Yes, it's true! Music makes you smarter and it's good for reading and math...BUT...
What we’ve found is that young children thrive in a research-based group class (such as our Kindermusik program), and the LATER the child starts private lessons, the more likely they are to enjoy lessons and want to continue.
Anyhow, these inquiries made me start to wonder when all of my musician friends and our studio teachers started “officially” studying their instruments, so I turned to the professionals. I wanted to try to find the sweet spot, that magic age of when it seems to “stick.” So I interviewed all of the musicians I know to see when they started, and here's the result:
Who did I ask? Out of 40 replies, 32 people are professional musicians, from teachers to performers and music studio owners. 8 people are NOT professional musicians but did retain knowledge of the instrument and could bang out a tune if they wanted.
Many people shared that they started lessons at a young age and then got frustrated and quit, which is what we often see with very young children (under 6). The majority of students who began in the 10-13 range started in their middle school orchestra/band/choir, and most children in the 4-9 year old range began on piano or violin. The very young students (4-5 years old) who continued playing were from musical families whose parents were able to help with their practice. Many of them quit for awhile and then re-start when they were 8-9 years old.
The quicker progress that a child makes at an older age gives them the joy and confidence that comes from mastering an instrument. They also need less direct supervision/help from a parent (we know you are busy already!).
True, some children ARE ready at a very young age, but it is a huge parental commitment, and we've found that if you wait a few years, ALL children can be successful. We are not going to let you miss the window of opportunity, we believe that ALL students, young and old, have the ability to love and enjoy making music, because a good beginning never ends!
Jessica Solares is one of the founders of Bucktown Music, along with her husband Luis. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Elmhurst College, and is a licensed Kindermusik educator with Maestro distinction.