5 Stages for Introducing Music to Children

Pop culture fanatics and Gleeks alike have been making a big deal out of a leaked set list for an upcoming episode of Glee – a tribute to the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson!

With a family like the Jacksons, it wasn’t hard for Michael to jump into the music industry at an early age.  But for most parents, it will take a bit more effort to involve your child in music.  And the question remains: What age should a child start music lessons?  It depends.  Check out this great resource for intoducing music to your child at all ages, courtesy of Childrensmusicworkshop.com:

6 to 8 Months
Classes for moms and babies are a great way to begin even with children as young as 6 – 8 months. These classes are usually 30 – 40 minutes long, and they require active participation on the part of parents. Programs designed for toddlers 18 – 24 months are very popular as well; these still require parental participation, but by this age, children are starting actively to engage in the different activities in the class.

3 and 4 Year Olds
Programs for 3- and 4-year-olds are now readily available. This is really the ideal age for kids to start their music experience. Most of these programs are about 30 – 35 minutes in length, and involve props, movement and singing. Some even integrate arts and crafts and free play with rhythm instruments and props to music. Parents typically are not required to participate in these classes.

Ages 5 and Up
For children ages 5 and up, teachers should ideally integrate activities such as music games and crafts into the curriculum.  Piano/keyboard lessons are sometimes easiest for children ages 5, 6, and even older. One year of instruction on the piano or keyboard provides a great foundation as children learn basic music theory concepts such as the music alphabet, what a quarter note, half note, and whole note is, what the music staff does, and the location of the keys on the keyboard. In addition, they learn fun kids songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” If piano isn’t their thing, the violin can provide a great foundation for children to start their lesson path.

Ages 7 and Up
Around age 7, instruments such as the guitar, drums and other string instruments can be introduced. The same concepts are covered, but children who have had at least six months to one year of piano under their belt (and thus already know the basic elements of music) find it easier to make the transition between instruments. Consequently, they are able to engage with the new instrument a lot faster.

Elementary School Grades 3 and Up
Most elementary schools provide an opportunity for children in Grades 3 and up to begin taking group lessons in school on all instruments except the piano. This gives them the opportunity to participate in a band or orchestra at school with their friends, an experience that is often remembered vividly into adulthood. The only drawback that comes from these types of group lessons is that children needing extra help on their instrument are sometimes too timid to ask for it, or the instructor’s schedule does not allow for extra time spent with students, which can lead to discouragement. Outside private lessons on your child’s instrument are a wonderful way to reinforce what they are doing at school, and also help them to exceed what the other children in their group class are doing. This can pave the way for the child’s inclusion in solo festivals offered by the State or County.

Looking for a music lessons for your child?  Find a teacher near you – search by zip code here.

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You might also like…
- How to Keep Your Kids Engaged in Music
- Making Music Fun: Practice Tips for Young Children
- Supporting Your Child in Music: A Parent’s Guide

 

Image courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com

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