5 Things You Need to Know Before Your Child Starts an Instrument
Avoid Frustration, Save Time & Money
1) What is the most common reason that children quit music study?
Based on many years of research, covering hundreds of cases of music students, 9 out of 10 children quit because they were playing the wrong instrument.* However, the right instrument suits the child in three ways: mentally, physically and emotionally.
2) What is the second most common reason kids drop out of lessons, band or orchestra?
Research shows that starting too early, before the child is physically, mentally and emotionally ready, can be detrimental.* Many parents assume age 5 or 6 is the right time to start formal music training. Fact is, that's the most stressful time in the life of a child. Learning to read, write and do arithmetic, relating to new teachers and unfamiliar classmates put a lot of pressure on young ones emotionally, mentally and even physically. It's better to wait than to rush into lessons, only to have the child give up in frustration. The best window of opportunity is between ages 8 and 12.
3) How can I tell if my child is musical?
Almost all children are musical, meaning they have the ability to learn to play the right instrument. We're not talking about prodigies, which are exceptional. The average child can learn the right instrument at the right time. Both of these parameters are under your control, as the parent.
4) Is my child ready to start a musical instrument?
Just as children learn to walk and talk at different rates, they are ready for music study at different ages. Good grades in school are not necessarily a fair indicator of readiness. In fact, some less-than-stellar students actually do very well on the right instrument. Study shows that the best window is between age 8 and 12. Many parents put their children in piano lessons at age 5 or 6 . This is the most stressful time in a child's life. Starting Kindergarten or first grade, learning to relate to teachers and classmates, plus learning to read and write and do arithmetic, take a lot of mental and emotional energy. That is not a good time to add music to the load. Remember, a 10-year-old learns something twice as fast as a 5-year-old. To find the optimum time for your child to start, take our Readiness Quiz, which is step 2 of the 5 steps in the free Right Instrument-Right Time Evaluation.
5) What is the best musical instrument match for my child's physical, emotional and mental make up?
As the parent, you have the control over which instrument your child plays, and when to start. Avoid the outdated trial-and-error method. One way to find the right match is to buy and read the book, The Right Instrument for Your Child.* Then take the Three-Way Profile contained in it.
Next, compare your answers to over 30 different instruments, all described in the book.The right instrument will match your child's mental, physical and emotional traits. For example, if your child loves math, the piano or guitar offers complexity to hold his/her interest. An instrument that plays only one note at a time, such as trombone, clarinet or violin, may be too simple. Another example is, an introverted child would be emotionally uncomfortable playing a loud trumpet. Quieter instruments, such as euphonium or flute would be better options. It makes sense that a student with small hands would find a 'cello or saxophone hard to play, because of the wide stretches needed to finger the strings or keys. Small woodwind or brass instruments or violin would fit better. One last example; a very energetic student might prefer drums over piano. Make sure your choice of instrument suits your child in all three ways.
Continue the selection process by making a Short-List of 3 or 4 possible choices. Be sure to take the Musicality Test and Readiness Test, as well. Finally, take your child to a reputable music school where he/she can try them personally with the guidance of an experienced teacher. If you are motivated, this process could take 3 or 4 weeks.
Sound too complicated? Here is where Rochester Academy of Music comes in! Let us take the hassle out of the process. We will use our vast experience with a revolutionary, modern method: Right Instrument-Right Time Evaluation to assess your child absolutely free-a $50.00 value, before the first lesson. There is no obligation to pay anything. Your child will get the individualized attention he/she deserves, tostart the right instrument at the right time. A parent's dream!
Get your free Right Instrument-Right Time Evaluation today by filling out the contact form below.
*The Right Instrument for Your Child, Atarah Ben-Tovim & Douglas Boyd, Orion Books, Ltd, 2012.