Beginning Lessons For Your Child
Is it time to start playing?
Your child may show interest in musical instruments or in listening to music. Perhaps you notice ears perking up at the sound of a violin, flute, or French horn? Or maybe you would just like to 'give it a try' and see if you can sneak in a head start to their musicianship which may develop into a life-long enjoyment of music-making. Either way, there are a number of factors to consider.
If the child is young, say below age 7, almost more important than considerations of the child are factors of the parent's lifestyle! At least in regards to scheduling. It's very important that the same parent(s) attend the lessons, and be available to work daily with the child, preferably at a similar time every day. It won't work to 'hand-off' the child to the other parent to practice with the child every other day. At this young age, lessons are almost more for the parents than the kids, and include discussions of types of 'games' to play, which are both fun and instructive.
Stringed instruments can be started at a very young age, depending on the factors we'll discuss in a moment. This is because they do make small (even miniature) versions of violins and cellos. For wind instruments, the child needs to be physically big enough to play the instrument because they don't really make small versions of flutes, trumpets, etc. Regardless of age, the child needs to be mature enough to communicate well with adults (the Teacher). For extremely young kids it's not quite so critical, as the parent can act as the intermediary. Also, of course, we need willingness to 'practice' every day. I've had students as young as 2 1/2, whose practice sessions were only 10 minutes at first and consisted largely of clapping and dancing around the room to music - but the child has to be willing to do even that. For older students, practicing is a bit more complex than that. I believe it is helpful to talk to the child first, to psychologically prepare
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