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Home Education The Arts When your child should start playing an instrument

When your child should start playing an instrument

Is Your Child Ready for Music Lessons?

According to “The Right Instrument For Your Child” by Atarah Ben-Tovim and Douglas Boyd, parents should consider several questions before their child starts music lessons. Can the child:

  • Already read fluently?
  • Write without problems?
  • Do simple addition, multiplication, subtraction and division?
  • Handle the social pressures of school?
  • Has the child:
  • Attended full-time school for at least two and a half years?
  • Carried on any hobby or belonged to an out-of-school activity or interest group for three months or more?


Does the child:

  • Know the difference between work and play?
  • Have the spare mental energy (after schoolwork is done) to begin a demanding new activity?

A “yes” answer to all the questions means a child is ready to learn an instrument. A single “no” indicates a child may not yet be ready. If in doubt, it is better to wait, the authors say.

How to pick the right Instrument for your child

To find the right match between an instrument and your child, writers at The Music Moms, a blog authored by a group of music-savvy parents from the East Coast, recommend the following:

  • Think about the age of your child. Brass and even woodwind instruments cannot be played until a child has a full mouth of adult teeth, while string instruments can be started as early as age three.
  • Think about the amount of space you have to store an instrument. Pianos and drums take up a lot of space, though some can get away with a keyboard or drum pads. Also consider car space and how much room you would need to transport the instrument.
  • Take your budget into account. Start your child on an instrument you can afford to purchase or at least rent.
  • Decide what instruments you enjoy hearing most. Check out some CDs from the library and pick out your favorite sounds.

After the initial decisions are made, show the list of potential instruments to your child to see if he or she has an affinity for one over the other.

Source: www.themusicmoms.com

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