attention for 15 minutes, it might be too early to begin music lessons.
- They can talk clearly. Though there are music classes for children who cannot yet talk clearly (and I’d be happy to tell you of some in the area!), private music lessons in my studio is not the way to go until children can communicate clearly with others—without the parent having to constantly translate.
And, as a bonus, here’s a question to determine if YOU as the parent are ready for your child to start lessons:
- You as the parent are committed to helping your child practice. In my teaching style (and the teaching style of many other teachers), parents play a key role in the child’s success. If you are not ready to make a commitment to help your child practice for at least 30 minutes, five days a week, then it might not be time to start music lessons.
Additionally, here are 3 things that don’t matter when beginning music lessons in my studio:
- Reading. If they are ready according to the indicators above, it doesn’t matter if a child can read yet or not!
- Previous experience—for either the student OR the parent. It’s not necessary for you OR your child to have music experience before starting lessons! I walk you and the student through everything you need to know, and you all can learn together.
- Having other siblings tag along. Siblings are always welcome to tag along for the student’s lesson. I have a place for them right off my teaching room, and all I ask is that they work/read/play quietly so the student isn’t distracted.