Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing an adult is to commit to practicing. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better” but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative. If a child is put into lessons too soon they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented. Sometimes if the child waits a year to start lessons their progress can be much faster. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.
4-7 Years Old
If a young child has a keen desire and wants to start music, a group beinner music class will give them a good foundation in music basics which will be helpful in later private lessons. At this age, private lessons generally do not work as the child has not yet experienced the formal learning environment of kindergarten or school and learns more effectively through the game oriented preschool environment.
At our school 6 years old is the youngest age that we start children in private piano lessons. At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.
8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable.
8 years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the rigors of vocal technique.