When Should Children Start Learning Music and How to Play An Instrument?

WebMD quotes Carista Luminare-Rosen, Ph.D., founder and co-director of The Center for Creative Parenting in Marin and Sonoma counties, California: "Prenates [unborn babies about 3 weeks prior to birth] can see, hear, feel, remember, taste, and think before birth."

Since that is true, that babies already have the abilities listed above even before birth, it should not be hard to understand that they recognize music they heard before their birth after they are born.

"Babies can recognize music they've heard in the womb after they're born," says Luminare-Rosen. Indeed, studies have already proven that babies do recognize music they heard before they were born, (WebMD).

WebMD further says that according to research, babies prefer classical music, or soothing music, and anything that has a similar beat as their mother’s heart. The amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb amplifies sound, and so hard rock and loud music is not recommended for a happy baby.

While I did not provide a lot of music for my baby before she was born, it was provided in the form of nursery rhymes and children’s songs on audiotape soon afterward. Just as I reported in my earlier hub that I began reading to my baby when she was just two weeks old, so music was a regular part of the day by that time as well (Give Your Baby a Head Start – It’s Never Too Early To Start Preparing Your Child For Success).

Listening to a variety of different kinds of music will help your child develop a love of music generally, and may very well foster a desire in him or her to want to make music as well. Research has shown that music in a child’s environment makes them more relaxed and receptive to learning.

My daughter after her first piano recital where she won a blue ribbon for her efforts.  Nearly 30 children of all ages, from 5 to 17, participated.
My daughter after her first piano recital where she won a blue ribbon for her efforts. Nearly 30 children of all ages, from 5 to 17, participated.

Music Has Positive Affects On Learning In Areas Besides Music

The American Association for the Advancement of Science conducted several studies at Brown University in Providence Rhode Island that looked at the effects of music and art education on very young children and their learning abilities. The conclusion of these studies showed a strong correlation between music instruction and emotional skills, intellectual achievement, and even reading and math ability.

Other studies conducted at the University of California and the University of Wisconsin showed that after three and four year old children were given simple piano lessons for a six-month period they did better on IQ tests than children who did not have the music lessons. Some of the children had computer lessons instead.

The children given piano lessons did 34% better than the children who did not receive piano lessons! That is significantly better. The children studied were from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. The findings from these university studies were consistent with the findings from the Brown University studies.

For more information on studies that have shown positive results for giving young children music lessons, visit PaulBorgese.Com.

Music Lessons For My Daughter

My husband was in law school and we were living in the Boston area from the time our daughter was two and a half years old until she was five and a half years old. Daughter and I spent that time reading together, making family visits to museums, going to children’s programs as a family (Disney on Ice, etc.), and at age four I taught my daughter to read and write (an upcoming hub).

If you have read some of my earlier hubs, you know that I homeschooled my daughter all the way through school, from elementary through high school. Music was a part of her curriculum for a while. This hub is written with home school parents in mind, but hopefully it can also be useful to parents who have made other education choices for their children.

It was not until we left the Boston area after my husband graduated from law school that I got my daughter piano lessons. She was 6 years old when she had her first formal piano lessons. Prior to her piano lessons I taught my daughter to read music.

During her practice for her piano lessons I would sometimes tutor my daughter, helping her find ways to perform a difficult piece easier, but for the most part I kept my hands off. I thought it was good experience for her to receive lessons from someone else, and to learn to be prepared for those lessons. She did extremely well, seeming to have inherited my talent for music, and won a blue ribbon at her first piano recital.

While my daughter was 6 when she had her first formal lessons learning to play an instrument (piano in her case), I think four is a good age to begin if a child is able to concentrate for a few minutes at a time, and if an instructor with endless patience is available and affordable.

Obviously lessons must be tailored to the age of a child, just as they should be when teaching very young children to read and write. I was fortunate to find a lovely well accomplished teacher for my daughter, but had that not been possible, I would have taught her myself just as I taught her all of her other subjects in home school.


