Music really is a language, so when is it a good age to learn this new language?
A few weeks ago we hinted about this by referring to this wonderful TED video by Victor Wooten . Please take a few and watch it. It’s fun and worth your time.
In this talk and other studies, we learn that we should approach music naturally and early, just like any other language. But how early?
It is scientifically proven that playing a musical instrument increases the coordination of both hands and other interhemispheric functions (between the two sides of the brain). This is coordinated by the connections in the center of our brain, the Corpus Callosum.
Music practice also increases the white matter structure in young brains and promotes greater plasticity.
So, the brain becomes more coordinated, larger, and more flexible! What’s not to love?!
So, it should help with language, math, and science later on!
So, let’s start at 18 months!
Well … that’s a little early for anything too heavy, but not for experiencing the sounds and the feel of an instrument as my little grandson is doing in the photo above. And don’t even try to take that uke away from him! Ha!
But you might start music lessons at 4, or even 3, if your child enjoys it and can make progress without getting frustrated. In other words, if you can keep it fun.
Definitely by 5 or 6 you should be good. It will require patience and love and fun, though, at any age. And you will need an inspiring teacher, (such as my wife. Ha!) She already has 45 individual private students so this is not a plug; she would kill me :).
She knows how to keep it at their level and to keep it natural and fun. I think she becomes one of them, actually!
The lessons, and your personal and caring involvement, will gradually help your child increase his or her memory and attention span along the way, too!
Help us all to speak and enjoy the powerful language of music!
One of my personal favorites when I taught grade school music was Raffi. His music was basic and fun and totally engaging for the young ones!
Stay with us for future conversations on the benefits of music for special needs children and adults.