In this post, Pete Robbins, Groton Hill Music School Director of Education and Programs, answers one of the most frequent questions families have about starting music studies. Is your child ready to begin private lessons? Let’s find out!

How do I know if my child is ready for a one-on-one private lesson setting?

Children of the five-to-nine-year-old range are in an optimal window for learning and absorbing information, and they generally have the motor skills and attention span to begin to play an instrument. Piano, violin, and ukulele are examples of instruments that children on the younger side of that range are ready to learn, while guitar, percussion, and wind instruments are generally appropriate for children ages seven or eight and up. While a child can learn to sing at a young age, most start lessons in vocal technique at age 12 and up.

Every child is unique regarding motor skills, social readiness for a one-on-one session, and the ability to sustain attention. A parent or caregiver, in partnership with an experienced teacher, is the best judge of what the child might be ready for; and Groton Hill Music School offers flexibility to help you figure out what will work best. We offer a four-week introductory Private Lesson period to assess your child’s readiness and whether you’ve found the optimal match with the teacher and the instrument. (We have over 30 instruments from which to choose!)

If you are not sure how your child will respond to a private 30-minute lesson, you may want to explore a group beginner class first. These classes offer a more casual, social, affordable, and short-term introduction to an instrument. Often times this is the ideal way for children who may be tentative about one-on-one lessons to ease into the lesson experience in a less “formal” environment.

Our own group Beginner Classes in piano, violin, guitar, drums, ukulele, flute, clarinet, or recorder offer a high-quality, low-cost opportunity to explore an instrument with a shorter commitment, and to build the basic skills on that instrument to prepare for private lessons.

How do I choose a teacher?

The right private lesson teacher will develop a trusting and encouraging relationship with your child to help them to work through challenges and to focus on the positive, so that they enjoy the experience of learning and making music.

Groton Hill has over 80 highly trained and caring faculty members. If you think that your child may need a little motivation to engage in lessons, you might look for a teacher with experience giving students a little push, creating structure, and/or encouraging goal setting. Other children may need a more nurturing coach who’s going to make sure they’re not being too hard on themselves, and that they’re getting joy out of the experience.

The Groton Hill Music School staff has the knowledge and experience to point you toward the teacher who will bring out the best in your child, and whose availability works with your busy schedule! Call us at (978) 486-9524 to learn more or fill out the inquiry form on our Private Lessons page.

Learn more about all of our Music School programs!