Music education is found in schools because of the benefits it can bring, such as regulating children’s emotions. Learning a musical instrument also aids in developing children’s brains in numerous ways. It doesn't matter if your child can play a musical instrument well or has a perfect pitch. What’s important is the multiple benefits that come from learning a musical instrument.
Does Age Matter?
The benefits of learning music include training the child in listening ability, cultivating attention, and enhanced language acumen. Young learners discover how to hear minute sounds out of a large background of auditory noises and learn to identify patterns. Most students who fall behind in schoolwork lack focus and the listening skills gained from music education aid in higher grades and emotional maturity.
Some music education experts opine that age six is the key turning point for children learning to play a musical instrument. Why is age six the crossover point for most children? It is because the human body begins to grow rapidly after that, especially the hands.
What Musical Instruments to Consider?
Children are at a stage of a growth spurt. So, you need to be realistic in selecting the right musical instrument for your child. You can consider starting with the piano or the violin. Both make excellent first musical instruments for children under six and have typically small hands. These two instruments allow children to learn the basics and then make the change to another instrument when they are older.
For very young kids under the age of four, you can consider getting a child-size drum kit so they can start to learn rhythm and coordination before moving on to another instrument. Children under the age of four take to child-size drums like fish to water and can learn much with basic lessons and a good curriculum. When buying your child’s first musical instrument, age is a factor to consider. Also, children of different ages might be larger or smaller than others.
Your child may gravitate towards a certain music style and this can be a good indicator for the right instrument you can choose. Some music students learn the piano or drums because they love jazz. Others pick up the acoustic guitar because they enjoy folk or pop. You can even start your child on an electric guitar, if it is really what your child is interested in, and you can find an appropriate guitar size.
Kids who love all genres of music can do well by learning the piano or keyboard as their first instrument. Let your child experiment with both before opting for a particular instrument. Who knows, if your kid loves classical, folk, blues, or country music, you can also get him or her an acoustic guitar.
Other Factors to Consider
Not all musical instruments come in child sizes. Kids with large, well-developed lungs might do well with wind instruments. Children with small hands may do well with a child-sized violin or guitar. Parents must keep in mind they might need to upgrade their child’s instrument in a year or two as they grow rapidly.
Also, never force your child to stick to one particular instrument. Let them work with what is age-appropriate. Children go through phases and may change their minds. As body size, hand size, and lung capacity change, children of various ages will gravitate toward some instruments more than others.
At Ritmo Music Studio, we run music programmes for both children and adults. Parents can learn an instrument together with their children as a way to bond. Get in touch with us for a free trial class.