In this post, Pete Robbins, Groton Hill Music School Director of Education and Programs, answers some of the most frequent questions families have about starting music studies.
When is the best time to introduce my child to music?
Now is the best time! There is truly no wrong moment for a child to experience music-making, and the earlier it happens the better. Children are naturally musical; kids across every culture in the world respond to lullabies and to dance music!
Children’s brains are so spongy and their emotional worlds so vivid that they absorb music on profound levels. And like learning any language, the younger someone is, the easier it is for them to become fluent in decoding and “speaking” that language. Kids are also usually less afraid of making mistakes than adults are, and are often more motivated by praise and by their relationship with their teacher mentor.
So…where do I start?
Have music on at home and in the car. Sing to – and with – your child. Dance, bounce, sway, or march to the rhythm with your child. Listen to whatever moves you. Children will pick up on cues, so what’s most important is that the music you listen to is something that you enjoy, too.
If your child is up to four years old, you might want to try an early childhood class where babies/toddlers and parents or caretakers participate in music through listening, clapping, singing, learning simple rhymes, playing games, and creative movement. These classes can be found at your library, through independent instructors, or your local community music school.
We have our own early childhood program at Groton Hill Music School: our Music for Aardvarks classes lay the foundation for learning music, offer a social time for kids and parents, and introduce music as a means for joyful expression. (Bonus – the Music for Aardvarks songs, written by a former rocker, are creative, intelligent, hip, and truly enjoyable for adults and children alike!)