We’ve all heard that Mozart sat down in front of a keyboard at the age of four, composed by five, and performed for royalty by the age of six. Stories like that make us want to give our future musical geniuses the earliest start we can. But violins aren’t as easy to pick up as the keyboard (though young Mozart played that, too) and giving a toddler a fiddle and a bow can feel almost cruel. So how do you decide what age to start violin lessons for your child?
It’s Not Just About Age
A quick Google search of “what age to start violin lessons for your child” will tell you that the very earliest age a child should start violin lessons is three years old. But that age isn’t one size fits all. The fact is, a violin is a challenging instrument to start. Unlike the piano, you have to master a certain stance and certain movements just to make a noise on it. At the age of three, some kids are ready for the concentration and endurance that will take. Many aren’t ready until they’re a few years older, maybe five or six. Because starting a child on lessons before they’re ready can cause undue stress which may lead to resentment, knowing what age to start violin lessons for your child can be the difference between a love for music for your child and a rejection of it.
So, How Do I Know My Child Is Ready?
Most people are willing to struggle for something if that thing is valuable to them. A teenager works hard mowing lawns because they find value in the car they want to buy. An athlete works hard exercising because they value playing their game well. Along the same lines, if your child expresses interest in playing the violin, that’s a pretty good indicator that they will be willing to struggle through their first lessons. You’ll also want to check how patient your child is, how willing they are to listen to directions, how comfortable they are with making mistakes, and how independent they are. Their love of music will determine their willingness to attend lessons, and the rest will determine how well they do at everything that comes with them.
How To Prepare Your Child
So, maybe your child isn’t ready to pick up their bow just yet. That’s okay! Starting later doesn’t mean that your child won’t play music just as well as Mozart, and it doesn’t mean they can’t start getting ready to start lessons. Introducing kids to music can start as soon as kids can hear a note. Taking children to listen to fun musicians, encouraging them to dance along with the radio, or buying them toy instruments will instill a love of music they will bring with them when they do reach the point of meeting with one of our Portland, Oregon, violin teachers. Not every child is Mozart, but how boring would music be if they were?