I got a note from one of regular readers about starting a formal music education for her 6 1/2 year old daughter. Her daughter is very bright! We are interested in starting Rose in some music instruction as well, but we are clueless too so I am very interested to hear your answers! Here’s what the mom wrote:
“We are really committed to starting some formal musical education for our daughter, but we are a bit clueless about where to begin. Some questions:
“Are group classes better or private instruction, and how do you go about choosing them? Also, is it best to start off with something basic like keyboard lessons, or is there a way for her (even at the age of 6 1/2) to experience a variety of instruments and start on something different?
“For instance, she thinks she wants to play the trumpet, but is such a thing even possible for a kid that age? We don’t have a clue.”
So what do you all advise:
1. What are good ages to start learning instruments?
2. What are good instruments begin with? Do you start with what interests your child or is there one particular type that is really easy to learn and a good base to build on later? If our reader’s daughter is interested in a trumpet, is that good to start with or would she have enough lung power at 6 to blow one?
3. How do you know what instruments they might be good on? How do you know if your kid is musical at all? (We are not musical. We suspect Rose is musical. She is extremely good in math and is always singing. I suspect she could learn piano and have discussed it with her music teacher at school. She thinks she may be musical too.)
4. Do you like private lessons or group?
5. If you don’t have a piano at home, can you take piano?
6. How do you begin to find instructors and what are good questions to ask?
7. What is a reasonable amount to pay for a lesson?
8. What’s all this Suzuki stuff about?