Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Musical Dilemma

Help! I have a child who loves music, but my husband and I are not musical! What should I do?

As a music instructor, I hear this scenario a lot! Should we start private music lessons? At what age should a child begin music study? How can I encourage my child's musical interests?

First, kudos for taking that first step. It's likely that you recognized your child's musical tendencies through interacting with them musically. Whether it's listening to music together, dancing to a favorite song, or joining in an impromptu family jam with the pots and spoons, you are probably already doing a lot to encourage your child's musical interest.

Children are typically drawn to music from an early age, but that doesn't mean you should sign up for those private lessons just yet. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as your child's interest in music grows.

  • If your child is young, join a group music class for young children, such as Kindermusik. The age appropriate musical activities will assist your child in understanding musical concepts like fast/slow or loud/soft, laying a solid foundation for future music study.

  • Your child is never to young to enjoy exploring music with you. Get started today!

  • Take every opportunity to introduce your child to a wide variety of musical styles. The variety of rhythms and instruments will increase their overall love of music as well as strengthen their cognitive skills.

  • Actively participate in your child's musical explorations. A parent's participation says more than you could imagine when encouraging a child's musical interests.

  • 6-8 years old is a great time to begin private music study, such as guitar or piano. Don't be afraid to ask the potential teacher about their credentials and knowledge of working with young children.

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