There is no specific age that all children have the capability to begin music lessons. All children develop at different rates and it?s important to be sure your child is ready to begin music lessons before forcing them to enroll. There are a few things to consider before beginning your child in music lessons: natural music ability, academics and maturity.
Natural Music Ability: Some children are born with a natural music ability that will allow them to learn an instrument easier than other children. Does your child love singing along with music on the radio and can he/she actually use the correct pitches? Does your child tap their spoon on the table at dinner time to a rhythm? If so, then your child might be ready for music lessons at an earlier age. Children with natural music ability will typically be ready for music lessons as early as age 4 or 5.
Academics: Academics are a large part of being able to learn an instrument. When learning to play the piano, a child will need to be able to know parts of the alphabet backwards and forwards in order to make sense of the music. If your child cannot read yet, then they will require more help practicing at home since teachers often write down homework assignments for the child to do before the next lesson. Math skills are just as important as reading skills when it comes to music as well. Music is divided into sections called measures, and each of those measures has the same number of beats. Students need to be able to make sure each measure has the correct number of beats by adding and subtracting.
Maturity: Maturity is important in music lessons because it takes time and patience to learn an instrument. If your child doesn?t have patience or understand that learning takes time, then they are more likely going to want to quit lessons or not practice their instrument. If your child lacks patience than it is unwise to enroll them in private music lessons because it makes things much harder on the teacher. It takes time to learn an instrument and if the teacher has to constantly force your child to focus and pay attention to the lessons then learning the instrument will take much longer. Your child needs to be able to handle criticism as well before enrolling in music lessons. If your child can?t handle someone telling them their strengths and weaknesses then they will not be able to excel in music lessons.
These qualities are merely guidelines for understanding when your child is ready for music lessons. A child can learn music perfectly well without knowing how to read or having a natural talent, but it will make things more difficult. Parents and teachers will have to work much harder at music lessons to help a child learn an instrument if they are lacking any of the above skills.