With the success of voice talent scouting TV shows, like American Idol, children dream of becoming a famous singer before they?ve even began grade school. Parents may think a great way to improve their children?s chances is to enroll them in vocal lessons, the earlier the better. This however, is not the case. Vocal lessons should not begin until the vocal chords are fully developed, usually around puberty, to reduce the likelihood of permanent damage to the voice.
Here are some guidelines to know what age children are ready to begin voice lessons.
3-6: Vocal lessons for young children are definitely not a safe idea. However, children under 6 years of age can take other types of music lessons to immerse them in the world of music and prepare them for lessons later on in life. These music lessons will work on rhythm, recognizing pitch, counting etc.
6-8: As soon as children begin grade school, they are given opportunities to join choir and theater productions. For many schools, choir is mandatory. This is a great way to immerse children in singing lessons because choir teachers often begin with the basics and easy songs. Choirs teach children to blend and sing in harmony with others, skills that are important for adult choirs and a cappella groups.
8-10: This is the youngest age that Lesson Match recommends students begin vocal lessons. By pre-teen ages, many children have gone through or are beginning puberty and can start learning basic breathing techniques and ear training. Be wary of allowing children to work on expanding their vocal range, this can be extremely dangerous to the voice and cause permanent damage.
12-14: Many studios or vocal teachers will not even consider taking on students that are younger than 12 years old. This age is when children are often physically developed and capable of controlling their air supply to avoid straining the voice.
There are always exceptions to the rule. Many vocal instructors will accept children younger than normal if they feel the student has prodigal talent. Always keep in mind that if children strain their voices too much at a young age, there can be permanent damage that ruins their singing career before it even begins.