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Where’s the Fire?! The Rush for Readiness (By Francesca Panfilo-Milza)

by Valentina Jotovic on October 7, 2010

“My child is 5 years old and is reading.  I think she’s ready forFrancesca Panfilo Milza 2 resized 600
private lessons.”

Before you rush out and buy that baby grand piano, STOP! 

There are many elements that comprise readiness for private instrumental lessons.  Remember, music learning is a cognitive, emotional, physical and social experience.  Here are some things to consider before taking the leap:

  1. Fine motor skills:  Can my child manipulate and coordinate hands, feet and mouth with ease?
  2. Gross motor skills:  Can my child move his/her body to a steady beat? 
  3. Expanded focus: Can my child sit for a 30 minute lesson, listen to instruction and multi-task?
  4. Self-motivation:  Does my child WANT to learn an instrument?  Emotionally ready?
  5. Self-discipline:  Will my child willingly practice every day for the required time?
  6. Cognitive skills:  Is my child reading?  Left to right notation reading?

This is why I value the Musikgarten Musik Makers sequence for ages 4 -9 years.  The program encompasses all of these aspects, giving children the room to grow and hone the above skills.   In my experience, pushing a child before he/she is ready will only backfire later.  The consequences of a premature start may not be seen until later years when they experience frustration, a declining interest and essentially burnout.  So RELAX!  Take the time to ENJOY the music.  In order to create a lifelong lover and learner of music, READINESS IS KEY.  

Topics: musikgarten, music lessons for children, music for kids

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