Friday, February 7, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages...

How old should my child be to start music lessons? Am I too old to learn to play the harp? These are questions you might hear from prospective customers.

inside of Lyon & Healy Prelude (I think)
text added with Over app

I have taught students from ages 3 (I think she was almost 4) to 80 (so far!). And you know what? Each age has its own great advantages. I have been blessed with some really great students of very different ages.

Especially with the popularity of Mommy & Me and Kindermusic classes, parents seem to want their children exposed to music. The minimum age that you require your students to be is completely up to you. Some people are more comfortable with older students, and that’s completely fine. Do what you think is best for the students, his or her family, and what you think you can or can’t reasonably handle.

One of the strengths that I see in younger students is their inhibition (edit/correction) how uninhibited they can be. They haven’t been exposed to as many “rules,” so often restrict themselves less than those of us who have been exposed to what might be considered “acceptable” or “unacceptable.” Because of this, they are often more willing to express their creativity.

One of the strengths of older students is that they are generally taking lessons because they WANT to study the instrument. They truly desire to study and learn, their parents aren’t just making them. Two of my senior citizen students are some of the most inspiring people. It is so very cool to see them truly interested in becoming better musicians.

The age of your students is up to you. You can even handle it on a case-by-case basis. You can have a preliminary/trial lesson to see the behavior of the child as well as how well your personalities mesh. If it’s something you don’t think will work, feel free to recommend the student to a colleague whose strengths might include that age of student or even tell the parent that you think it would be more beneficial to wait 6 months, a year, etc. Don’t forget to throw in that they would probably get more for their money if they waited awhile to start formal lessons! J You can also recommend age-appropriate resources for them to explore in the meantime.

What ages have you taught? What are your suggestions regarding different aged students?


P.S. The links don't benefit me monetarily (that I know of, but if they should end up doing so, that'd be peachy). However, if you should choose to purchase a Lyon & Healy Prelude as a result of this post and mention my name, it might be (again, not sure) financially beneficial for this harp teacher. :) Just trying to be upfront with y'all! :)

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