When should my child learn to play instruments? I get asked this questions quite frequently by parents. My personal view would be to start as young as possible. That is if your child is showing an interest and is curious. So long as it is fun then why not indeed get them started? I think there are some things to consider though before playing instruments.
Is Your Child Ready?
Is your little one in fact able to hold the instrument? There is no point in introducing them to playing instruments of any type such as a guitar till they are able to pluck the strings. You have to ensure their hands have almost grown to an adult size. Also consider has your child the strength to hold the instrument.
One great instrument to start with is the piano or a keyboard if that is all you can afford. Pianos are great as they encourage left and right brain development. Also it’s fun to play even for adults. But lets face it, toddlers do not like to sit still for long, so it would probably have to be on their terms. The more you try to encourage, the more it may appear to them as a chore and they will not enjoy it.
Another consideration to think of is your child is mentally capable for formal lessons. There is no point in sending them to music lessons to sit formally on a piano stool, when they have not learned about sitting and listening skills beforehand. At Little Hands Music the classes are structured to teach very young children these skills in a fun way. Sitting still is a learned experience and very young children do not want to sit for long. The classes are structured in a fun way to gently teach them.
Best Instrument For Very Young Children
For very young children you could encourage them the love of music by playing instruments that you both have made. Gather plastic containers and put some peas, seeds or even dried pasta inside to create shakers and different sounds. Ensure the lids are well taped down so little fingers cannot open the contents. If you think choking hazard and just be careful for peace of mind.
Another simple idea is creating a drum. Just simply gather some saucepan lids and pots and a few wooden spoons. Let your child explore and have fun, perhaps playing to some music. You will need to join in too, to actively encourage them to learn and playing instruments together will encourage that.
What about You?
It’s never too young to learn, but equally it’s never too old. Perhaps consider a piano as an investment for both of you?
If you haven’t done so, why not come along to Little Hands Music so your baby or toddler can explore lots of different instruments. These small groups are where we keep it fun, friendly and with plenty of encouragement. I can’t promise you a little Mozart but certainly a happy baby or toddler if nothing else. You won’t need the headache tablets there either!