I struggle to give a definitive answer when asked by a parent when to enroll their child in music lessons. The truth is, it depends on several factors, including the level of maturity of your child, and which instrument you've chosen for your child (check out our post on how to choose a musical instrument for your child). However, at Upper Beaches Music School, we generally recommend that students start at age four for the best results and the strongest start in violin, cello, flute, and piano lessons.
By the age of four, most children have the mental focus, physical dexterity, and desire to succeed that is required to enjoy music lessons. If your child is entering or currently in Junior Kindergarten, they are at the ideal age to begin our Suzuki violin and cello program, our Kinderflute program, and/or to start private music lessons in violin, cello, flute or piano. Our curriculum is based on this early start, and all of us teachers at UBMS have training and experience teaching young children.
Of course, not every child is the same. Some kids reach the benchmarks of focus and dexterity by age three, while others can reasonably wait another year or two before formal music lessons will be truly beneficial. Others still will appear to have no ability to focus whatsoever but will develop this skills because of music lessons.
Let me back pedal a bit here. If your child loves music, and learning an instrument is considered an essential skill in your family, they are ready to start music lessons of some kind, regardless of their age.
So what do you do if your child is younger than our recommended age? For children under 4, our recommendation is to start with our Early Musicianship group classes. Our Pre-Instrumental class for ages 3-4 and our Family Music Class for ages 1-4 are an excellent precursor to formal music lessons.
If your child is older than our recommended age to start, don't worry! I didn't start violin until the ripe old age of eight, and I can think of plenty of colleagues who started even later than that. It's not so much the age that you start, but the level of commitment you give to music lessons that counts the most (more on that later). If you go all in, you're already headed for success.
The easiest way by far to know if your child is ready is to contact us and request a trial lesson. Our teachers are trained to work with young children and can answer questions that are specific to your situation.
The best age to start your child's musical journey is now, because music lessons or classes that are tailored to your child's needs will always enrich your child's life no matter what stage they're at. Contact us to get started!
Rebecca Lane is the director, founder, and owner of Upper Beaches Music School. She's committed to bringing high-quality music lessons to East York and loves working with students, parents, and teachers to make this dream a reality. Most days, you can find her chasing after her three young children, all of whom now take music lessons.