Playing instruments at a young age: Could your child become a prodigy?

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Many parents are often concerned about placing their children into music lessons at a young age due to the fact that they are unable to make their own decisions about playing an instrument. This is a normal parenting concern, but music lessons aren't just about learning how to play an instrument, its about developing a relationship with music at a young age.

Research shows that from birth to age nine is the prime age for developing a musical sensibility within children. Within this age stretch the parts of the brain associated with processing and understanding music are in the prime stages of development.

  • Of course a parent should not enroll a 2 month old into music lessons, but immersing the baby into a musical environment by singing or dancing will help with musical sensibility.   
  • Once a child is 3 a parent can then choose to enroll their child into music lessons. These lessons would be used to further develop skills like identifying a beat in music, or identifying a melody, rather than just learning how to play a single instrument.  If a parent is still unsure about  3 still being to young they should voice their expectations and goals to the music teacher. 
  • By age 5 a child can start formalized lessons. These lessons would not be about becoming a great performer, but more about advancing a child's understanding of music. Piano is the most common instrument played at this age since it is  a foundation to most music education.

A wonderful example of a young pianist is Anke Chen. At age 6 she has mastered the piano.

 

Whether your child is a baby or 7 years old, introducing them to music at a young age is never a bad idea. What truly matters is that your kid is having fun and advancing their musical understanding.