My son Aiden is about to turn six years old. He has been asking to take [electric] guitar lessons for several months now. He wants to be a rock star, no doubt about it. I’ve been telling him that he needs to wait until he’s a little older to take lessons, but lately I’ve been questioning my stance. Does he really need to wait? When is too young to start music lessons?
After spending some time searching on the internet, I find that there is no consistent age teachers recommend as “too young.” What they do say, though, is that your child may not be physically ready for the demands that wrangling an instrument may place on them. Their instrument of choice may be too heavy for them to hold correctly for long periods of time. Or they may not be cognitively prepared to learn to read music, such may be the case for kids who are not yet reading.
Then I came across a site that gave me hope for my would-be guitar prodigy: The Suzuki Method. The Suzuki Method of teaching music to children employs many traits of good parenting to encourage children to learn their instrument of choice through repetition, listening and group learning. Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.”
The Suzuki Method is currently utilized to teach children to play several instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, recorder, guitar, and harp.
I did a search for teachers in the Austin area, and there are quite a few.
After reading about the Suzuki Method, I am inclined to allow Aiden to take lessons now instead of waiting another couple of years. I would love for him to discover a hobby that he enjoys this early in life.
Do you have a child who takes music lessons? Are they taught using the Suzuki Method, or otherwise? We would love to hear your opinions and experiences with children and music lessons!