Traditional music students typically start between ages 7-11. The benefits of waiting until age 7+ to begin include:
- Greater overall development in maturity, physical coordination and attention span
- Larger choice of instruments
- Reading skill has been established
- School support and activities, such as band, may be available
- Practice can be done more independently
If beginning music study at this stage, your child:
- Will likely be taught to read music from the start. To become a good musician, it’s also important to learn to develop a good “ear” by listening and being able to distinguish between and reproduce different pitches, rhythms and tones.
- May enjoy being involved with their peers in group playing, such as band, orchestra or ensemble activities.
What about Adolescents? Is it too late to start? Of course not! There are a few trade-offs, however.
- Adolescent beginners may feel self-conscious around their peers who have been playing for several years. If they are willing to practice, though, they usually can progress quickly.
- Older students usually have more specific interests than younger ones. It’s important to understand and support their interests and goals. If you do this, they are usually quite motivated.
- Teenagers usually have a lot of competing demands on their time, so it may be harder to work in regular practice time.
- At this point, most could physically handle any instrument, so there is a large range of choices. Some students who started out on other instruments will switch over to new instruments, particularly if they have a good musical foundation and certain instruments are in demand in school or local musical groups.
Adults: It’s NEVER too late to begin or to start back up again. A few tips:
- The biggest challenge for adult music students is often simply being able to find time to practice. Schedule practice time just as you would any other important activity. If your time is limited, go for shorter, but more frequent sessions instead of long rare ones. Be patient with yourself and persistent in working toward your goals.
- It can be a lot of fun to take lessons along with your child. You can be a good practice role model, too! Just don’t be too upset if they start to pull ahead of you at a certain point!
- Music study provides many benefits to adults. Not only is it creatively and artistically satisfying, but it can keep your thinking sharp, relieve stress, and provide an opportunity to make new friends.