Ready, Set, GO! Getting Started with Music Lessons for Kids

So your child is showing an interest in music, and you’re thinking it may be time to start music lessons? That’s wonderful! Starting music lessons for young children is a great way for your child to develop skills that will serve them well in their future. Learning music improves cognitive function, builds fine motor skills, encourages creativity, and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment. But where to begin, and what should you expect when starting music lessons for your child?

Every child is unique, but there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure your child has a positive experience with music. Consider the following when making the decision to enroll your child in music lessons:

THE RIGHT AGE 

We’ve all heard stories of child prodigies who start music lessons at very early ages, and it’s easy to think that the sooner your child starts music lessons, the better. Your child’s readiness has a strong influence on whether music lessons are enjoyable, or just another chore. We want all children to develop a lifelong love of music, so making sure they are ready is an important first step. Parental involvement and assistance in lessons for the younger student is incredibly important. No matter how intuitive or talented a young musician is, if the parents aren’t helping out with structure, it’s hard for them to grow.

FOCUS

Young children’s ability to focus varies based on the task at hand and their natural temperament. Focus can range somewhere between 5-20 minutes, and breaking down larger tasks into smaller steps can increase engagement and lesson retention. Also providing breaks may help the younger students manage any fears they may have when facing a new task. Being flexible with the length of a task can often reduce frustration.

CHOICE OF INSTRUMENT

For young children that are still developing fine motor skills, piano or ukulele are the recommended first instruments. Both of these options are good for little fingers. Piano lessons and ukulele lessons include learning to read music, which can help your child transition to another instrument in time. Piano lessons can include voice lessons at the same time if the student shows an interest in singing. Alternately, drums may also be an option, which introduces rhythm and counting. Whichever instrument is chosen, your child should spend some time learning before making changes. It’s possible your child may become interested in trying new instruments in the future. Over time, the teacher will get a better sense of whether the instrument selected is a good fit for the student’s learning style and interests.

PRACTICE TIME 

Practice time varies by age. For all students, consistency is very important to make progress on any instrument. At around age 5, 10 minutes of practice a day is about the equivalent of an hour for older children and adults. Ten minutes can be scheduled around other school and family activities pretty easily. Practice time should be part of your child’s daily routine whenever possible. For older students, the instructor will advise on how much practice is reasonable to continue learning between lessons. Making practice a priority ensures your student gets the most out of their lessons.

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF PROGRESS

As with most endeavors, a student will get as much out of music lessons as they put in. It’s important to never create high levels of demands that may stress or discourage the student. At the same time, teachers and parents should foster the idea of how interlinked practice is with progress. For example, a student who practices an hour a day consistently will out pace another student that practices 2 hours a week. Parents and teachers should encourage practice, but recognize that not everyone has the desire or time to put in a consistent daily practice. This is absolutely fine as long as expectations are tempered.


At Paper Moon Music, we help children and adults alike explore the world of music in their own way. Our university trained teachers customize lessons to each student’s interests and goals, including considering the student’s musical and learning styles. Every student receives private, one-on-one lessons, allowing the student and teacher to get to know each other and build rapport. Our Recitals are a great way for young students to showcase their progress in a supportive environment. We encourage students to ask questions and suggest pieces they would like to learn. Our studio offers many different musical instrument lessons including guitar, bass, drums, banjo, ukulele, piano, and violin, as well as voice lessons. We’d love to have you and your child join us and experience the joy of music.



Music Lessons in San Diego Point Loma area

All Ages and All Levels Welcome!

Lessons are first come, first served. Contact today to arrange your first lesson!