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When to Start Music Lessons

Do you want your child to play an instrument? Answer these four questions to help determine when to start music lessons with your child.

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Many parents want their child to be well-rounded and, in many cases, learn a musical instrument. There are so many benefits to music education and deciding when your child should start learning to play is an important decision. Check out the questions you need to ask yourself or your child to see if they are ready.

Asian young pianist teacher teaching girl kid student to play piano

When to start music lessons?

Learning music can be fun and rewarding for children. There are many different instruments to choose from and then choosing a music school or private lessons can be hard. Read through the questions below to get thinking about what’s best for your family.

When to start piano lessons?

Piano lessons are a good place to start for children around kindergarten age. Remember you don’t have to own a piano to play. You can buy a portable keyboard. Tip: Don’t make a huge investment to start.

Does your child want to take lessons?  

Learning piano for me was not fun.  My teacher was an older lady and VERY strict.  I don’t even remember wanting or even asking to take lessons. I stopped taking around eight years old. However, playing piano as a tween was still one of my hobbies and I even got New Kids on the Block sheet music.

 Two of my kids have asked for music lessons.  My son, who is 7 years old, has been taking guitar for a year.

Is your child old enough? 

My son asked to take guitar lessons when he was 4.  He was very motivated so I thought we should give it a shot.  I noticed there was a guitar camp at the local music store.  Since he was not even in kindergarten yet, he was too young to go.  I talked with the owner and we worked out a plan where he had his own camp.  He went everyday, for a week, and had a 30 minute lesson.  

At the end of the week, his instructor and I evaluated his progress to determine his readiness for a regular commitment.  And while he loved the camp, we felt he still needed to wait a bit longer because he was having trouble holding the strings down with his fingers and his ability to focus for the 30 minutes wasn’t quite there yet.  He just wanted to be a rock start without all the work.

Happy smiling boy learning to play the acoustic guitar

Is your child ready? 

I feel my 4-year-old is still a little young. She went to her first lesson and it was great and that was the only time! It went downhill from there. She got frustrated very quickly. I am waiting a little longer to sign her up. We do have a children’s guitar that she plays and I show her a few notes to practice. She stays focused for about 7 minutes

My older son is 10. He is old enough, but he’s never expressed an interest. When I have mentioned it to him, he says no.

Is your music teacher a good fit for your child?  

I think the main reason my son loves guitar so much is his teacher.  He is fantastic.  He is very laid back and they goof around a lot.  If he had a teacher that was strict and scolded him for being silly, he would never want to go back.  

For example, I once told the teacher how I corrected my son for laying down on his bed or slouching when he plays.  And you know what the teacher said, “Great!  He’s playing!”  I never thought of it that way.  I remember my piano teacher alway getting on to me about the way I was sitting.

I would love to hear your stories about your child and their lessons?  Do you have to fight with them to go?

Several people have asked what book my son uses to learn guitar.  It’s this one.