Once a child has expressed an interest in learning to play a musical instrument, it’s important for parents to take the them seriously. Studies have shown that musical instruction can be an incredibly beneficial experience for children. It teaches them responsibility, dedication, confidence, and can offer them the joyful experience of learning to express themselves using art. In some cases, children who learn music can cultivate their skills and become professional musicians. Nurturing a child’s curiosity and providing for them an outlet for their creativity and energy is always a great idea.
If you’re a parent and your child has expressed an interest in learning an instrument, one of the most important steps for you to take on their behalf is to find them a quality music teacher. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help you make sure you’re choosing the right music lesson program for your son or daughter that will set them up for success.
Did you know that there are music classes available for children before they’re even two years old? It’s true. They typically begin with exposure to movement, response to musical genres, lullabies, etc. These early classes obviously don’t include learning any instruments, but they can help to instill a love of music in children at a young age. Generally, formal music lessons can begin for children when they’re in the first grade. Often, these lessons are geared around piano and string instruments. This is due to the fact that physical limitations prevent children from being able to learn other instruments until later, when they’re more developed. These early music programs require parents to attend and participate alongside their child. If you’re considering one of these programs, know that they are not lessons the way you’d typically think of them. These lessons are made up of a variety of different activities, so your child won’t be sitting and playing an instrument for an extended period of time. When evaluating a program for a child who is around five, look for programs that introduce them to an instrument but also involve movement, rhythm activities, and singing. For most children, group activities are more fun and more helpful than one-on-one lessons.
Children Six and Older
For children six and older, there are more formal music lesson programs. They can be group programs or individual programs. To determine which is best for your child, it’s important to discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of each. You can expect to be told that group environments are more beneficial for developing social skills, teamwork, and cooperative learning skills. In a one-on-one setting, the music lessons can be designed to suit the specific needs and interests of your child. If your child is especially proficient, they may find themselves held back in a group setting. Some argue that, because children at this young age are susceptible to distraction, a serious one-on-one environment can be more beneficial to the actual development of music skills. Others contend that the enjoyment and social aspect of group settings will foster a more positive relationship between your child and the experience of learning to play an instrument. Which you select will ultimately depend on your child’s specific disposition and your reasons for enrolling them in a music lesson program. Don’t forget, if you make a choice and it isn’t working out, you can always switch.
We’ve gone into what you should consider when you’re choosing a music teacher for your child before, but it’s impossible to overstate how important it is to pick the right teacher for your child. When you’re choosing a lesson plan, make sure to ask your child’s music teacher a lot of questions about their experience, what the learning environment will be, and what their relationship will be to your child throughout the process. Have prospective music teachers lay out their music lesson plan and see if it aligns with your goals. A good music teacher will be able to explain the structure of their lesson plan and the potential benefits for your child.
A good music lesson plan won’t do all of the heavy lifting for you. For your child to be successful, you need to be involved with their music learning journey every step of the way. Look for lessons that provide you with the opportunity to stay involved. For young children, this means attending their lessons with them and making sure to integrate what they’re learning and experiencing at home. For older children who are receiving more formal lessons, it means staying up-to-date on their progress and always being supportive.
If you’re not prepared to attend their classes or recitals, pay for instruments, accessories, and the occasional repair, then you aren’t as committed to your child’s success as you should be. Set an example for your child and take their music lessons seriously but don’t forget to enjoy the process, too. As you already know, modeling attitudes and behaviors is one of the most important parts of being a parent, and the attitudes and behaviors you model to your child about music could make all the difference. From a practicality perspective, your involvement with your child’s music lessons also ensures that you are getting what you pay for and your child’s time and energy aren’t wasted.
Choosing the right music lessons can be tricky, but once you find the right one, your child will benefit in ways you can’t even imagine. Head on over to the Music & Arts Lesson Studio to find a program that works for you.