Music Can Provide a Lifetime of Enjoyment Along With Improving Cognitive Ability

Music is something almost anyone can enjoy by one means or another. It does not have to cost a lot of money, even if the only thing you can play is the radio.

Being able to play one or more instruments can build self-confidence and self-value. Generally the more knowledge a person has in any area, especially a disciplined skill, the more positive their attitude and the more confidence they have in themselves.

If you can play an instrument, demonstrate that to your child(ren) and teach them to play also. Or get them formal lessons. There are many avenues of music instruction in most cities and even small towns.

The town we lived in was only 20,000 people in West Texas when my daughter started learning piano, and she had a first rate instructor. I received excellent instruction even though I grew up on a farm and the closest town counted only 367 people.

Look around and see what is available and give your child the gift of music. Start him or her on music lessons as early as age 4. Music is a gift that will last all of your child’s life.

© 2012 C E Clark

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Comments 58 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Agree that learning music can give benefits in many areas. If they can play the piano they can always be the life of the party. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this article, DeborahDian!


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 21 months ago from Orange County, California

Giving our daughters lessons in the piano and at least one other instrument was one of the best things we did for them. I think it improved their math skills and gave them a lifetime hobby!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Techygran, thank you for taking time to read this article and share your thoughts on this important subject. I have heard of the Tiger parents and even saw a Tiger mom on TV several years ago. Some people thought she was too demanding, but I tend to be the same way. I home schooled my daughter (now 26) and I always had high expectations because I knew what she was capable of. I think too many people are encouraging mediocrity in their children nowadays.


techygran profile image

techygran 22 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

aufait:

I agree that music lessons are a highly important part of educating a child. I'm happy my granddaughters have the opportunity to attend a Suzuki Charter School where all learning is associated with music. This was another of your interesting articles. I wonder if you have read about the music component of so-called "Tiger" parenting? If not, you can google Amy Chua's article "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" Wall Street Journal. She presents a slightly different perspective on parenting in general, and on music education in particular. ~Cynthia


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

JayeWisdom, you are correct in that all the suburbs blend together in the DFW area these days, and it has been so for a number of years already. I came to this area back in 1983 and since then the city where I live has gone from 40,000 to 125,000. Driving to Dallas or Fort Worth, one must pay attention to the signs to know when leaving one municipality and entering another.

Yes, for some reason I had a mental block and could not play the bass clef without first transposing into the treble clef. With a lot more practice I might have overcome that issue.

So glad you enjoyed this article Jaye. I hope it will be helpful to people who aren't sure when to start their children in music and who may not be certain as to the importance of learning music in the first place.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you CraftytotheCore for sharing your thoughts on this important subject, and for your kind compliment. Researchers are finding out that music is more important to human development and well being than most people realize.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Au fait - I enjoyed this hub very much and agree that providing children the opportunity for music instruction is a gift that will last their entire lives. I commend you for teaching your daughter before she had formal instruction.

I also enjoyed the comments, including your responses. In one you mentioned having to tranpose keys in piano. When I was first learning to play from written music, I didn't like playing sharps and would transpose any key that included them.

I lived in the DFW area for eight years back in the late '80s to mid-'90s. I've only returned for a couple of visits since then, but even then the cities and suburbs were beginning to blend together. When I lived in Grapevine it had such a delightful small-town essence (before the mall), and I'm not sure I'd even want to see it changed in the present. I am not against progress, but it saddens me when it takes away the character of a small town.

Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

JayeWisdom, thank you so much for sharing your early experience with music. I really enjoyed reading about it. No, it didn't disappear as I explained before, I just had to come and approve it and now that I have it's available for all to read and I hope they will.

Agree that music and creative endeavors should not be forced. Like forcing children to eat foods they don't want to or don't like, it could turn a person away from something that they might develop an interest in later if left to evolve at their own pace. Very much appreciate the time you put in writing your informative comments and thank you for the votes too!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

mperrottet, thank you for sharing your own experience regarding this important subject. Like reading, children need music in their lives and if it's introduced correctly they will learn to love it. Music adds so much to a person's life in so many more ways than most people realize.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

I wrote a very long comment for this hub, Au fait, but it seems to have disappeared! That happens occasionally and is very disappointing.

