What’s the right age to start an instrument?

For children, starting lessons at the right age is a key element of success. If a child begins lessons too soon, they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop. Sometimes children progress more quickly if the child waits a year after the minimal recommended age to start lessons. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually perform very well. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.

3-5 year olds

If a pre-school child has a keen desire and wants to start music, a group pre-school music class will build a good foundation in music basics, which will be helpful in later private lessons.

Piano/Keyboard

5 years is the youngest age at which we start children in private piano lessons. At this age, they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.

Guitar—Acoustic, Electric or Bass

8 years is the earliest age we recommend for guitar lessons, partially because guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing guitar/bass uncomfortable. Bass guitar students are generally 10 or older.

Voice Lessons

13 years is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity), a younger body is generally not ready for the rigors of vocal technique. We suggest the younger ages start piano first so they can learn to read music in preparation for voice lessons as they enter their teen years.

Violin Lessons

We accept violin students from the age of 4. Some teachers will start children as young as 3, but experience has shown us the most productive learning occurs when the beginner is 5 or older.