I am considering enrolling my 2 year old and 4 year old in a local music program. We went to an open house and the teacher conducted a lesson with my boys and it was just amazing. I loved their methodology and the teacher's personality was fabulous. The way the lessons are done, the kids are learning, without even knowing they are learning. I took piano for 16 years and this is way different from what I ever did! It is much more serious study than what is being done at the local Y etc.
These lessons are very pricey and as a family, it will be somewhat of a burden to pay for them. But, I want my boys to be exposed to music training from a young age. I want to give them a chance to discover if this is a passion for them.
Has anyone else had very little ones in music lessons? Was it worth doing, or is it a waste of time?
I'm a parent of four musical kids who began lessons on various instruments between the ages of 2 and 6. Overall I think it's best to stick with informal music exposure prior to age 5, laying a solid foundation in musical creativity and appreciation in the early year with lots of singing, rhythm games and listening to good quality recorded music. I say that besides being expensive, it takes immense amounts of parental time, energy and creativity to keep music learning fun and productive with a young child. It almost always starts out wonderfully, but eventually the work isn't all easy fun and games any more, and the honeymoon period has worn off, and a certain amount of diligent work is necessary for progress. And I'm speaking here of playful, gentle, encouraging, game-like Suzuki violin learning, augmented by group classes with other children. Nothing rigid or demanding. But the reality is that progress requires diligent attention to detail at home, and plenty of repetition.
That being said, if you don't mind spending the money and you are enthusiastic about the relationship-building possibilities that come when you pour that much energy and creativity into something you're doing collaboratively with your young children, it can definitely be an enjoyable and enriching thing.
Musically I don't see a clear advantage to starting music lessons younger than age 5. Preschool-aged children progress very slowly at first, and a 5-year-old and 3-year-old beginning will typically reach age 8-9 at about the same stage of mastery. My youngest started violin at 2.75 at her insistence. We went for it because lessons (with grandma) were free, and because she was unbelievably and consistently happy about doing the work of home practicing and co-operated beautifully with me ... so it was simply a very fun thing for us to do. Her eldest sister started when she was a couple of years older. Both were very very precocious, but comparing the two at age 9 ... they ended up at pretty much the same place. So an early start isn't really a head-start when you're pushing the developmental window. It just gave me a longer "career" as a music parent with my youngest. Which was pretty cool, because being her music parent has been super fun. But there's no other reason to start formal learning that young, IMO.
Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
I think we will wait a bit to start something formal. The cost is just too much for us, without being given more consise outcomes. There is a chance my Mom will pay, but if not, we will just do what we have been doing already!
I would ask occasionally if my oldest wanted to learn x,y,z and when she turned 7, she wanted to learn how to play the Piano... so now she takes lessons and its worked out great. My youngest now is getting interested form watching his sister, but he said he was not ready!
Sarah :c) ~ Emily (8) Toby (5) Bean (7/2012)
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