When a parent asks questions like this, we ask: Are YOU ready for your child to learn an instrument?
If your child is under 6 then be prepared to spend 20 min a day with them 5 times a week on home practice. Do you have the patience and persistence to keep home practice positive and regular? If not, then start with a group music class where your child will develop all the musical skills they need to be successful when they do start private lessons.If yes, congrats and onto the next step! This is where we determine if your child is ready to learn an instrument:
- Can they already read music?
- Sing in tune?
- Hear and copy rhythmic and patterns?
If not, then they will make very slow progress in the private lesson, and are much less likely to enjoy playing or practicing. There is a high drop out rate for these children who aren’t yet ready.
What instrument is best?
This question is not answered easily, unfortunately. There are many factors at play and children often learn to love instruments by, you guessed it, playing!
In our Musical Bees program, children play a variety of instruments, and their level of interest in each instrument helps guide us and the parent as to which instrument they should play.
Also, we take into account the parents expertise in music. Parents with musical experience or ability allows for a bit of an advantage toward that instrument, as the parent can help them with their home practice. If the parent isn’t already fairly experienced in music, then piano is the best beginner instrument. On the piano, you can see all of the notes and understand that each note relates to what you can see on the musical stave, so it is an easy one for parents to understand and help their child with in the first year of home practice. Once the child becomes proficient in piano and fluent in reading music, and they show interest in another instrument, then it’s a good time to follow the child’s interest and change or add a new instrument.
In our Musical Bees program we prepare each child for music lessons. We teach them to read and write music, sing in tune, hear and copy chord patterns on ukulele, play by ear and from reading, play the piano, play as a group or band with different parts playing at the same time. We assess these areas every term and guide the parent as to when the child is ready to start private lessons and help them choose the right instrument for their child.
We’d love to answer any further questions you may have. Book a tour or give us a call to discuss your plans with our music director.