Having small children, I am constantly aware of their learning progress as I try to find new ways to help them along. Music is the best teaching tool parents have. We all started learning our ABC’s by singing along with our parents to the song. When we are in the car listening to music or doing household chores and playing music, children invariably listen and sing along with us. Fostering their love of music helps them developmentally in many different areas.
- Music helps children learn to read faster.
- It helps them in math and science.
- Music will help them be happier and happy children make friends easier and get along with others better.
- Dancing to music will help your child with dexterity and also help keep them healthy from the exercise.
But what is the best age for children to start music lessons? Being from New York, I get asked this question a lot by NYC parents. I don’t respond with a number, but rather with a dissertation. Because parents should already know the answer by being involved in their kids’ development.
Here is my real answer (though I don’t actually say this to a person’s face):
Since love of music begins at home, we need to make learning fun. Programs designed for children that involve music are easy to come by and you can begin training as soon as you see that they have an interest in it. You can play games with your children that involve dancing, learning the tempo or rhythm as well as singing to learn different tones. These are the very first music lessons. Likewise, there are plenty of music venues in New York that you can take your children to for some cultural music learning. The New York philharmonic is a great place to take the kids.
By the time they are ready for preschool, they are usually ready for some type of music lesson outside of the home. You can choose an instrument for them, or ask them what they like. Many children start out with piano, violin, guitar, recorder or something similar. If they like guitar, finding guitar lessons in NYC is a snap and you only need to do a little research online to find the place that is best for your wallet and closest to your home. This way you won’t have to travel too far out of your way.
Children shouldn’t try the larger instruments until they are old enough or big enough themselves to physically handle the instrument. You don’t want your child struggling to hold up the instrument and try to learn at the same time. It would be very tiring for them and they won’t learn much in the process.
Encouraging your child to learn to play an instrument is great, but you must make sure that it is something they really want to do. It takes a lot of time for practice and dedication as well. We want what is best for our children, but must also temper that with understanding when they really don’t want to do something. Forcing them can have adverse effects, so be careful you don’t fall into this category. It is very easy to do.
Most of all you should have fun with your children as they are learning. Ultimately they look to you and see if you are enjoying yourself, this makes them want to be just like “mommy and daddy”.
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