Hey they parents and music enthusiasts! I’m so glad you’re here. If you are it means that you believe that having your kids learn music is important. It absolutely is! The research proves it! Higher test scores, better grades, and more self-confidence are all benefits to learning music.
But what is the right age to start music lessons? Is there an age that is too young to learn music? Are your kids too old to start learning music? We’re about to cover these things, so let’s dive in!
My Kids Are Young, Should They Start Learning Music?
Yes! That was easy wasn’t it! Of course, there’s more to it. I’ve taught music to all ages of kids for nearly 20 years, and I can say that every single child can benefit from learning music. Music is a lot like a language. The earlier kids get started the easier the concepts will be to understand. We don’t usually introduce formal instrument lessons to kids until children are at least 5 years old (in some rare cases 4), but there are tons of things kids can learn and benefit from before they reach this age.
Starting music lessons before the age of 4 or 5 can set you kids up for huge amounts of success when they do start learning an instrument. I’ve received tons of reports from the parents of our younger students that they are way ahead when they begin lessons. They have better rhythm, understand the basics of reading music, hear music better and are more focused. They also report that their kids are more engaged when learning an instrument because they are familiar with some of what they are learning.
What Should Younger Children Learn About Music?
Younger kids can learn lots about music! Our musical curriculum for kids covers topics like:
-Beginning reading music and recognizing notes
-Intro to Music Theory
-Song Form/Song Structure
-Exploring a variety of instruments
-Music and Movement
If you have the right program or teacher these concepts can really set kids off on the right musical path. The teacher has to understand what aspects kids can digest when it comes to things like reading music and music theory. In addition, the way these concepts are taught cannot be stale and academic. It has to be vibrant, fun and engaging. I compare it to putting a vitamin in a scoop of ice cream.
Where Can I Find Good Music Lessons for My Young Child?
Well, I’ll admit that I believe our program My Music Workshop is one of the best places that kids can learn music. We have a whole curriculum built just for younger kids that covers all of the things listed above. It’s an on-demand music lessons program and it’s built to be convenient and affordable. You can give us a try totally free by clicking the button below:
If you want to go another direction I would look to local music schools, if there are some in your area. Find out about the programs they offer and who teaches them. Make sure to ask what they teach the kids. A lot of programs for younger kids tend to just focus on music and movement, which is great, but it’s only one part of the picture. Kids can learn a lot if the ideas are taught correctly.
You could also look for a local music teacher in your area who specialized in working with younger kids. Many teachers however, tend to focus on teaching a specific instrument and don’t necessarily specialize in working with young kids and teaching general music concepts to them.
However, you might be in the right town or city, that has great options for younger kids. If so, go for it! The right program can be fantastic for younger kids!
One thing I suggest staying away from, if you are serious about your kids learning music is YouTube. YouTube is fantastic, I use it all the time. But, for learning music, especially for younger kids it is not the best place to go. There are very few great channels or creators making music education content for younger kids that covers what we talked about above. There are quite a few music and movement videos but as we mentioned, this is only a small part of a complete music education for younger children. It’s best to stay with a program that focuses on music education and makes it their goal to get kids on the right track, whether in-person or online.
What Should My 5-10 Year Old Focus On When Learning Music?
Most kids are ready to pick and learn an instrument at around 5 or 6. This absolutely depends on the child and the instrument however. You know your child best. If you think they are ready to learn and do some practicing throughout the week, then I suggest you go for it. It’s not a problem to wait until they are a bit older if you think waiting will benefit them.
What Are the Best Instruments for Kids to Learn?
There are so many instrument that kids can learn. My top three are Piano, Drums and Ukulele. That is why we offer those three instruments at My Music Workshop.
Piano is my favorite for kids to learn. It’s versatile, doesn’t require the same dexterity as string instruments, it’s simple for kids to learn some basics and become successful, and it can lead into a lot of other instruments.
Drums are great because you can introduce drumming to kids as young as 4 or 5. The drum set does require a certain amount of coordination but younger kids can start with just one (single) drum and learn a lot. Frankly, the drums are one of the most popular instruments for kids, they are so highly requested. No, drums don’t play melodies but some kids love them and if they do, I think it’s great to get them playing. Later they can learn another instrument if they choose, or they can learn something else at the same time.
