Elementary children are at a perfect age to start learning music. Is learning music online best for you and your child?
What are the best ways to get your elementary school child into music?
Should they start learning an instrument?
Is it too late to start learning music?
What if music isn’t offered at my child’s elementary school?
What if it is? Should that be the only music education my child gets?
Is learning music online a good option?
We’ll answer these questions and some more here!
Hi! My name is Elias Berlinger, I’m the co-founder of My Music Workshop. I love music with a passion, I love teaching and I love working with kids and getting them into music. This has been my career and I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of children with My Music Workshop. We’ve worked primarily with elementary and preschool aged kids, teaching them music in our own fun and one-of-a-kind way.
Through this time I’ve personally sought the best ways to get kids excited about learning music. This caused me and my team at My Music Workshop to create a curriculum that delivered fun music learning to elementary students. What I discovered first is that every child is musical in some way! Some are great singers, others have good rhythm, some have a knack for a certain instrument, others have a great musical memory, or can pick out instruments or patterns easily. There is always a route for kids to engage with and learn music. The next thing I learned, and this is probably obvious, is that kids need to be interested, or at least engaged, in what they are learning. If they are, they will learn much more, much quicker and the learning will last longer. Last, I learned what things elementary school children could learn as it relates to music. Now, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I know this has been researched and there are state standards for music in schools.
However, in studying those standards I realized that there were maybe a few other things that we would add into learning music that might interest kids. I also realized that there are a lot of “roads to Rome.” In other words ways to get elementary kids to learn those standards. With that we sought out to create a curriculum that addressed the standards but didn’t necessarily strictly adhere to them. There are aspects of music that can’t be ignored but creating a well-rounded, fun, engaging music curriculum where children learned music but also got excited about music was our goal.
What is the best way to get your elementary child into music?
I believe it’s using My Music Workshop! You can check out the program at www.mymusicworkshop.com and try it for free if you’d like. The reason I think it’s a great way to get elementary kids into music is because it was developed with kids in mind to be fun, engaging and well rounded. It can stand alone or compliment music education that they may be getting at school or elsewhere. I think music is fun and so I want kids to have fun leaning music. That’s why My Music Workshop teaches, while it engages kids. We also give you the option to start your child on an instrument (piano, ukulele or drums), or not. If they don’t start an instrument there’s so much more they can learn and get excited about. Click HERE to try it out!
Whether or not your child becomes a musician, it’s important to learn the basic principles of music. This is the case because even those people who don’t play an instrument can enjoy music in a deeper way. What developing a knowledge of music can do is deepen a person’s emotional connection to the world through music. They will be able to feel and express emotion in deeper ways. Music is a language and even understanding a small part of that language can change people in major ways.
Should your elementary school child start playing an instrument?
In most cases it’s a great idea to get them to start playing an instrument. I believe the best instrument for kids to start learning is the piano. But, not every child will want to learn an instrument and not every child should start instrument lessons. Again, I believe that in most cases starting an instrument at about age 5 or 6 is a very good idea if they have a good teacher, supportive parents, a decent instrument and a bit of their own desire to do so. However, while not every child will become a proficient musician almost every child will be a music listener. That is a very big deal to me. Why? Because I believe that by learning some of the aspects of music that aren’t related to just playing an instrument, they can get MUCH more enjoyment from the language of music, that we find everywhere. And, I have noticed that the act of sitting and enjoying music for it’s own end is being lost in today’s world. I also believe that simple, yet profound act, can change a person for the better.
Why can a person be changed for the better by just listening to music? Oh boy, let’s go down the rabbit hole! I could probably write a book on just this but let’s touch on a few things here.
Listening to music promotes focus. Focus is important to happiness and related to an individuals success in life. Research has shown that listening to music helps children focus while learning (especially listening to music without lyrics), and builds their ability to concentrate.
Listening to music promotes happiness and lowers anxiety. Listening to music promotes the release of dopamine which is a chemical that makes people feel good. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, found this to be the case for individuals who listened to music for 15 minutes. Studies have also shown that listening to music can help symptoms of depression, reduce stress and anxiety and more.
