As the saying goes, it’s never too late to learn. Among professional musicians there are those who came to music as adults. If you study for yourself, then there are certainly no restrictions. But today let’s talk about children. When should they start learning music and when is the best time to send their child to a music school?
First of all, I would like to emphasize the idea that studying music and studying at a music school are not the same thing. It is better to start communicating with music, namely listening to it, singing and playing the instrument yourself as early as possible. Let music enter into a child’s life as naturally as, for example, the ability to walk or talk.
How to interest a child in music at an early age?
The role of parents is to organize the musical life of the child, to surround him with music. Kids in many ways try to imitate adults, so if they hear the singing of mom, dad, grandmother, as well as a brother or sister, then they will certainly sing themselves. Therefore, it is good if someone in the family sings songs to themselves (for example, a grandmother while making a pie), the child will absorb these melodies.
Of course, with a child it is possible and necessary to learn children’s songs purposefully (only without fanaticism), but there should also be songs in the musical environment that, for example, a mother simply sings for a child (singing songs is like telling fairy tales: about a fox, a cat , a bear, a brave knight or a beautiful princess).
It’s nice to have a musical instrument at home. Over time, the child can begin to pick up on it the melodies that he remembered. It is better if it is a piano, a synthesizer (it can also be for children, but not a toy one – they usually have a bad sound) or, for example, a metallophone. In general, any instrument on which the sound appears immediately is suitable (accordingly, an instrument that is difficult to master, for example, a violin or a trumpet, is less suitable for the first meeting with music).
The instrument (if it is a piano) must be well tuned, as the child will not like the off-key sound, he will feel annoyed, and the whole experience will leave only an unfavorable impression.
How to introduce a child to the world of music?
Active work on the development of the child’s musicality can be carried out with the help of musical games with singing, movement and playing music on simple instruments (for example, a triangle, bells, maracas, etc.). This could be general family fun or organized play by a group of children around the same age. Now this direction of children’s education has become very popular and in demand, it is associated with the name of the famous composer and teacher Karl Orff. If you are interested in this topic, then we advise you to look for videos and information on Orff pedagogy.
Purposeful lessons in playing some instrument can be started already from 3-4 years of age, and later. Only classes should not be intrusive and too serious – there is nowhere to rush yet. In no case should you send your child to be “torn to pieces” (full-fledged education) at a music school at the age of 6, and even at 7 years old it’s too early!
When should I send my child to a music school?
The ideal age is 8 years old. This should be the time when the child is in the second grade of a comprehensive school.
Unfortunately, children who came to a music school at the age of 7 very often leave it. It’s all to blame – too high a load, which suddenly fell on the shoulders of a first grader.
It is imperative to give the child the opportunity to first adapt to his primary school, and only then take him somewhere else. In the music school, in addition to playing the instrument, there are lessons in choir, solfeggio, and musical literature. It will be much easier and more effective for a child to master these subjects if, by the beginning of their study, he has already learned to read ordinary text fluently, mastered counting, simple arithmetic operations and Roman numerals.
Children who start going to a music school at the age of 8, as a rule, study smoothly, master the material well, and they succeed.