We love the idea of our children learning to play an instrument. When we sign them up for lessons with a tutor, we anxiously await to hear about what they have learned. However, when we think about music lessons, we usually picture our child learning to play an instrument and play songs. We don’t always think about our children having to learn to read music. If you’re thinking about signing your child up for online music lessons, you have likely thought about whether or not they are old enough to learn to read music yet. Is there an ideal age for our children to learn to read music?
Is there a perfect age to start reading music?
In short, the answer is there is no perfect age for a child to start learning to read music. Some professionals would say you can start your child with learning the piano or the violin as early as age four. Children can learn woodwind instruments, the guitar, and drums as early as seven. Whenever your child begins, know that many benefits come with early learning like how piano lessons make a child smarter. Music helps children to express themselves creatively, develop their communication skills, learn to solve problems differently, work toward a common goal, and best of all, gives them something new to enjoy.
Think of learning music as learning a foreign language. If you start your child learning music at an early age, they will be able to reap the benefits sooner than if they start later. The earlier they can begin, children can learn to achieve control quickly, learn proper techniques, and become more adept at hearing pitch.
What to keep in mind for your child
Unless your child is a music prodigy, like Mozart (who was reading and playing music by age six), don’t expect your child to spend one or two online lessons with their tutor and instantly comprehend music notes and theory. If this seems discouraging to you, don’t panic!
It’s entirely natural for a child to take years to learn to read fluently. The same can be said about learning to read music, and maybe even longer. Think about it. With our children, we read to them when they’re young. We may point out the words to them as they follow along while we read. We practice sounding out letters with them and help them along as they read on their own. We’re not nearly exposing them to music in the same way that we expose them to reading. (Unless you’re a professional musician and often play for or with your child.) So we shouldn’t place high expectations for our children to become fluent with reading music.
Allow yourself and your child plenty of time and patience to reach this goal. While they may learn their notes and their placement quickly, learning other aspects of music theory takes time. They may even forget their notes from time to time, and that’s okay too. You can help your child learn to read music by helping them consistently throughout the week (sometimes four to five days) using flashcards or creating small games suggested by his or her private music teacher. Another helpful tip is to let your child be exposed to music (or notes) outside of what they are currently learning. When you teach your child to read, you don’t restrict your son or daughter to only the letters or few words they know how to read. The same goes for music.
Starting on your musical journey
Starting your child early with online music lessons will bring about many positive benefits to reap. Just remember for you and your child to have patience through the process! It’s not about the destination but the journey you go through together. If your little musician is ready to start their musical journey, we welcome you to search through our teachers at Lessons In Your Home. All of our instructors are professional, passionate, and have been thoroughly vetted. You can be sure that your child will come to love to play the piano because our teachers inspire them. Our teachers can come to your home for lessons or can offer virtual music lessons. Contact us today to learn more.