Music lessons offer many benefits to children — including a lifelong appreciation for music — but there are five things you should know before signing up your child.
Selecting an instrument
The piano is an excellent first instrument, because anyone can sit down at the piano and press a key. This is important, especially with young children, because you don’t want them to find it so hard that they get discouraged. Additionally, your child will learn both the bass and treble clef on piano, which gives them an advantageous start, even if they change instruments later on.
- Do they show any interest in music? Children who enjoy music or singing are more likely to have an aptitude for learning a musical instrument.
- Do they know their alphabet? It is very helpful for children to at least know A through G, forwards and backwards. This will make it easier for them to grasp the names of musical notes.
- Are they able to concentrate for the duration of a lesson? This is typically 30 minutes for younger children, but can last up to an hour.
Buying an instrument
It is fine to buy a student model instrument, but buy one of quality. If the instrument sounds terrible and is difficult to play, your child may quickly lose their motivation. If you buy a piano, invest a little more to buy a good acoustic piano rather than a digital one. Not only will they enjoy the good tone and harmonics of a real piano, but they will also develop a more sensitive and expressive touch.
Keep it fun
Make sure the piano is placed in a well-lit room, close to where you can hear your child playing. Participate in their experience by talking with them about what they’re learning and how they sound. This will excite and inspire your child to continue playing.
Find a good teacher
Referrals from family and friends are a good starting point, but also check the Yellow Pages or local advertisements. Once you have a few names, call and arrange to visit the teacher at their studio. Ask questions to get more information about lessons, including these few:
- Where were they trained?
- What is their method of teaching?
- How do they help their students to progress?
- Do they encourage performing?