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What age to start a musical instrument?

(7 Posts)
fufflebum Fri 07-Oct-11 17:09:41

DD aged 6 (year 2) has come home with the option to play piano or violin. Personally I think she is too young to start playing and would prefer her to start playing something when she knows what the instrument is and actually has a choice of instruments.

I had music lessons as a child and played a variety of woodwind instruments starting with the recorder age 5. However I think that when Dd is a little older there are many more instruments that she can play. At this age some instrruments are beyond her physical capabilities eg she cannot reach all the finger positions on a flute and some brass instruments are not an option because of lung capacity!

I just wondered what other peoples experiences are with this.

Katisha Fri 07-Oct-11 17:12:32

Both DSs started piano at 6. Then violin/cello couple of years later. You need to start earlyish with strings.
Brass and wind you can take up even in teens and get to v high standard, especially if you already have some piano knowledge say.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Fri 07-Oct-11 21:34:14

I thought the same as you, DS1 and DD both learnt recorder from Y3 which was a great start and both kept it up throughout Junior School.

Both then took up orchestra instruments in Y4 through school. In Y6 DS1 asked for piano lessons. The teacher came to our house and each week I had to drag my 6 year old (Y1) son from the room.

He begged for lessons but I was sure he was to young. Eventually I agreed he could start and 2 years later he hasn't looked back. He got distinction for his Grade 1 and thoroughly enjoys playing (and practising!!!!!!). He learnt an orchestra instrument from the beginning of Y3 and plays in a couple of beginner groups.

Between them we cover strings, brass and woodwind

I think it depends on the child, if the desire is there now go for it. Skills are transferable, if they can read music (especially piano with 2 clefs) they can pick up another instrument much more easily.

Milliways Fri 07-Oct-11 21:44:18

When I was at Primary a recorder was part of the uniform and we all learned to read music from age 5. I loved this and started the violin at secondary school (because no clarinets were left!) and still play now.

DD started violin at 6, because I played, but didn't continue. She switched to flute in secondary school.

DS started guitar age 6 or 7 and still has lessons & enjoys playing now - aged 16.

At age 6 they really have to want to do it for themselves as practising will become a chore. I know quite a few people who started at secondary and still play in adulthood.

ZZZenAgain Sat 08-Oct-11 16:52:16

ifyou would prefer your dc to learn a woodwind or brass instrument, I would do the piano now as a basis. It is a good basis for music theory later whichever instrument is chosen by the child.

Only of course if you have a piano at home for the dc to practise on. Perhaps though it would be worth going to a shop or having a trial lesson on the violin to see how it appeals to your dd. Maybe it would be the right one for her but if she hasn't held one and hasn't really heard one, she cannot know.

crazymum53 Sun 09-Oct-11 15:28:45

I would try to find out if there are opportunities to learn more instruments further up the school. At my dds school it is possible to learn a woodwind or brass instrument from Y4.

SecretNutellaFix Sun 09-Oct-11 15:38:16

I began piano lessons just before my 6th Birthday. I loved them. Piano gave me an amazing start on music theory which stood me in good stead when I began the violin a year later, singing properly and enabled me to more or less teach myself the flute.

I then changed teachers, to someone who was just as good, but my third teacher hated kids- I gave up piano at 13 and I regret it to this day. I still play now and then.

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