To love music is natural, it’s innate. Everyone loves music, from an early age. There are plenty of studies showing that babies respond to all forms of music from the moment of pregnancy. Many future moms say they feel their child move in their belly as soon as they hear music! Babies dance before they know how to walk, usually around 10 or 11 months.
You have also probably heard or read a lot of information about all the benefits of music ! Children who learn music develop their creativity, learn autonomy, perseverance, learn to overcome their shyness, and so on.
It is therefore normal for parents to consider how to cultivate your child’s growing interest in music .
Introducing baby to music: musical awakening
If at 10 months your baby dances when he hears music, or tirelessly beats your pans with a wooden spoon, we’re sorry to tell you that, that does not mean he’s a little Mozart. No need to rush to buy a piano!
On the other hand, to introduce your toddler to the music smoothly, it can be interesting to register it to sessions of musical awakening in group. Incidentally, crèches, day-care centers and kindergartens often bring “musicians involved”, that is to say, professionals of musical initiation to the little ones. From the age of 4, you will be able to enroll it in individual music lessons .
Your children will be invited to listen to music adapted to their age and to react to it with physical exercises: to dance, to clap their hands, to send a balloon in rhythm etc.
They will also discover the joy of singing, but do not expect them to sing right! Their voice is still too fragile. They have the opportunity to discover and touch various instruments such as the xylophone, the maracas, the recorder…
Is my child ready to start music lessons?
The children are all different, how many times have you heard this sentence? For music, it’s the same thing. As with everything else, you need to listen to your child.
First clue: did your child ever tell you about taking music lessons? If your 8 year old son has been tanning you for years to start the piano, without changing his mind, it is clear that you will have a hard time dissuading him from playing music. Explain to him how his apprenticeship will take place: he will be able to take classes either at the conservatory, music school or in private lessons. His music lessons will be held regularly, usually once a week. Depending on the structure chosen, he may have to attend music theory lessons in addition, or his instrument teacher will teach him music theory at the same time as the instrument. But above all, he must realize that music is a personal work : he will have exercises to work on his side, if possible every day. That said, if he is motivated, it will not hurt to get into it every night after school. Very quickly, he will learn songs, that he will have pleasure to play the evening or the weekend.
However, you probably know that children have a certain ability to change their mind … Do not rush either the first time he tells you to learn the tuba … Discuss with him his project. Ask him why he wants to make music : to do like his friends? To play a piece of guitar that pleases him? Because he fell in love with the accordion? If his interest is very sudden, give him time to mature his project. He must understand that learning music can bring him a lot of joy but that instrumental lessons are also a personal investment, a real responsibility.
Do not forget that a musical instrument is a precious asset, entrusting your child with a clarinet or accordion is a real responsibility: he will have to maintain it, clean it, store it carefully. If you plan to enroll your child in violin lessons at 3 or 4 years old, and you think he will not be able to take care of his instrument, it is certainly too early: offer him a musical awakening. Even later, do not hesitate to stress this point with him because he will have to be aware of it. But soon you will see that he will fall in love with his instrument and it will be difficult for someone else to approach him: musicians are often very possessive with their equipment!
And if he does not speak to me?
Conversely, it is not because he does not tell you that he does not think about it. Some children are shy even towards you. We have a lot of adult beginners who tell us that they never dared to ask their parents cello lessons that made them dream … Maybe your child does not dare to assume his sensitivity, his artistic fiber? Or is he afraid of not getting there? This is true for both boys and girls, especially in pre-adolescence and adolescence.
Maybe he just does not think about music lessons as an extra-curricular activity. According to different studies, it seems that “only” 10 to 15% of students would practice music. Yet those who practice music are delighted and derive benefits that they will use throughout their lives, without necessarily becoming a virtuoso . Do not hesitate to tell him about yourself so that he can explore all the possibilities available to him: sport, music, dance, drawing etc.
Nevertheless, watch out for “projections”! If you have always dreamed of taking piano lessons or learning the violin, but have never had the opportunity, you would certainly be delighted if your child starts. Conversely, if you have played and you keep a wonderful memory, you will be inexhaustible on the happiness that it provides and your child will withdraw some pressure. Remember that if the request does not come from him, he may become discouraged very quickly and you will have trouble convincing him to continue his instrument.
Know that there are adult music lessons: if it’s your dream, why not register for singing lessons or piano lessons? And why not, seeing you blossom into music, your child may be very eager to follow you in this project, you could form a beautiful duet.