When I was pregnant with my daughter, her father would talk to my belly and say, “I hope you can sing like your Mommy. I can’t wait to hear you sing.” As my daughter grew up, I always sang to her before putting her to bed. We would sing to her in the car and she would get so excited! You can see her watching us intently, trying to figure out how she could make sounds like that.
To my surprise, when she was 6 months old I would recite vocal warm ups while changing her diaper and she would repeat them back to me! She could literally sing before she could talk! In a little more than a year old she was singing songs from “The Wiggles”. Eventually she moved onto Barbara Streisand and Rod Stewart. At 3 I thought, “what do I do with this amazing gift?”
The thought of putting her in the spotlight or putting her in commercials wasn’t something I felt that I could do personally. But she really seemed to LOVE music. I inquired about musical theater classes and they told me she was too young. They said they take kids at 7 years. I also looked at some music schools and they said the same. Even if I had her sing for them… 7 was the age of acceptance. Why?
I think the reason why 7 years old is the age of acceptance is because businesses are worried about a kid’s short attention span or the progress they would actually make. But what business owners don’t understand is that having young children involved in a 30 minute lesson can influence a lifetime of learning and building of the character of the child.
Children who are passionate at such a young age can benefit greatly from music lessons. In fact, studies at the University of California suggest that taking music lessons at age 3 can increase a child’s brainpower. However, many piano teachers prefer that children wait until they are 5, when their hands are bigger and they’re more ready to sit still and concentrate. – www.babycenter.com
If you have a young singer, singing lessons at age 3 is definitely encouraged. Not only will it make your child’s singing in the car experience more bearable , but it will help develop their speech, language and intonation. Plus it’s fun and your child will love singing familiar songs and hopefully challenge themselves with some new ones.
Drums are a great way to get a child to maintain focus. If you are afraid about all the loud banging at home, there are plenty of drum pads or electronic sets with headphones that will give you peace and the child the freedom to play! Many kids who start learning to hold the stick and keep time at a young age will grasp the instrument quickly.
Recently I came across a 3 year old boy in Russia, who played the “Can-Can” with a Russian Orchestra! Check him out –www.dailypositiveinfo.com.
Any musical lessons at a young age is great as well, however sometimes it can be very challenging for students under the age of 5 to maintain focus. No matter what the instrument, a 30 minute lesson should be the limited amount of time spent with an instructor at that age. If it feels like your child is giving up or not practicing at home, please don’t just stop lessons.
Besides the non-typical prodigy, there is a time during their experience that the instrument will just click! Just like that. No rhyme, reason or explanation. Every child is different. As long as they keep going you will see little sparks of learning here and there when they are home. Eventually you may never see hours of practice time you expect to learn an instrument, but that is where band programs come into play! If your child is between 7 years old and 9 and they have been taking a consistent instrument for a while, put them in a band program.
With involvement with a band program, you will see MONUMENTAL PROGRESS. Having to be an active part of a team and being relied upon by your peers is the kind of positive peer pressure you want in your kid’s life. Once they are part of a band, they are all responsible to do their part and none of them want to let each other down! It’s really a beautiful thing to watch.
As part of a band, the kids learn to communicate positively with each other, they learn to negotiate their relationships with each other and….then magic happens. The sound amazing!!!
I tell the kids all the time “you all are a team and family at the same time. That’s what it means to be part of a band, Otherwise instead of music, you just make noice. No one wants to hear noise”.
Families who participate and love music together is also another plus. It drives your child towards accomplishment because they feel a sense of family, unity and pride. You don’t have to plan an instrument or have perfect pitch to be involved in music. Going to concerts or just exposing them to different music around the house or car together is a positive experience. Sing with them, even if you don’t feel you have the best voice, you are providing them with an ability that it is good to share with you are passionate about with others.
We encourage you to sign up your child for a free trial lesson at our Long Island school, Rock N Roll U, in Hauppauge, NY. Please call our office at (631) 656-5901 to get started!