Does my child need music lessons? What if he or she is not talented? What instrument should they learn? What age should lessons start? All these are questions parents may ask when it comes to music lessons for their child.
Music is a gift from God. As I type this post, my 10 month old is deriving great joy from making twinkly sounds on the old upright piano that sits in our living room. Everyone, regardless of age or talent, can enjoy the gift of music in one capacity or another. For some, this might just be listening to other people sing or play songs and finding simple joy in this. Others might be able to attain a certain level of skill in singing or playing an instrument. Some might develop a special God-given talent to compose or to play in a way that is outstanding. But everyone can learn about music and enjoy it in some form or another.
Before I had Little Brother, I owned my own business teaching music lessons for about 8 years. I taught private piano, guitar, & bass lessons as well as toddler, preschool, & elementary general music classes. In that time I helped hundreds of students from 6 months old to 70 years old discover the joy of music.
Music contains predictable patterns that point to our orderly Creator. Music can both produce and convey a whole range of emotions, pointing us to the very heart of God. Music, songs, lyrics, and rhythms have great influential power over our moods, our thoughts, and our attitudes. Thus it must be used wisely!
So to answer the questions posed at the beginning of this post, children need good musical exposure whether they have any “special” musical talent or not. Introduce them to the sounds of a variety of instruments. Even babies can enjoy bells, hand drums, egg shakers, and such!
Listen to good quality uplifting Gospel music and hymns. Sing with your children…a lot! Southern Gospel quartet-style music and Bluegrass Gospel are the favorites at our house! (I know this sounds old fashioned, but we do NOT listen to anything normally classed as “worldly” such as rock, rap, pop, country, etc. And we also do not listen to what is usually called “contemporary” Christian music. I will tackle these sticky issues in another post, so be watching for that!)
Usually if you are going to start formal music lessons, those should ideally start around the same time the child is learning to read; but I have had elderly grandmothers come to me for beginner piano lessons, so it is never to late to start! There are also things like color-coded piano music and handbells available that can be played by preschoolers who are not reading yet but can distinguish their colors. Big Brother enjoyed these at is now doing great with piano and recorder lessons. From my experience, the best instrument to begin with is piano. Recorder is also a good first instrument choice as they are inexpensive and small. Stringed instruments are better left until the age of 10 or until there is sufficient strength in the fingers to press down the strings tightly. I passed down my mandolin to Big Brother last year for his 6th birthday, and while he knows the basic chords, he just doesn’t have the proper amount of finger strength just yet.
I personally believe every child will benefit from some type of music lessons. Private teachers can get expensive, but there are other options out there!
I am so excited to announce that I am in the process right now of developing my own music courses, starting with a very unique Christian piano course for beginners! This is something I have always dreamed of creating, and I just desire your prayers now as I am working on it. Lord willing, this course will be complete with detailed lessons, worksheets, and videos that will get students started toward their dream of playing piano for the glory of God!
My course will be ideal for Middle and High School age students to work through independently. Younger students will also enjoy this course perhaps moving more slowly and with a little adult guidance. It would also make a really fun co-op class! I already have several lessons finished, and I will be working on more lessons along with the videos over the coming months. My goal is to have the piano course ready to market by the end of the summer! Make sure you Subscribe to Shield of Faith Homeschool by Email so you will get all my posts and updates!
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