Unfortunately, I can't recall everything I wrote and manage to reconstruct it. Next time I plan to write a lot, I'll type my comments in a Word document, cut and paste into HP and save the original (just in case....)

Voted Up+++

Jaye


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

When I was pregnant, regretfully I didn't have a piano at that time. But we invested in some classical music and played it every day.

Your daughter is very lucky to have you. We also homeschooled when my children were younger. It was really neat to incorporate music in to my daily lesson plans.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Another thought.... It occurred to me (after my initial response) that I probably enjoyed music from such an early age because I'm certain my mother was playing piano and singing throughout her pregnancy with me. I learned to read at age four, and reading was immensely helpful to me with most aspects of formal schooling--except for math.

I tend to believe that some creative people just don't like math and limit themselves to those basics they need to either get by or even excell in their chosen fields. (It's that right brain versus left brain issue.) Advanced math always seemed like punishment to me...and still does. Give me words and music any day, but deliver me from advanced math! LOL.

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Hi, Au fait - Playing music does bring a person so much joy, as well as a feeling of accomplishment.

My late mother was very musical and played piano beautifully for most of her life without a single lesson. She played "by ear." When I was a small child, we had an old upright piano in our home, and it was kept in tune for Mom. I became interested in trying to play it when about four or five, and would use one or two fingers to pick out melodies.

When I was a bit older, my grandmother bought me a newer piano. By then I was listening to music on the radio and TV, so I began picking out my favorite tunes using both hands. Yes...I learned to play "by ear" as well. By the time I was an adult, I had quite a large repertoire.

In my late twenties, I decided that I wanted to learn music theory and how to read music. I bought some books and taught myself as much as possible. It's funny, but all the songs I learned to play by ear stayed with me (even today, in my seventies), but anything I learned to play from sheet music still requires me to read the music. I couldn't learn it, then play it by ear. Isn't that strange?

I also taught myself to play the accordion and the organ. The accordion seemed, to me, more trouble than it was worth, but I was satisfied that I was able to play it with no instruction. As for the organ, I love its bold sound and versatility. I get that in much smaller measure with my electronic keyboard and its numerous voices, but it's not quite the same. I no longer have a piano because one takes up so much space, so anytime I'm near one I have to play a few songs on it just for the sheer joy.

Music has always been a big part of my life, and I still enjoy playing my electronic keyboard. I don't play as often (or for as long a period) as I did when younger. However, it still gives me a lot of pleasure.

Among the younger generations in our family are several who got the "music-making genes" and play instruments. One grandson even composes music. I like to think all this talent originated from my mother and her birth family. She was adopted, but met her birth siblings when she was a teen and learned that several of them played musical instruments as well.

I learned the hard way that you can't force the desire to play music on anyone who doesn't have at least a spark of it. I tried with all three of my children (piano), and none of them really wanted to play enough to study and practice. In adulthood, my two sons both chose guitar and my daughter, piano and keyboard, but only as light hobbies. They weren't obsessed with learning to play. That's okay, too, since they each have their own talents (artistic and singing). People of any age should truly enjoy any creative endeavor they attempt. I don't think they should be forced into it (or forced to continue) if it isn't something they want to do. It's not too late to take lessons even as a senior citizen as long as one has the physical and mental abilities. A friend of mine began piano lessons for the first time in her early sixties and enjoyed it tremendously. In fact, learning a new skill--especially a creative one--can keep one's "little gray cells" working well....

Voted Up++

Jaye


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 2 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I think that your recommendation to start kids out at four is a great one. I started playing piano at four years old, and loved it. I taught my three children how to play at four years old, and they all did well and enjoyed it. Great hub, voted up, interesting and useful.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for making such a great suggestion! Music lessons would be a wonderful gift and a Forever Gift too, because we can take the learning experience with us all of our lives and beyond . . .


