We’ve all scrolled through social media and have seen the toddler-aged musical prodigies that are killing it on their instrument. There may have been a few solid moments that you’ve seen the promise of musical genius from your child too. I bet you’ve wondered how soon your kids could start formal music lessons. In our experienced opinion, the best age is around 7 years old.
With overseeing 11 years of teaching at a private music school and over five years of teaching in public education, collectively, we have seen a few exceptions, but 7 is generally our recommended starting age for formal music lessons. Formal music education is very regular, systematic and orderly, executed according to set rules and predictable order. It’s not because we don’t believe in the ability of all children regardless of age, but it’s because of what we learned through trial and error.
1. One-on-one Lessons Take Focus
At age 7, your child has spent over a year in a classroom-like environment where they’ve had to give their full attention to a teacher during class. Music lessons are like any other subject. They require the ability to focus on the activity at hand, like properly strumming your guitar, singing in tune, or reading music. This is especially true for online lessons where an instructor can’t be as hands-on with their student. Of course, a 7-year old won’t be completely still and may get distracted from time to time, but a great instructor will have the tools to get them back on track.
2. Early Youth Is Prime Learning Time
Starting your child’s journey as a musician while they have the advantage of rapid brain development is the best way to invest in their talents. There are new synapses that form in your child’s brain every single day. This means they have the opportunity to learn more, quickly. Techniques involving muscle memory and information retention will promote these synapses to multiply, making new skills become second nature once they mature as a musician. One day, playing an instrument will be as simple as walking where little to no brain power is necessary. How cool is that?
3. Routine Is Key
Allowing kids to pick up their instruments and practice when they please is the quickest way to end up pulling the plug on music lessons. Luckily, kids this age have an established after-school routine. These are an easy medium for sneaking in a little bit of consistent music practice. At FMA, we believe making a habit of practicing music is the key to a student’s success and eventual love for the craft. The best way to make a habit of practice sessions is by introducing them into your child’s established routine. Maybe they practice the piano for 30 minutes after finishing up homework, then they can spend the rest of the day playing with friends.
4. Individuality Makes A Difference
Age 7 is around the time kids come into their personalities. Playing drums may be unattractive, and the piano could be too boring, but the guitar is for rockstars! They take a real interest in an instrument of their choosing and enjoy every new milestone they hit. This makes it easier for you as a parent to get them to practice and even use their instrument with freedom of expression. You’ll find them wanting to learn new songs and even make their own that they can perform for their friends and family.
5. Parents Determine Their Children’s Success
After your first year of helping with homework assignments, you are a cemented personal at-home learning coach. Your child is officially old enough to take instruction and run with it. You know what motivates them and can use that to keep them on task and stay excited. Your job as the learning coach is to introduce them to perseverance and problem solving so they can practice productively and independently later down the line.
The commitment to taking music lessons is something both you and your child should be mentally prepared for. The optimal time to start music lessons is 7 years old for that reason. They’ve spent some time in school and are familiar with a classroom environment. Your child is equipped with an established after-school routine that you can use to add another block of learning time. They’re at the peak of their learning potential. Plus, they have the untapped creativity and need for exploration to thoroughly enjoy playing music. Most Importantly, you have the experience of navigating new tasks and challenges with your child.
Ready to Start Music Lessons?
Tasking the first steps to securing music lessons for you or your child are easy and we’re proud to offer a variety of music lessons. Founded in 2010, Franklin Music Academy was established with the belief that kids could thrive through music with guidance from a passionate teacher and a solid curriculum. Our music school is an important part of music education in Austin and a solid, first choice for many wanting quality private and group music lessons. We’re proud to offer lessons for students of all ages and musical backgrounds.
To learn more, fill out this contact form and we’ll be in touch!