Best age for kids to learn music

When it comes to deciding at what is the best age for a child to learn music lessons, some parents may be tempted to look to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as an example. After all, he apparently composed his first piece of music for the clavier (a piano-like instrument) at age four or five and wrote his first symphony at age seven. It is said that by six he had already mastered the keyboard, organ, and violin in addition to his ability to compose music. However, this is not typical; Mozart was a prodigy and a musical genius of nearly unparalleled proportions. And yet, even though your kids may not master music as quickly as he did, that doesn’t mean you can’t start them early learning to appreciate music and play an instrument.

In truth, kids can start their love affair with music the minute they emerge from the womb. Have you noticed that many toys for infants and toddlers contain some kind of noise-maker? In some cases there is a rattle while others have any number of buttons, knobs, dials, and keys that make a variety of sounds when activated. Some have bells. Others have whistles. And you may have noticed that children will use them incessantly (often to the dismay of their beleaguered parents and siblings). The point is, children will start to experiment with sound from the youngest of ages and you can either try to quiet them or find ways to encourage this exploration from the get-go.

Even infants and toddlers can have fun with simple musical instruments, particularly of the percussion variety. Any type of drum or rattle will prove an enticing toy, and a tambourine could be another fun addition to their lineup of starter instruments. You might also want to introduce a breath-powered instrument such as a penny whistle, kazoo, harmonica, or recorder. And many toy companies make miniature pianos with just a few keys for toddlers to bang away on. Even if you think that your child isn’t ready for music lessons, it’s never too soon to start introducing them to the wide world of musical possibilities that results from familiarity with different types of instruments.

That said, you are probably keen to find out when you should enroll them in some manner of formal training. In truth, you could start them as young as three, if you were so inclined. Many types of instruments are made to scale for young children (violins, guitars, and even drum sets) so that they don’t have to try to learn on adult-size pieces. However, you may find that some teachers are unwilling to work with students this young. Many teachers require not only that children have the physical capacity to play an instrument (which is to say hands that are large enough to hold and manipulate an instrument, along with the dexterity and motor skills to do so), but also the mental function required to concentrate on lessons. In short, it may depend on your kids and their level of development.

Starting kids early with music lessons is a great way to ensure that they have the best opportunity to embrace an instrument fully. And although they may move on to other musical pursuits over time (trying other instruments, singing, composing, or even spinning discs on a Numark Mixdeck Universal DJ for the enjoyment of their teenage friends), the truth is that music has the capacity to help young minds develop more fully, as well as provide mental stimulation at any age. So you really can’t start them too early.


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