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Ask the Expert by Skoolpedia

Ever wondered when should your children start learning music? Or what instrument should they pick up?

Silversnow Music School recently answered these questions on Skoolpedia.

Question 1: What is the right age to start for the various musical instruments?

"Research has shown that 3 is the magic age to start

learning music as benefits of music can aid in brain development. However as students of these age are too young to learn instruments like piano or violin, their lessons would typically focus on group music appreciation classes where they can learn basic music concepts in a fun way.

Normally students from age 5 can already start learning music instruments, but age 7 seems to be a more optimal as students at this age tend to be more focused and understand concepts much better. So it depends on what parents are looking for when deciding on whether to send their children for lessons.

Thus, there is no right age to learn music. A learner with more interest and discipline to practise will always learn and reap more benefits than one without. So the interest and passion for music will still be the most important."

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Question 2: How do I know which musical instrument is the right one for my child?

"At the start it would be difficult to determine which instrument is the “right” one for a child as his or her music playing skills would only be at a beginner level.

Most students who are unsure what to start with typically start with piano as their first instrument before picking up other instruments because it is easy enough even for a 4 year old to pick up. As compared to other instruments like the violin or guitar, each note is always played at the same spot whereas in violin or guitar, the same note can be played on different strings, which may be confusing to children. It also helps when a child does not need to worry about intonation in piano as compared to violin where it can take years to build up. Or if we compare the flute for instance, children at 4 years old can only start with a piccolo (higher pitched) as a flute may be too big to hold. Unlike the piano where a note can be easily attained by just pressing on a piano key, a flute beginner would have to spend a much longer time trying to make a sound on the flute. In terms of understanding music concepts for children, it is also easier to learn through the piano as the keys start from low to high (left to right).

On the other hand, there are children who already have a strong interest to learn instruments like the violin at the start. In such instances, they would choose to learn that as their first instrument.

Typically when someone continues learning an instrument for a few years and still finds it enjoyable and manageable to learn, that would be the “right” instrument for him or her. Since the child would know that at the start, it may be better to let the child be exposed to more musical instruments and see which one he or she has more interest in."

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We hope this article has helped you in starting your child's music education!

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