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

With so many people shopping for their children right now, one gift they may want to consider is an instrument and music lessons. This is a gift that could last a lifetime!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DDE, for reading and commenting on this hub!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Music lessons for children is a great idea from a young age it shows happiness and children learn something new all the time so easily. Great thoughts here.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for pinning and tweeting this hub! Children who don't get the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and to read music miss so much.


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Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Will tweet this hub to give it another boost and I am also going to pin it. Parents should really consider exposing their children to music and music lessons.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Rebeccamealey for sharing your experience on this subject.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Dahoglund, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for voting on and sharing it.

Bet you tried the more difficult instruments. I learned to read the base clef but always had to transpose it so the only way I could play piano decent was to memorize the music. I played by ear some too.

Foreign language is the same way for me. Have to transpose it from English to Spanish and back, so that slows me down. I can read the simple Spanish and make out words here and there that I hear, but that's about it.

I played the alto, tenor, and base saxphones in school, got first place at country and state solo competitions, played first chair, etc. Also played the accordion a little. I bet you could learn the sax if you tried. It looks difficult, but it's really one of the easiest instruments to play. Instead of having to make those notes with the shape of your lips like with a trumpet, all those keys make it easy. You do have to learn to get the right tone or it will sound like a cat getting it's tail rocked on, but that is probably the most difficult part. ;)

I didn't purposely play music for my daughter before she was born, but I did home school her and she was reading 2nd grade level at 4 yrs. Knew the alphabet at 2 and recognized upper and lowercase letters. Could count to 21. I wrote about that in my hubs about home school.

Agree that people are ready to learn different things at different ages and we all have more talent in some areas than others. I did well in math but hated it. Then when I got to my 30s it was suddenly easy.

Well, after living in WI, it seems to me that unless you're in West Texas, there's a little town every few feet along the roads here. In West TX you can drive a long way seeing nothing for miles. You might like my hub, The Great Gummy Bear Heist since it's placed in West Texas and a true story. I'm in the DFW area and from here to Dallas it seems like one huge city if you're not watching the signs to see when you enter a new one.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I so agree! Guitar lessons at age 16 really did wonders for my son's drive and motivation!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Au fait, those Texas towns can be far apart.

I like your edudcation philosophy. I am somewhat of the view to teach when they are ready as I think we develop different interests at different rates. I don't know anyone who played music to their pre-born kids but I had a college friend who said he was going to read Plato to them Don't know how that worked out.

I've never succeeded in playing an instrument, but I really wanted to at one time and tried hard but it was also like leaning a language. I didn't even know hat a chord was.

Up votes and sharing with followers.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by samowhamo.

Whistling can be good in music too. My brother who taught music for many years is very good at whistling and it's a part of some music. I have played the piano, the sax, and the accordion myself.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

I never learned to play an instrument I have never been good at playin music and I have never found an instrument I liked enough to learn how to play. I am a pretty good whistler though.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Sorry to hear about that Thai general, Paul.

It's funny how some people have so little patience for people and often they are the ones who require the most patience from the rest of us.

I can sing OK in a group (can't hear me as well then), but I do best with an instrument.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Thank you very much for the detailed answer on how to learn to play a musical instrument and singing. I can follow a melody. The problem is that I am flat. The last time I was singing an English song at a joint Thai-American embassy function in Thailand, a Thai general got up and walked out!!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Paul Kuehn, for reading, commenting, voting on, and for sharing/pinning/tweeting this article!

I taught myself to play the accordion, had a few piano lessons, and excelled at playing the saxophone. Went to state competitions and got first place all but one time with my sax. Sang in the choir at school and sang in ensembles.

I'm not sure that the fact you were unwilling to stick with practicing the accordion is a reflection on music IQ. Was the accordion your choice? With children especially, learning is so much easier when they want to do it and when it's fun. I chose the sax myself and started when I was 9. Soon as I got home from school I would have that sax out practicing because I loved it.

Not sure I understand what you mean when you say you are bad at singing. Bad because you can't carry a tune? Bad because you tend to be flat? Learning to read the melody line in music is easy and I'm sure you could do it right now if you don't already know how. That's usually the most important line for singing. There aren't that many notes for singing as a rule because most people's voices are limited within 2 octaves.

