One question we often get asked about Orlando Music Lessons is “Is my child old enough to start taking lessons?” This question is excellent because no one wants to frustrate their child, but at the same time parents want to start lessons when the child is young enough to have build a solid foundation in their instrument before starting band in upper elementary or middle school. Whether or not the child is old enough depends on several factors.
Interest is a key factor in whether a child is ready to start Orlando Music Lessons. If a child is interested, it helps them to feel motivated enough to work through something, even if it’s hard. Conversely, if a child isn’t demonstrating an interest and they are young, it will be hard to get them to practice and feel successful, especially if they don’t have the coordination needed to play their instrument. A motivated 6 year old may be more “ready” for lessons than an uninterested 11 year old.
This is key. Some instruments are easier for little hands to play than others. Piano is a great instrument to start with because it makes a nice sound no matter what, so a five year old can begin to make music almost immediately, even with small hands. Violins come in scaled down versions to accommodate younger students and have small necks that little fingers can reach around. Guitars, on the other hand, are larger, even the small/junior versions. The neck is wider and has more strings. Guitar takes a larger hand and more hand strength than a violin or a piano. A motivated 7 or 8 year old might find success with guitar, but a five year old might benefit from taking piano to learn about reading music before starting guitar lessons. A tuba or an upright bass require a larger person to support them and are more appropriate instruments to start in late elementary and middle school.
For many of the instruments we give Orlando Music Lessons on, students need to be able to move their fingers independently of each other. Some children can do this at a younger age than others. Practicing an instrument can help build dexterity and small motor skills, but if this is an area where a student struggles, than music lessons could be an added frustration rather than a help.
Attention Span impacts the length of music lessons more than whether or not your child is ready for lessons at all. We generally recommend that 5-7 year olds start with 30 or 45 minute lessons and then adjust or add time as necessary. Older students might want to start with longer lessons so that they can get more time with their teacher each week and cover more material at a faster pace.
What If My Child Isn’t Ready?
Maybe after reading this you’re not sure if your child is ready for lessons. There’s one sure way to find out: Try them! Your child’s teacher will let you know if it seems like lessons are too hard or too long. Perhaps your 7 year old really wants to play the bassoon, tuba or bass. Starting her out on a smaller, more manageable instrument would teach her how to read music and if the instrument was in the same family, might also teach her a little about how to play that kind of instrument. Playing the clarinet instead of the bassoon or violin instead of bass would help lay the foundation for the larger, more cumbersome instrument later on. Orlando Music Lessons on any instrument will help your child appreciate and understand music and be ready to branch out to other instruments later on.
For pre-school aged children, if you get together a group of students, Lessons In Your Home could offer your small playgroup a weekly age-appropriate group music and movement lesson similar to those we do in schools. Our Little Music Makers program might suit your needs well. It’s never too early to start children on the path to loving music. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. However, our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more.