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At what age is it best to begin lessons?

Opinions vary over how young to start children on music lessons however, one thing is certain: you can never be too old!

 

With children, it is a good idea to take into account their physical and emotional development - what their bodies and their attention span can deal with.

As a rough guide:

  • Piano:  In order to learn the piano, children need to be able to sit and focus their attention. They need to have a knowledge of the alphabet, and be able to count to 5. Because of these requirements, often the best age to start is 5 years old. However, younger children (3 and 4-year-olds) can do very well in piano lessons in which the activities are varied. Progress is greatly increased if a parent can schedule and/or supervise practise times at home between lessons.

  • Singing:  Again, some children are capable of concentrating for short bursts to gain the necessary rudiments of good technique. It is important to note that primary-school aged children are going through a period of rapid physical development - and this includes their vocal cords. Optimally, children would be 12-14 years old when they commence singing lessons.

  • Flute:  In order to learn flute, children's hands must be of a size which can hold the instrument and reach all the keys with ease. Generally this is the case when they reach 7 - 10 years of age.

  • Theory:  The Australian Music Examinations Board expects that musicians sitting for instrumental or voice exams should have a level of music theory around three grades lower than the examination they are sitting. Thus, by the time a student sits for a grade 3 exam, they should be embarking on at least preliminary grade theory.