Music Lessons

Hayley - posted on 11/30/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hello other moms.... I was wondering ..... do any moms of toddlers out there have their children in music lessons? I've had my daughter (who's now over 2.5) in a Kindermusik class (playtime with music / structured / etc) since she was 6 months old but over the last year she's kinda lost interest in the class, but not the music. She would be moving up to a drop off class after this semester so I've decided that the cost and her attention to it warrant dropping it entirely. However, I don't want to drop her love of music. I was an accomplished musician growing up but have since given it up for a hectic lifestyle when I became an adult. However, my daughter really thrives with it. We sit and play drums, or her recorder, or her piano all the time.

I thought since I'm dropping off the Kindermusik that perhaps I could replace it with something more structured and developmental, like piano lessons. I looked around the area and found several schools who have programs designed around toddlers and young children helping them learn to read music, understand beats and rhythm and even begin to play the piano.

When I brought this up to my husband about possibly starting her around her 3rd birthday after Kindermusik ended, he was very supportive of the idea, but cautious about spending a lot of money up front for something she may / may not decide to do. I understood his concerned and over the course of a couple weeks found ourselves a free keyboard for her to begin with, as well as a local establishment that will start her with no commitment to the amount of lessons. Basically, we can try it out with a minimal cost then if she likes it and wants to keep going we can really make an investment.

The problem though is I have some people basically telling me I'm crazy for thinking a 3 year old is going to learn to play piano and that I should wait until she's five or six to start her because we're ultimately going to waste a lot of money on something silly.

I believe in starting kids early means they'll learn it earlier and I really believe that she has the capacity to begin learning the fundamentals of music now.

So I guess I'm asking... does anyone else out there have a toddler in a music program or learning an insturment and is it working?

i know not to expect miracles after a year, but I'm hoping that the structured learning will help her grow both musically and as a person. She's got music in her blood just like her mommy!

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Hayley - posted on 12/01/2010

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Thanks Melanie! I would never force my daughter to do anything she didn't want to do. She likes the Kindermusik classes but there are so many other kids and it just becomes chaotic. I started doing them mainly as a way to spend quality time with her each week since I work full time. It was really great as a baby, but as she got older she tends to get into everything. Now she barely sits for the class, but I know she's still absorbing the material because she sings the songs and knows them. I think Piano will be a nice alternative to this because it's something we can practice and work on together, plus she really loves the musical instruments I have and we use in her KM class. I would never expect her to be fabulous ... just learn the fundamentals... ya never know what might come of it.

I don't mind putting out the funds either. I've been looking around at some prices and some of it's not as bad as you think, especially at a few places that give you a cheap trial run of the program to see if she'll be interested enough to do it.

I guess I'm one of those moms that wants to expose my daughter to as much as I can to find out what she wants to do ... if she does something and decides to quit I won't mind either.... as long as she's quitting for a good reason. I don't want her to quit just because she thinks she "stinks" at the instrument before really getting a chance, but at the same time I'm not going to push a 3 year old to practice insane amounts of time. I really just want her to have the experience. I hope she likes it though.... she has music in her blood!

Melanie - posted on 12/01/2010

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I don't think there's anything wrong with starting if you're prepared to pay and you think it's worth it. You're obviously not forcing her as you appreciate that she has lost interest in her current classes. The important thing is not to expect too much of them. I love skiing and took my daughter at 3 years. She is not a natural at all and didn't do very well - she's not going to be an early skiier but I accept that and just want her to have fun and try many different experiences. Good luck!

Hayley - posted on 11/30/2010

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Thanks! I feel better knowing I'm not crazy for believing the earlier the better!

Catherine - posted on 11/30/2010

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My son is still only 14 months, but we plan on starting him in music lessons at around the same age. I'm also a musician, and my teachers have always told me that 3-4 is the ideal age to start children in music (apparently they develop better natural skills and "ears" that way). I don't think you're crazy at all, and I don't think it's a waste of money. Even if your daughter doesn't ultimately pursue music, she'll still learn valuable skills from these lessons.

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