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When to start learning musical instruments?

  1. #1
    Sara is offline Registered User
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    When to start learning musical instruments?

    That's precisely my question. I'm so tune deaf and can't play any instruments. My husband comes from a more musically inclined family and thinks that at 3-ish, our boy maybe should start learning something already. Anybody has an insight into this subject please? Which instrument is the best to start on?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Zee
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    I am a tone deaf mom too. Will highly suggest you read the book "Raising a Musical Child". Sorry, cannot remember the author's name. The Central Library at Causeway Bay has it on the shelf. The author said most children start around 6 or 7 but it is possible for some to start at 3. He also suggested either piano or violin as a first instrument. My husband is a music conductor. While he thinks 3 is a bit too young, he agrees that either the piano or the violin will provide good foundation for music learners.

    My daughter started her piano lessons last November at 3 year 8 months old. Both me and my hubby are happy with her progress so far and finally got her a piano last week. My 2 cents worth : Make practice sessions fun and soon your child will look forward to his daily practice routine.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Nemo is offline Registered User
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    Hi, Zee, may i ask shall we get my kid a new piano at the very beginning, or for how long after his practis can we buy a piano for him. And I'm considering how could he practis playing piano without an instrument at home, just playing with the tutor?

  4. #4
    Zee
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    The author of the book "Raising a Musical Child" suggested that parents should not jump into any heavy investment on the instrument at the beginning stage. This is because you never know how keen the child is on their first instrument. It is very likely that he may prefer some other instrument at a later stage. If I have invested on a brand new piano, chances are I am going to be really reluctant to let my child give up piano too soon. Then, every practise session will be a torture for both of us.

    My daughter's piano teacher went piano shopping with us and recommended a used Ottostein that is suitable for beginners. She suggested we upgrade the piano when my daughter is at the Grade 5 level.

    Before this, my daughter used to practise at a friend's place. She started out 15 minutes 3 days a week. I used stamps and stickers to motivate her after every practise. She enjoyed her routine so much, she started asking for her own piano after 2 months. We told her that we would only get her a piano if she could proved to us she enjoyed playing it. We are happy with her progress over the last 4 months and feel she could do better if there are more opportunities for her to practise regularly. Now, I have to set a rule at home.... She can only play on her piano between 9 am to 9pm. Don't want the neighbours complaining at my door.

  5. #5
    Sara is offline Registered User
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    Thanks very much, Zee. I've heard that piano is the best first instrument, but violin is very interesting. My, I love the movie "Music of the Heart"... ;)

    Nemo, a fried of mine (who already left HK) used to "rent" a piano for her kid on a monthly basis. I didn't have any interest back then and never asked from where she rented it. But at least we know there's such service in HK market.

  6. #6
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    I think the "first instrument" is either voice or percussion. :)

    My husband and I sang to our kids a lot. Banging on pots and pans and plastic bowls is also good. So is listening to music and singing along or dancing with the kids.

  7. #7
    hkaussie is offline Registered User
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    I can give a perspective from my own experience - me and my siblings started learning violin from between 3-4 years old, with piano following a year or so later. My parents were both quite musical and they considered it important for us to learn musical instruments, as well as learn theory of music.

    I can't tell you how many times during my childhood I wished I could give it up, and begged to give up the violin.

    Now, as an adult I can't tell you how many times I thank God that they didn't let me give up!! I really appreciate them sticking to the commitment of me learning an instrument. It has added so much to my life and I still use those skills regularly. As someone with a genetic predisposition towards being musical, I think I would have been very frustrated not to have the skill that I need or want to be able to express myself musically.

    I have also been a teacher of piano and violin and seen that the children who succeed are those whose parents are also committed. They don't push and pressure the kids, and learning is still fun, but they do take a gently firm stance that this is something they've committed to and will see through. I think starting earlier is better (eg 4), personally, as it becomes a natural part of their lives and activities, as long as you can trust yourself not to make it a stressful experience for your child.

    This is PURELY my own experience and not to be taken as any kind of generalisation for everyone!

    HKAussie

  8. #8
    Louiseamanda is offline Registered User
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    Hi there

    I think that all children love music (hearing nursery rhymes/singing/listening to music/stories with music) and looks like Hong Kong has classes for every need...
    I have also read that 5/6 is early enough for learning an instrument (developmentally speaking) but by all means you can start at any age but dont expect too much! also goes without saying its not a substitute for being in a musical environment.
    btw I have a friend whose mother is tone deaf and she learned the cello at school and was very 'into' all sorts of music to listen to. So it may not be inherited. Bottom line is probably that theres no rush.
    hope this help[s
    LA

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