Adults can begin any instrumental or vocal program at any time. The success is based on how willing the adult is to commit to practicing. We teach many adult beginner students of all ages, even in their 60’s and 70’s. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons at LAAPA. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better,” but this is not always true. If a child is placed into private lessons too soon, they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. It is never beneficial to continue an unpleasant experience which could cause the child negative feelings regarding music in general. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.
.:. Preschool Music Classes
Preschool music classes offer an excellent first formal introduction to music for toddlers and lap babies ages birth-4 years. Classes focus on the development of the whole child by listening to a variety of styles of music from around the world, singing, dancing, etc. Parents often attend all or part of these classes with their child. Preschool classes provide these young students with a basic foundation in key concepts that prepare them for private instruction.
.:. Piano Lessons
At our school age 5 is the youngest that we begin children in private piano lessons. At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.
.:. Guitar Lessons
Age 8 is typically the best time to begin guitar lessons. Some students display a talent and desire to learn guitar as early as age 6 and this is possible with the right teacher and school but is mostly dependent on the physical build of the student. Younger players may find playing a bit too strenous on their hands due to the amount of finger and hand strength needed to sound notes and chords. Bass guitar students may begin studying between ages 9-10. Bass guitars are usually larger/heavier instruments whose physical demands are most often best left to this age bracket.
.:. Voice Lessons
Age 5 is recommended as the youngest age for voice/singing lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords, and lung capacity), special care must be taken to select repertoire that is appropriate to the developing voice especially between the ages of 5-11. At LAAPA, children ages 5-11 learn how to properly use their voices in a fun/relaxed environment. At age 12, our traditional voice lessons begin which include the study of additional repertoire including classical arias/etudes, popular, broadway, and jazz selections, and of course any particular pieces the student is interested in learning!
.:. Violin Lessons
Violin students are able to begin lessons as early as age 4. Some schools and private instructors will accept students as early as 2 or 3. The Suzuki method of instruction is typically the first introduced to violin students as it de-emphasizes the need to read notes to play. As many violin students can come away from years of violin lessons without being able to read music, we use a hybrid method that combines the ease of the Suzuki approach along with learning to read music.
.:. Drum Lessons
Students as young as age 4 have been successful in weekly drum lessons. This can vary from child to child and is highly dependent on the student's ability to concentrate and maintain focus on the topics at hand. A full drum set is not necessary to begin drum lessons as new students typically are first introduced to the snare drum. The additional drums and cymbals are introduced as the student progresses.
.:. Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone (Woodwind Lessons)
Instruction for instruments of the woodwind family usually begins between the ages of 8-9. Learning the correct embouchure (mouth position) for all woodwind instruments is notably the most challenging starting point. With proper instruction and patience, it quickly becomes second nature.
.:. Trumpet, Trombone, & Tuba (Brass Lessons)
Instruction for instruments of the brass family usually begins at the age of 9 for the trumpet and ages 10-11 for the trombone and tuba. All members of the brass family require a large amount of facial musle memory and control to produce the various pitches correctly with the limited number of key triggers native to the instruments.