This is one question we often hear from both parents of young children and adults who would like to begin playing a musical instrument and are considering taking music lessons. There is no simple answer as it will depend upon the desire, natural aptitude and physical proficiency the music student brings to the program. Mozart was writing music by the time he was 5 and while not every child is going to be a prodigy, some children display an amazing natural talent and physical ability at very young ages.
The best way to determine if your child is old enough to enjoy taking music lessons or if you as an adult have what it takes to learn how to begin playing an instrument is to have an introductory music lesson on the instrument of your choice. During the introductory music lesson each student’s potential will be evaluated in several ways.
For younger children we evaluate their natural music sense, their dexterity, comprehension and also their ability to understand some very simple playing techniques. If the child proves to be ready then we will inform you regarding expectations and give you an overview of what will be required regarding practice times and parental involvement. In some cases they are not quite ready for instruments like guitars which can be cumbersome or require strength that has not yet been developed. There are student models that are smaller and easier to play available in many instruments variations that we can recommend.
For very young students (around age 4), it is recommended to begin music lessons with voice and/or piano as these are easier and more natural instruments for young children to pick up. Instruments such as guitar can be difficult for young children as it requires strength to press down and hold strings. Once a musical foundation has been planted in a child, it is much easier to transition into other instruments of their liking that may be more difficult.
For adults, the evaluation is usually much easier. It is more of a determination of where you are now and where you would like to go. If you have been playing for some time and simply want to improve, the teacher will determine the starting point and you will proceed from there. We also have many adults starting music lessons without any prior musical experience. All that’s required is a desire to learn.
If you would like to find out if you or your child is ready to begin taking lessons, you can book an introductory lesson online or talk to Jennifer at (587) 390-7347.