I really think if you wanted to that you could teach yourself to play an instrument right now. There are people who have trouble, but I think they are more the exception. First of all, choose an easy instrument. The piano, trumpet, string instruments, flute . . . are not easy instruments. The accordion is not an easy instrument.

Believe it or not, the sax is an easy instrument. Some people are intimidated by all those keys, but all those keys are what actually make it easy. All those keys help make the right note come out, where with a trumpet you have to create the right notes with the shape of your lips, tongue, etc. Much more challenging.

The hardest part of playing a sax is getting the right tones. It can sound beautiful, or it can sound like a cat in heat.;) The sax is also dependent on the shape of ones lips on the mouthpiece, but it's much easier to manage than playing a trumpet or cornet. I never had trouble getting good tones from the sax but I know some people do. The clarinet is on the same order.

I recommend you try a woodwind instrument (not a flute or an oboe, at least not to start), and get a simple music book where you just learn the notes and what keys to push to make them. Practice them and learn to get a good tone out of it. Make sure you put the instrument together correctly. There should be a diagram in your beginners music book, but if not, have the place you rent the instrument from show you. How far you push the mouthpiece onto the neck of a sax can make a big difference in the sound that comes out, so you may need to experiment with it -- or get advice from a someone you know who knows how to play it -- someone who can actually be there and show you. That's if you choose to learn a sax. Once you can do that, and it may work great right off the bat, you're ready to move up to simple songs and you're on your way.

Not knowing how to read music doesn't mean you have a low music IQ. It simply means you haven't learned how to do that. I know IQ is usually measured by what a person already has learned and retained, but it's supposed to measure how easily and quickly a person can learn. It doesn't though, does it?

Stop telling yourself you have a low music IQ, get yourself a beginners music book for reading music and you'll know how to read the melody line in a half hour or less. There's probably something online.

All notes are A through G and they just repeat themselves with each octave. All Good Boys Do Fine (AGBDF) on the lines and FACE in the spaces. You've got it! I know you can do it!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au Fait,

This is a great hub and I enjoyed reading it. I agree that music is important for everyone to be exposed to and have the opportunity to learn. According to the psychologist Harry Gardner, everyone has a music intelligence and it should be tapped into during all kinds of learning. I remember having music class in grade school and being introduced to notes, sharps, and flats. The thing is that I never developed an interest in it as a child even though my parents arranged for me to have accordion lessons when I was about 8 years old. Since I wanted to play and never practice, I gave up the lessons after 2 months. My parents never played any musical instruments. I like to sing, but I sound very bad. I think it's because I can't read music. If a person has a really low music IQ, will they ever any chance of learning how to play a musical instrument? Voted up as extremely interesting and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting and voting on this hub moonlake! Music can make such a difference in a child's self esteem and learning abilities. Being able to read music and play an instrument will add pleasure all of their lives.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

It's always nice for children to have a chance to learn how to play something. Our kids have always loved music. Voted up.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for reading, commenting, voting on, and especially for sharing this hub! Thank you also for your kind words regarding my daughter and me. I hope this hub will inspire people to include music and if possible learning an instrument in their children's lives, and starting young is best for lots of reasons.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

I agree that music is very important. Our family did a lot of singing together when we were growing up. We did it in the car, when washing and drying dishes and at other times. My parents loved the Big Band era and my husband and I like the good old songs and also classical. Although he briefly played a clarinet and I learned how to play a few chords on a guitar...good music is an important part of our lives. It is nice to know that it also helps kids develop in other areas as well. Nice job you did at home with your daughter and obviously your parents did a good job as well. Up votes and sharing this important message with others.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you rajan jolly for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub, and I especially appreciate your sharing your views and experience. I think you should write a hub about the tabla. I've never heard of it before and I think others besides myself would enjoy learning about it.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

I fully agree Au fait. I consider music to be food for the soul. Music has always been a part of our family. My mother used to sing and my brother too sings apart from doing his regular job.