Music connects people. When people sing together, they bond, when they share music during a celebration or event, they connect. I also believe that by learning the language of music, listeners can deepen their ability to connect with the musicians who played or play the music. Have you every heard a musician laugh when listening to music? Like there was some kind of inside joke between the person playing the music and other musician listening to it? Well, there was! This is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THINGS IN THE WORLD (not that the joke is inside but that I understood what the musician playing was trying to communicate)! Hearing a musician masterfully do something in a song, it can be a pop song, folk song, jazz tune, R&B song, or just about anything, makes me so happy. In fact, it’s a kind of happiness I can’t achieve anywhere else. This has happened to me when I’ve been with friends. We’ve been listening to something together and I’ve just broken into open, joyous laughter. “What are you laughing at?” They say. I reply “You didn’t hear that?” “Hear what?” “That bass run going into the chorus, or that sneaky little drum fill when the vocal came in, or that just off a little note on the piano to create a tiny bit of tension before it was all released.” Those are the kinds of things that just make my day. Anyway, being a musician make those moments feel like I’ve been privy to something very special. I wish, when this happened that everyone could share in the moment together because it feels so good. But, many people simply don’t hear it because they haven’t studies music or played music. Now, there are situations where I’ve been with friends and the same thing happened but, another person laughed too! This friend, in many cases wasn’t a musician, but, they were an avid music lover and understood the language of music in a different, deeper way. That’s what I’m talking about here as it related to learning music for elementary kids. They don’t necessarily have to learn an instrument to be part of this beautiful, inside moment. Or any of those potential moments for the rest of their life. They just have to have a better understanding of music. That’s what we aim to do at My Music Workshop. Now, we work with kids so we get aim to get this process started. We also do offer online instrument lesson for piano, ukulele and drums but we also teach kids things like musical patterns, dynamics, tempo, song form, patterns, pitch, recognizing notes, reading music and more. All with or without playing an instrument. That’s the part of learning and understanding music that can lead to some of those very cool things. You can try My Music Workshop free for a week by clicking here. After that it's only $9.99 month if you go with yearly plan, or $15.99 for the monthly.
There are many other benefits of just listening to music like improved exercise endurance, motivation and more but those are for another time. The three above were what I wanted to focus on.
So, the point is, learning music can mean learning an instrument, but it doesn’t have to.
Is it too late for my child to start an instrument?
No, it never is. Just like language, starting an instrument earlier is better but if it hasn’t happened already don’t worry any age is a good age to start.
What if music isn’t offered at my child’s elementary school?
Programs have been going away as funding has diminished and gone to other programs and rising costs. The good news is that music education is always available. In fact, it can be super convenient. Again, I’ll mention the benefits of using My Music Workshop’s online music learning program! It’s built to be fun and educational for kids and to give them a great musical foundation that will last a lifetime. To try it out for free click HERE!
What if music is offered at my child’s school?
Great! That’s a bonus. In my experience music at schools can be awesome or not so awesome. The reasons it can be awesome are great teachers, good curriculum, good available instruments, good facilities etc. The reasons the program might not be so awesome are a lack of those things just mentioned. Again, I’ve seen both. If your child is interested in music it’s always a good idea to give them as much of it as they want. So, even if music is offered at their elementary school they can start lessons, do other music classes or learn online. It can all work well together.
Is learning music online a good option?
Yes, it is. This is true if the program is good, the curriculum is well-rounded and engaging and the teachers care. My kids learn tons online. My elementary age (second grade at the time of writing this) learns all kinds of cool art skills from an online program, he’s also learned astronomy, science and of course music with My Music Workshop. He’s a great learned and a talented guy and does really well learning online. If your child is similar I believe online music learning is a great option and makes learning music really flexible. As a parent, you might have to encourage learning session, just like I do with my son’s online art, but once he get’s going he’s engaged and learning. If you’d like to give My Music Workshop a try with your child click HERE.
Elias Berlinger is the co-founder of My Music Workshop, a music education company based in Southern California. Having taught music to thousands of students ranging from toddlers to senior citizens Elias has an understanding of what it takes to start playing an instrument at any age. Many of his former students include sports and music celebrities and their children. Elias, along with his musical wife, who is also a teacher, Lianna created My Music Workshop in 2009. It’s a world of learning music available conveniently online. Be sure to check it out here if you haven’t already!