Is your child too young or too old to start lessons? Let's find out when is the right time to start.
Should Your Child Learn to Play an Instrument?
As parents we want the best for our kids, but there’s so much pressure! Reading, math, music, computers, sports and all the other activities can get overwhelming. But, we all want our kids to have a love for the arts right? We want them to develop the creative parts of their personality. We all love music too, in one way or another.
If we aren’t musicians, we immediately think of private instrument lessons for our kids. Are private lessons the best option for kids, should we choose guitar lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons? What instrument should we choose, when should we start, how do we find a good teacher? Are private lessons enough for my child to actual be musical? These are all valid questions and we’re here to help, let’s dive in!
Are All Private Instrument Lessons the Same?
No, they aren't. Things to consider when looking for private instrument lessons:
The Teacher: Is the teacher experienced with kids? Are they personable, trustworthy, can you call references, do you think they will get along with your child, inspire them, motivate them?
The Goal: What is your goal and your child's goal for the lessons? Are you shooting for a college scholarship, just for your kids to have fun and enjoy music or something else? You can match your goal with the teacher and the method that they use. Be sure to make your goal clear and work with the teacher to develop goals.
The Cost: Most, in person private lessons will fall into a similar price range. But, you do have to consider your budget. Not all lessons are the same and not all cost exactly the same. The experience of the teacher, whether you travel to them or they travel to you, the length of the lesson and other factors will determine the cost. A person's time is valuable, so is yours. Make sure you find lessons that meet a budget you can handle over the long term so you kids can stick with their lessons.
There are more things to consider when determining if private lessons are right for you but these are three of the major things you'll want to think about.
Are Private Lessons the Best Way for Your Child to Learn Music?
Not necessarily. It depends on a few things. How old is your child, what is your budget, are they excited to start playing an instrument, are you willing to consistently get them to their lessons, remind them to practice, etc.
Kids can also get great benefits from group music classes, online music lessons or general music classes. These options can set a great musical foundation, get children excited about music, teach them a whole lot and can set them up to be way ahead if and when they do choose to start taking private instrument lessons.
Are Online Instrument Lessons a Good Option for My Child?
They might be. There are two types of online music lessons for kids.
Online, one on one lessons. These are when your child and their teacher are on the lesson at the same time on something like Zoom.
Online, on-demand lessons. These are video based lessons that can be watched any time and can be repeated.
Here are some reasons to consider online lessons for your child.
Affordability: Online lessons are generally less expensive than in-person lessons. On-demand lessons are the most cost-effective. Our on-demand lessons for kids start at $9.99 per month (that is for our yearly membership. Our monthly membership is $15.99 per month).
Convenience: If your family and child are busy, on-demand lessons could be a good fit. They are accessible any time and you can vary the time and day(s) that your child does their lessons. On the flip side, you will have to make sure that your child spends time learning at least once a week.
Repeatability: Online lessons can be repeated. People don't remember everything they are taught the first time. Repeating lessons can deepen learning and help concepts stick. Our lessons also build in the practice which makes things very convenient.
What Age Should My Child Started On An Instrument?
We recommend waiting until your child is at least four or five years old (five is usually best) before starting most lessons. This is in general. But, you can consider starting different instruments at different ages. Here's a quick breakdown of the earliest age to start lessons for a few different instruments:
Every child is different, and you know them best. The piano can be started a bit earlier than some other instruments. But, don't rush. Five is a great age to start thinking about piano lessons but. Some kids may be ready earlier, some might need to be a bit older before starting.
Four year olds can start learning to play a single drum. I don't recommend starting kids this young on the drum set. For the drum set I recommend kids be five or six years old before starting. Make sure you get a good drum set that is set up correctly and that fits your child. We have some recommendations on our site here.
Very few four year olds are ready to start ukulele lessons, but some are. The uke is great instrument for kids. It's small, has only four strings, is portable, ukes are affordable and kids can get playing songs with just a few simple chords.
You will usually want to wait until kids are at least five for most other string instruments and wind instruments.
What Should You Know Before Starting Instrument Lessons?
Is your child able to practice regularly?
Are you ready to help your child follow through with their lessons?
Do you have an instrument for them to play, or are you prepared to get them one?
How Can You Help Your Child Stay Interested in Learning Their Instrument
The key is to be supportive. Encourage your children to stick with their instrument and practice. Tell them they're doing a good job. Listen to what they are practicing and help them stay motivated.
Learning an instrument takes time and patience, as does anything worth learning. There will be times playing the instrument will be fun and easy and times when it feel like more of a chore for your child. This comes with the territory.
Help your child stick with it and they will thank you later!
Learning music is something that can begin at any age. The earlier kids get started, the better. There are different considerations for the best type of lessons depending on factors like the age of your child, your budget and convenience.
Private lessons and online music lessons for kids can be great options for your children and your family. Be sure to consider the options and get your kids started learning music as soon as possible!
Here are links to a few other articles we've written about how to help your child when learning different instruments:
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