I myself learned to play the tabla (a percussion instrument) while my maternal uncle also played the dholki, also a percussion instrument.

voted up and useful.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

All of my older siblings played an instrument when I was growing up. They were quite a bit older than me. Naturally, I wanted to do the things that they were doing, and that included playing an instrument. At that time I had to wait until the elementary school I attended allowed children to learn an instrument.

At age 9 I started the saxophone. Sometimes I think it doesn't hurt to plant the desire to learn something new, how to play an instrument, or some other skill, in a child's head when they are small. They will often look forward to when they can begin learning that skill when you do that.

I played the piano by ear starting at age 7 or 8 until I got a few lessons one summer when I was 12. I learned to read music when I was 6 -- my older sister taught me and I still remember that she was my first music teacher! In case you read this, thank you Suzanne. My oldest brother was also instrumental (no pun intended) in helping me learn music and the importance of precision. He went on to become an exceptional musician teaching hundreds of children music, where I dropped it all way too early (age 17). In fact, my brother was in a popular country band when he was just 16, playing trumpet, guitar, and singing.

Thank you Shyron, for sharing your thoughts . . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

I believe every child should learn to read music, and when a child shows interest in an instrument, that is the time to have them learn that instrument.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Nicole, glad you enjoyed. Music should be a part of everyone's life. Listening is good, but learning how to create music can add so much to anyone's life and help children especially, develop confidence and a sense of accomplishment.


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

Beautiful hub, great to read!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Glimmer Twin Fan: Thank you for reading and commenting! Know your daughter will enjoy her music more and more with time. Thanks for the follow!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

laurathegentleman: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub and for sharing your experience. Yes, I wrote about some of the studies that have shown the advantages of learning to play an instrument that affect subjects other than music.

Agree with you completely, that is's a shame schools are cutting art and music programs. It should be possible to do the arts and math and science too. It was when I was in school.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

2patricias: Thank you for reading and adding to this article/hub. I would have insisted my daughter spend some time learning to read music and play an instrument even if she had not shown an interest in it, because I believe learning music is important, almost as much as reading and math.

I think having some experience in learning an instrument is valuable even if a child eventually chooses to discontinue. I do think they should give it a try. Sometimes people are surprised when they dig into something, that they actually enjoy it and have a talent for it, but will never know that if they do not try.

There are some things one doesn't have to try to know they won't like them -- jumping off high buildings, stepping in front of trains, and so forth, but most of the time looking in from the outside doesn't really tell you if you will like something or if you have a talent for it.

One of the reasons why universities have a core curriculum is not just to try to see that their students come away with a well rounded education, but so that students will be exposed to subjects they might not choose to take on their own -- and then discover they love it! So many students start college with one major and then switch their majors to something different because of something new they learned in a class they would never have taken if not REQUIRED to do so by the school.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Margarita, for reading and commenting on my hub. Very much appreciate your taking time. I started music lessons at age 9, which was the earliest they were offered at my elementary school. I played the sax, later the piano, and taught myself to play the accordion.

My daughter played the piano. I think learning to read music and play an instrument contributes to a well rounded education and a deeper appreciation of what it takes to produce good music. Research shows learning music is an advantage in many other areas like math and even reading, etc.

I love the violin. I hope your daughter enjoys her lessons. Learning about music will serve her well all of her life.


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Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

Music is important for children. My 9 year old is learning to play an instrument. I think arts also play an important part in children's education. Great hub! Voted up!


laurathegentleman profile image

laurathegentleman 4 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

I love this Hub!

Music is a creative outlet for so many, and I truly do believe that introducing kids to music can enhance their ability to learn other things. Research has shown that listening to certain kinds of music can even help children in subjects such as math and science by tapping into different parts of the brain.

I played in the middle school band and learned how to play the flute, and although I dreaded piano lessons as a child, I know that it taught me many things!

It breaks my heart to hear and read about school programs that are cutting their arts and music funding to make room for math and science teachers - I think music is equally important.

Great Hub!! Voted up and useful!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub Suzette. I agree with you that music is so important and should be included in every child's life early on. Music is still a big part of my daughter's life now that she's all grown up.

