What Age Is Best for Beginning Music Lessons?
From infancy, humans respond to music and rhythms. The ability to make music is wired in our brains as much as the ability to learn a language. Children are genetically programmed to absorb information and develop skills that will be used as an adult, and the same ability is evident when a child is exposed to music and learns to play an instrument.
The creative concepts of tempo, pitch, harmony and syncopation, as well as mastering an instrument, help a child develop related skills. Musical notation and composition is a form of mathematics; breaking musical notes and sounds into full, half and quarter notes give a practical lesson in math. The mental skills of concentration, comprehension, as well as refining motor skills and physical dexterity is learned by playing an instrument. Learning to play and instrument and read music also promotes self-confidence, discipline, and encourage creativity . These are the obvious by-products of any education, and a musical education enhances and refines these skills along with the additional benefit of intellectual growth and maturity. .
From the time they begin hearing and responding, babies naturally respond to the stimulus of rhythm and music. Between the ages of six months and four years, music lessons can help a child develop their sense of rhythm and musical expression. Group participation by singing and playing simple instruments like rattles and tambourines develop social and cooperative skills. Such simple percussion instruments are easily manipulated e by a child at an early age, and a three year old can begin to learn and repeat songs.
By the age of five, many children are capable of learning to play simple tunes on a piano or other keyboard instruments. Most children by then the dexterity, strength and motor control to begin piano or violin lessons. By this age, most children also have the patience, concentration and attention span to concentrate for a half hour music lesson or practice.
By age seven, most children will have the strength and coordination for lessons in drum or guitar. It is advisable to wait until age ten before starting lessons in woodwind instruments, as they require a larger lung capacity and control of the mouth and lips.
It is essential that parents and teachers encourage any child that shows musical ability, and most of all interest, to have an early introduction to music and musical instruments. The mental and physical skill and discipline required to play an instrument will be a great asset in their education and expand their skill, knowledge and a greater appreciation for learning and experiences as well.
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