Some music teachers shy away from suggesting the drums. I do not. I love the instrument and highly recommend it to those who are interested in learning it.
The ukulele is a great instrument because it’s small enough that kids can hold and play it without much trouble. They aren’t terribly expensive and they are portable. Kids who like string instruments can start with the uke them move the guitar when they get a bit bigger and their hands and fingers get stronger and more dexterous.
Kids can absolutely start with the guitar too. I love the guitar and I play it. But, I’d stay away from guitar if your kids are under about 6 or 7. This is not a hard rule, just something that tends to help. Guitars have 6 strings where ukuleles have 4. The 6 strings tend to be a bit harder to get a grasp of playing and can be a little too challenging for some younger kids. Work with your child to decide if they are ready for guitar lessons. If they absolutely love the guitar and are begging to learn, go for it!
Where Can You Go to Find Good Instrument Lessons?
Again, I suggest you consider My Music Workshop. We offer piano, drum, ukulele and singing lessons. We have thousands of kids using our program with great success. All of our lessons are streaming, and on-demand and we also have practice, along with music, built right into the lessons. You can give the program a try for free below (by the way, all our members get access to all the instruments. You don’t have to pick just one):
You can also consider a local teacher. I highly recommend that you interview them and make sure they’ve worked with kids the same age as your child. The younger the child the more nuance is required to teach them. Keeping kids learning and engaged are high priorities. Some teacher are very engaging and fun to learn from, others tend to me more dry and don’t specialize in working with kids. Focus on the teacher’s ability to connect with your child above their musical skill. Of course, they need to be competent on their instrument and have knowledge on how to teach. But having the ability to motivate your children will be super important.
We have a more in-depth article on finding the best music lessons for your child that you can check out here:
Should My Older Child Start Learning Music?
Yes! Easy answer right? There is no wrong time to start music lessons. It’s great to get kids into learning music when they are young but kids over 10 can, and in my opinion, should start learning music. It is absolutely not too late. In fact, older kids tend to be more mature and they will have the ability to manage their time better when it comes to practicing.
What Instrument Should My Older Child Learn?
I still love the piano and drums for older kids. But now the guitar and bass guitar become more viable options as do orchestral instruments like the violin, cello, and viola. Older kids can also consider learning wind instruments like the saxophone, flute or clarinet. They can learn brass instrument like trumpet, trombone or tuba or something that is even more specialized like the harp or world instruments.
I’m a contemporary music enthusiast. I love rock, jazz, blues, pop, r & b and music along those lines. Because of this I love teaching instruments that work in these styles of music like the piano, drums, guitar and the like. But, your kids should be able to help guide you. In some cases, your school may have a music lessons or a band. In those cases, I definitely suggest joining it and playing something that the school offers. That isn’t to say that is the only thing they can or should do as it relates to learning music. Your kids can certainly learn the violin and piano at the same time for example. My son plays the violin at his school and learns the piano and drums at home. We have balance our music learning time, so he doesn’t get burned out, but if we do, he’ll be well rounded when it comes to music.
Where Should My Older Child Learn Music?
Surprise, surprise, I’m going to suggest they try My Music Workshop. We have piano, drum, ukulele and singing lessons that even adults learn from. They are built for beginner and intermediate learners of any age. We’ve built them to be affordable so they work great alone or even as compliment to lessons they make get from school or other private lessons. Try My Music Workshop for free below:
Kids that are slightly older might have music offered at school, which is a really good option. It’s also a bit easier to find a teacher who can work with older kids. They need less entertainment and the teachers can focus more on diving in to learning the instrument. Again, do your research when it comes to teachers. Read reviews, ask your friends and neighbors and interview the teacher before you start learning with them. The right teacher will make world of difference to your and your kids.
There is no bad or wrong time for kids to start learning music. There are different considerations when it comes to what your kids will learn depending on their age and a few other factors. It’s great to get kids learning music as soon as you are able because it will benefit them in the short and long term.
Check out our tips on helping your kids as they learn music video below and check out our program My Music Workshop totally free to see if you and your kids enjoy learning with us as much as we enjoy creating and teaching lessons!