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Children Learning Music

The ‘ Misbelief ‘ About Young Children Learning A Musical Instrument

WHAT AGE CAN CHILDREN LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ?

There is a misbelief that children should start learning a musical instrument when they are 4 to 5 years of age. Parents mistakenly think that the younger their child starts learning to play an instrument the more accomplished they will become. But starting too young can be detrimental to the child and even destroy their confidence at learning music for ever !

WHY ..

Children around 4 to 5 years of age have not attained the level of physical and mental development to learn the challenging skills of playing an instrument. If young children find it physically awkward to play an instrument this alone can discourage them. Children also need the capacity to focus to learn an instrument and apply themselves to doing regular home practice. If a child is too young they will find learning an instrument a difficult and tedious task and something they have to do rather than something they want to do. They only go to their next music lesson because mum or dad tells them they have to. What should be an enjoyable fun experience becomes a chore resulting in many children eventually rebelling and wanting to give music away completely. They retain their perception of learning to play a musical instrument as too hard and boring .. it’s not fun !

HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT LEARNING MUSIC ..

To be successful at learning a musical instrument it must be a fun and creative experience. The greatest medium for success and accomplishing the skills of playing a musical instrument is a child must love it and want to do it. They must perceive it as an enjoyable and creative activity and look forward to their next lesson .. to their next challenge. Learning an instrument must build their self esteem and inner confidence, not crush it !

THE TRAP ..

Information on the internet saying that children can learn an instrument from as young as 4 to 5 years is misleading to say the least. Also some teachers will accept children as students from this young age to get another student and are not considering what is in the best interest of the child. If children are too young they will not only find it difficult but they will also make very slow progress (if any) and parents will get little value for the money they are paying for lessons.

PARENTS PLEASE NOTE ..

If you think your child is special and exempt from all this, think again ! Your child is still a child. They must be allowed to develop mentally, physically and spiritually, and be inwardly ready for their next challenge or activity whatever that may be. Learning music must be fun .. life must be fun !

WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN TO MAKE A START WITH MUSIC ..

Children from 4 years and even up to 7 years can make a start with music through early childhood music classes so long as the content of the classes is easy and musically beneficial. This is why at Christensen’s we offer our very exclusive Music Discovery classes. These are small group classes where children can learn about and gain hands-on experience at playing many different instruments to help them decide which instrument they may wish to learn when they are ready. In the Music Discovery classes children also learn about the essential elements of music, preparing them with a good musical foundation for when they learn an instrument later. These classes build a child’s self esteem and confidence with music like no other .. and because the content is varied from term to term children can continue in the Music Discovery classes for as long as they are enjoying them until they are ready for the next step to learn an instrument.

FROM WHAT AGE CAN CHILDREN LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ..

If a child is clear on what instrument they’d like to learn they can usually start from 6 to 7 years of age, although even at this age some children may still not be ready. Choice of instruments for children can include guitar, ukulele, keyboard or violin. Wind or brass instruments should not be learnt until children have reached at least 8 to 9 years depending on a child’s physical size. These may include alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet or flugelhorn. Instruments such as cello, trombone, tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone are better left until they are 10 years or older.

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