You’re a parent who wants the best for their children. You understand that the benefits of learning music are tremendous!
But, music can be intimidating and you don’t know where to begin. You might be asking yourself, how do I get my child started in music lessons? How do I know where to look or what to look for?
You don’t want the moment to pass you by but you’re not sure if signing up your child for piano lessons is the right thing to do. Or, maybe even how to find the right teacher or music program for your child.
We are here to help! There are a lot of options but we’ll make sense of the various options that you have and help you decide what’s best for your family and your children when it comes to music or instrument lessons.
Kids can start at any age. But, what they learn and how they learn will be different depending on their age. Toddlers can start engaging with music by listening to music a lot with their parents, and by getting involved in a mommy and me music program that might be offered at their local daycare, or at a neighborhood community center, local music lessons studio or even someone’s home.
Slightly older children between 3-5 can start learning musical concepts like recognizing notes, identifying different instruments, clapping rhythms, learning song forms and more. To my knowledge there aren’t a whole lot of programs that teach these things. Here at My Music Workshop we recognized this and created a program that catered to kids and that teaches the concepts we listed.
You can seek out a program locally, through a music studio, or through your child’s school, you can find videos on YouTube or you can learn from an online music program like ours at MyMusicWorkshop.com. the benefit of learning from a structured program, as opposed to YouTube is that the structured program will guide your child through lessons progressively. They will keep things organized and help you structure your learning. YouTube has a lot of content but it can be difficult to find high quality content that teaches everything that your child is able to learn.
If your child is 5 or above, they may be ready to start learning an instrument.
After identifying the right instrument for your children, there are a few ways you can have them start learning. The first is private lessons.
Private lessons can be very good. But, you’ll want to make sure to find a good teacher, who has experience with kids. Keeping kids engaged is one of the highest priorities when teaching children. It’s not just how well the teacher plays, their accomplishments or even the depth of their knowledge. At the earliest stage of learning, the main goal is to keep kids interested and feeling successful.
A challenge with private lessons can be getting your kids to practice at home, when they aren’t with their teacher. Creating a routine is key.
Another great way to start music lessons is through an online program. They are convenient, and more affordable than private instrument lessons. They also help solve the issue of practicing.
Our program, My Music Workshop has practice built into every lesson. Kids can practice along with music played by real musicians, which is one of the best, and most engaging ways to practice. You can try out our program for free below.
If your child is older than about 10, it is absolutely not too late to get them started on an instrument! See the above section about the learning options. It is never too late to start getting involved in learning music.
How do I find a good instrument to purchase for my kids?
If you aren’t’ a musician, buying an instrument can be intimidating. Here are some things you’ll want to consider.
-Age and size of your child
Smaller kids need smaller instruments, larger children need bigger ones. This seems obvious, but sometimes parents overlook this detail. There are some instruments that come in different sizes and some that don’t. For example, there are different sized ukuleles, drums, guitars, violins etc. When it comes to piano’s and keyboards most kids who are old enough to start lessons can get away with playing a full sized instrument. But, if you’re shopping for another instrument, look for one that fits your child’s size. Instruments aren’t like t-shirts or sneakers. We usually don’t want to buy something too big so that they’ll grow into it later. We want kid to feel comfortable as soon as they start playing.
Of course, you’ll want to choose an instrument that fits your budget. Just make sure you get an instrument that is not a toy. There are a lot of toys out there masquerading as instruments. Don’t get one of these. They won’t sound good, feel good or last long. They also won’t help your kids learn proper playing techniques. If you have the budget for a higher quality instrument and your believe your child can take good care of it, there is nothing wrong with starting off with a nice instrument. They tend to be more desirable to play and thus help motivate your kids to play and practice.
But, don’t worry if you don’t have a huge instrument budget. There are tons of good quality instruments out there that won’t break the bank.
-Has your child committed to the instrument?
Most of us want to make sure our kids commit to learning an instrument before purchasing an expensive, high quality instrument. Once you believe they are committed to learning long term it is best to consider a nicer instrument that they can keep and play for a long time. As I mentioned above, better instruments are much nicer to play. They help with technique, they help keep musicians motivated to play, they feel more comfortable and they will typically last longer.
-Where should you buy an instrument?
There are a lot of places you can go to buy an instrument. You can shop on Amazon, a local music store, or an online instrument retailer like Sweetwater.com. Sweetwater and music stores can help you choose the right instrument for your child. Sweetwater has a support team that can guide you through the process (we’re not affiliated with them by the way, I just think they do a good job and have good prices).
So, starting music lessons for your kids does come with some decisions but it is worth making those decisions and getting your children started learning music as soon as possible. Like any worthwhile pursuit, there are challenges that coming with learning to play an instrument, but with time, commitment and effort, those challenges can and will be met and you and your child will be grateful that you did it.
I wish you well on your musical path and be sure to check out our kids music learning program, My Music Workshop here!