As a parent, you no doubt want to give your little ones the best possible start in life, and offering them music lessons could be part of this. You might already have visions of your brood following in the footsteps of Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. There’s no denying the fact that mastering a musical instrument can be a great advantage for youngsters. As well as giving them a skill that could benefit them for the rest of their lives, there is evidence that it could boost their intelligence. One study supporting this idea was carried out by a team from the University of Toronto in Canada. The researchers found that after nine months of weekly training in piano or singing, young students’ IQs increased by almost three points more than those of untrained children.
It’s easy to find musical instruments but if you want quality, it’s important to purchase from people who know the ins and outs of their products. For example, if you’re keen to invest in instruments from the violin family for your kids, you can head to specialist instrument providers like Caswell’s Strings. However, before you get ahead of yourself, it’s important to establish whether your child is ready to start music lessons. To help you reach a decision on this tricky issue, ask yourself the following questions.
Do they have the necessary skills to get started?
There are certain skills that kids need if they’re to stand any chance of learning an instrument. For example, it’s important that they know the difference between their left and right hands, can count to ten and recognise the letters A through G. They should also have a good level of motor coordination. One indication of this is an ability to hold and use a pencil fluidly. Another important skill is being able to keep a consistent beat.
There’s also the issue of physical size to consider. Your youngster must be big enough to comfortably hold the musical instrument you have in mind. If it’s a piano, they should be able to sit on a stool and reach the keys easily.
Maturity plays a role too. Your tot has to be able to concentrate for the length of a lesson. At the bare minimum, this will be 15 minutes, but ideally they’ll be able to pay attention for 30 minutes at a time. Bear in mind that learning instruments can be frustrating, and your little one also has to have the patience needed to persevere.
Have they expressed any interest?
It’s not only ability that you have to bear in mind either. There’s no point in foisting lessons on your child if they haven’t expressed any interest in music. Forcing your tot to take up an instrument could put them off for life.
You can be confident that your kid is keen to get started if they’ve shown an interest in an instrument that you or one of their teachers has shown them. A general love of music, singing and dancing is a good sign too.
Are you prepared?
It’s easy to overlook this last question, but it’s important to ask yourself if you’re ready for your child to kick-start their musical career. You’ll have to invest time and money in the activity, and even the most musical of children tend to need cajoling from time to time to do their practise. In other words, starting your youngster on music lessons is a commitment, and it’s important that you’re fully prepared for this.