I really think music is important for a well rounded education, and exposing children to different things, music, art, crafts, cooking, language other than the one they were born into, etc., helps them learn where their interests lie and what they are good at. It's good to be knowledgeable about a lot of different things.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for commenting on my hub. Agree that learning how to read music is part of literacy.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

We are very fortunate to live in a part of England with a school music service. Tricia's daughter learned violin and Pat's daughter cello through this service. From 5 years old children may attend a Saturday morning music club (singing, listening). If they wish to take up lessons a teacher comes to the school once a week for a group lesson. These are augmented by Saturday morning lessons with kids from othere school.

Pat's son never wanted to learn an instrument, but listens to music (including classical) constantly. Tricia's son still isn't so enthusiastic.

However, both boys were played music at home from their baby days.

They are both good at math, so maybe there is a link.

Interesting hub - voted up and tweeted.


MargaritaEden profile image

MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

Very interesting and useful article, very practical for me, my daughter is learning to play a violin, it's good to know how beneficial music lessons can be for the kids. Thank you! I am sharing your hub.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Great article! (Your daughter is/was adorable!) I wholeheartedly agree with what you write here. Music is so important, as well as reading at a young age, for children to learn. It does help them later in their studies, especially math. Studies have shown that studying music and learning math is highly corrolative. I was fortunate that my parents started me playing the piano also when I was six years old. I continued for twelve more years and I loved every minute of it. You and your husband where so wise to do this for your daughter. This article is so well written and I hope that all parents read and learn from this.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Bobby, for reading and commenting. I don't care much for rap either. Sometimes I can tolerate it, but mostly it's not my idea of music at all.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

R2-D2-2: Thank you for reading and commenting and for your addition to the discussion. Appreciate that you have been reading my home school hubs. I keep getting sidetracked from the hub about teaching a child to read. I actually taught adults to read before I taught my daughter, and you have probably read how I worked up to actually teaching daughter to read.

Of course everything that came before, reading together and learning the sounds consonants make, was all leading up to actually reading. Once she was ready, she was reading in about 2 weeks time and within a month to 6 weeks was reading at a 3rd grade level, and she was only 4.

People are wanting me to get that hub done. I'll try harder to focus on it and not be distracted by all the other interesting things to write on! ;) Thanks again.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

Every child should have the chance to learn music, not just the instrument, but to also read music.

Wonderful hub


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Mhatter99: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub.

Know what a trilobite is, but fail to see the connection with my hub.

Most of my hubs on instructing children stem from my personal home school experience, my education in child development, my observation and experience with children generally, and my wish to share those experiences with other people who may benefit.

In no way am I suggesting that everyone is the same or should be the same. In fact, one of the main advantages of home school is tailoring the curriculum and the speed at which it is accomplished, to the student. I am just saying that research shows age 3 or 4 are good ages to begin music instruction with children. My daughter had to wait to start learning an instrument 'til she was 6 because we had no instrument until then, but learning later is OK, too. I didn't start lessons 'til I was 9. I really think younger has more benefit, but any age can be beneficial.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Perhaps this is hard-wired from when we were born in the wild and subject to animal calls and bird songs, etc?

I know songs with an easy beat like a resting heart "City of New Orleans" comes to mind, is sort of comforting to listen to and the awful bang bang bang stuff the kids seem to like today is appaling (But maybe they like it because it mimics the animal heart in sexual or violent frenzy and perhaps it does increase violence as has been suggested?)

Interesting Misty

Bob


R2-D2-2 profile image

R2-D2-2 4 years ago from USA

Very interesting. My wife plays the piano and she started teaching our kids when they were like 3 years old. Just a little for a couple of minutes at a time at first and they were pretty good at the piano before they went to school. They did well in school too, and maybe learning to play the piano before starting school helped them. Have some friends who want to home school their kids so they have been reading about your experiences with that and your recommendations. Looking forward to the one on teaching reading.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

there was, obviously, always music at my house, both children play piano. it was as natural as turning on TV. are they better because of it? don't know... not every child finds a trilobite fossil at 6 years old.

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