Adults can begin any program at any time. The progress is based on how much time is available for the adult to practice. 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 lessons too soon, they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. 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 the age a child can begin taking music and dance 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 the heart of music is the piano, and it is no coincidence that the piano is often the first instrument of the beginning music student. Its comprehensive and visual nature within the fundamental realm of music allows for an education that will translate well into any other area of music. Instruction is available in all styles such as classical, jazz, pop, blues, country, rock, contemporary christian, etc.
.:. Guitar/Banjo/Ukulele Lessons
Age 6-7 is typically a great time to begin guitar lessons. 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. Students ages 5-6 who show an interest in guitar will have a much easier time and more fun learning ukulele for a year or two before switching over to guitar. Every lesson learned on ukulele will will translate perfectly to the guitar when ready! 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/Viola/Cello 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. Instruction in Viola begins at age 10. Instruction in Cello begins between ages 5-6.
.:. 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 8-10. 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.