As we inch closer to the start of a new school year, many parents consider enrolling their child in music lessons.
If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in music lessons this fall, here are the top questions to consider:
What instrument should children start with?
Many students begin their journey in music at the piano, which provides an excellent foundation in music, and develops fine motor and auditory skills. Knowledge gained at the piano easily transfers to other instruments, as well.
Beginning musicians also frequently start on the guitar, ukulele, violin, drums, or with voice lessons. Band instruments, such as flute, clarinet, or trumpet, are generally not started until around 10-12 years of age.
What age can my child start music lessons?
Many teachers have a minimum age for their students, but there are a few key signs that parents can look for to determine their child’s readiness. When children recognize their letters and numbers, differentiate between their right hand and left hand, and attend to task for 5-10 minutes at a time, that is an indication that they may be at a good age to start instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, or drums. These basic markers of readiness for beginning music students are typically consistent by age 5-6yrs old. Some violin programs begin around age 4-5, but this varies largely by teacher.
What are your goals and expectations for your student?
Consider expectations for at-home practice, and how they will be achieved. What are the teacher’s guidelines for practice? Does the family schedule allow for practice at home? A little advance planning will go a long way towards feelings of success at the instrument.
What type of music does my child want to learn?
There are so many types of music, that it is important to have an idea of which direction your child would like to go. This will help you determine what type of teacher to seek, and to communicate those ‘music dreams’ with clarity to the instructor.
Does your child have any special circumstances that may affect how they learn?
If your child has any special learning needs, physical limitations, or mental health struggles, these should be communicated to the instructor. A good understanding of necessary adaptations and accommodations will help the teacher provide successful and motivating lessons.
Children of all abilities should have access to meaningful and beneficial experiences in music. In some instances, it may be helpful to seek a Board-Certified Music Therapist for a teacher. Music Therapists have special training in adaptations and alternative learning strategies.
Where can I find a music teacher?
Music instructors frequently teach out of their homes or at local music schools and studios. Asking friends, in local online groups, or inquiring at area music stores and schools will yield many results.
Local music stores, schools, and studios include:
- AM Guitar Works
- The Deanery School of Music
- Guitar Center
- Keynotes Vocal Studio
- Madison Loree Music Studio
- QC Rock Academy
- QC String Studio
- Quad Cities Music Therapy
- SBC Music and Arts Academy
- Sound Conservatory
- West Music