When Can I Learn to Play Music?

In spite of the success some teaching methods produce in allowing very young children to learn to play instruments it is not common practice to start children learning with a music teacher until about five to seven years. Small children who live in a family where one of the members plays a musical instrument are fortunate. Older children who learn to play an instrument at school and bring it home to practise are handing on the idea to young brothers and sisters. When their turn comes to go to school they will accept this as naturally and eagerly as any other activity they find there. If only learning to make music was made possible for every school child perhaps we should see the apologetic’ Can’t sing or play a note’ syndrome disappear in two or three generations time.

There is a possible danger that very musical parents may try to push young children beyond their present level of ability and interest or show disappointment if their children do not show the same aptitude as themselves. This of course can happen with any talent or special ability within the family. At the other end of the scale there may be children whose interest and talent is not sufficiently fostered – not because of the lack of interest and concern it is so fashionable to charge parents with, but because parents do not know how their children could be helped. Schools, television and radio could all be more helpful in this direction.