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Part of childhood and growing up is letting children explore their different interests to find out what they like and don’t like. For many children, they find interest in learning about music and playing a musical instrument at an early age whether their school has a program or they take private lessons from a music teacher.

Some children do not show interest in music education at a young age until they grow older and take music classes at their school. However, is there a perfect age range when students should start to begin a musical education and learn how to play an instrument or take vocal lessons?

The benefits of a musical education

Let’s begin by taking a look at the benefits of a musical education and why a child should start at an early age. A child’s brain is like a sponge, absorbing new information and skills each day by consistently asking different questions to fully understand different topics. Learning about music can spark a child’s wonder at how music is composed and how different sounds are created when separate notes or chords are played at the same time. This natural curiosity in music can lead to different skills from learning how to count music, controlling how loud the sound is from piano (soft) to forte (loud), and creating harmony in a group.

Musical skills can also lead to many different educational and work skills such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Creative Thinking
  • Discipline
  • Setting goals
  • Striving for perfection
  • Multi-dimensional and flexible thinking

Some children may struggle to learn how to read and both playing and writing music can help a student develop multi-sensory skills to help enhance their reading skills.

A musical education is an excellent way for a children to learn how to read and improve their comprehension skills based on the following capabilities:

  • The ability to recognize rhythms, patterns, and tone
  • Focus during a lesson and remember instructions

The overall benefits of beginning a musical education does not only mean that a child will be able to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, but that their brain will be working harder to reach a new level of intelligence as well. A child will also improve their communication skills by practicing and performing in group ensembles.

By performing different pieces of music from composers from all over the world, a child will learn about different cultures which will help them have a better understanding of other people and what music means to them.

When should a child start a musical education?

musical education to children

Like learning a new language, children pick up on learning music fairly quickly and playing different music by listening to instrumental, lullabies, or other children songs. However, if a parent pushes their child to listen to a certain genre of music (think classical or jazz for example) and to play particular instrument or family of instruments (strings, woodwinds, or brass instruments), a child could end up despising musical education because they were pushed too often to learn or practice an instrument they had no interest in whatsoever.

Some people have the interest and skills to continue to play music either as a hobby or professionally where as others have no interest. A key tip is to introduce your child to music but understand as well that if it does not grab their attention, it just means that they are interested in pursuing something else and that’s okay.

Starting music lessons: informal and formal

Music can be introduced to any age and in fact, studies have proved that music be heard in the womb where a child might first develop different tastes in music. At six to eight months, parents can take classes with their child to listen to different types of music that involve playing different games with the child. From ages three and up, a child can start to take music classes without a parent that involve different rhythmic instruments such a maracas, small drums, a tiny piano and sing-a-longs as well. From ages five and up, a child usually begins private music lessons and a very popular instrument to start out on is the piano.

The piano is a good beginner’s instrument to learning music because it covers different scales, rhythms, chords and helps a child develop necessary hand movement skills while reading music at the same time.

Start with informal lessons that introduce your child to different key rhythms and melodies in a fun environment. You don’t have to play musical games only during a class either. Play your child’s favorite musical games  or sing along to their favorite songs at home or during a car ride. From a young age and forward, a child’s interests could grow to learn how to play different musical instruments or perfect their musical talent with one instrument.

If your child shows great interest and skill at a very young age, consult a private music teacher about starting early and what you can do to help your child prepare for more formalized lessons when they are older. They will have the chance to develop their skills as they attend middle school and high school by performing with a full band, orchestra, or a choir.

What if my child isn’t interested in music?

Again, let your child decide how much he or she wants to learn as far as music education and playing an instrument. If you push them to attend lessons or practice when they are not ready or refuse to, you could unintentionally cause them to feel stress and pressure to do something that does not interest them.

If your child shows no interest in music education at a young age, they might become more interested later on. Some elementary schools offer private lessons during the day and middle schools require their students to learn a music instrument at certain grade levels. Even if they had no previous interest, they may become interested by participating in class with fellow students and friends while playing music they enjoy.

So when it is it time for your child to become a music education? Anytime really from infancy up to their high school years or even after. In general, the earlier a person learns how to play music, the easier it is for them to understand the material. However, some people don’t begin to have an interest in musical education until adulthood when they want to try a new hobby.