ACTIVITY => Activity Time & Toddler Activity => Topic started by: *Ali* on October 15, 2013, 21:14:40 pm

Title: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: *Ali* on October 15, 2013, 21:14:40 pm
Cadan has taken an interest in learning a musical instrument and DH and I have been umming and ahing about getting him into lessons to learn to play something. I personally am leaning towards the piano or guitar but probably only because I think I would have liked to play them myself.  :P When I asked Cadan he said he wants to play a drum kit but I don't think I could bear that and we really don't have the space for one.  ???

Today at nursery he happened to have a lesson with a music teacher and she ran out to speak with me at pick-up to tell me Cadan was very talented and could easily copy a song she was banging out on the drum even sometime later. She said his sense of rhythm was "amazing" and I should keep an eye on him as he may be a budding musician  :)

Anyway, for a first experience does anyone have any advice on whether it is best to do fun group lessons or more formal one to one lessons at this age and what instruments are good for a first timer?

DH and I play nothing and can't sing either so not sure where he would get any natural music ability from. We do listen to lots though.
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: Shiv52 on October 15, 2013, 21:39:08 pm
Here kids are generally 6/7 when they start instruments. Before they tend to go to music groups where they concentrate on musical games and rhythm etc. my uncle is a piano teacher and he has said he wouldn't take M until she's 6ish because until then their wee hands are still so little that their fingers don't stretch the octave got chords or the like.

I also think age comes into it as it does require a lot of practice and patience to learn an instrument which kids don't have at younger ages.
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: creations on October 15, 2013, 22:26:31 pm
Ali I am no help at all (will leave the advice to the experts) but have you seen this? It is crazy cute!

There are some electronic drum kits with headphones - although i wouldn't really want my DS 'closed off' like that, think I'd rather hear the banging. We are contemplating getting him a drum kit too, but yeah space...

DS loves strumming his ukulele which is a really popular instrument these days (and inexpensive) and you could learn to play it yourself too!  I can play (poorly) just from watching a few clips on the internet and following a song book that shows the chords.  DS is nothing like this following film but he does like to do a little performance for Nana or Granny, he usually sings the alphabet song and just strums
anyway, another crazy cute film (maybe show Cadan a few different clips of kids playing various things??)

Does he have a little electronic keyboard?  Another fav here, nothing flashy at all and no lessons but just something for him to try out his sense of rhythm and musicality on yk.
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: grace annes mommy on October 15, 2013, 23:47:15 pm
I teach Suzuki Method violin and start LOs as young as 3.5.  In the beginning, we do games for fine motor skills and ear training, gradually working up to holding the instrument properly, then playing.  Suzuki is known for starting LOs young.  It's not just violin, there's Suzuki for all string instruments, piano, guitar, recorder, harp, and flute.  It's very important to find a *certified* Suzuki teacher (like Montessori, anyone can use the name, but the actual approach to teaching is very specific and you want someone qualified).  Here:

For a less instrument specific experience, you could look into something like Music Together.

Another BWer mentioned this program - Music for Young Children, which I don't have any personal experience with, but looks great!

Very cool the music teacher was so complimentary of your DS's music making. Good luck!  :D
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: *Ali* on October 16, 2013, 21:14:13 pm
Thanks guys so helpful as always :)

Cadan did actually ask for a toy guitar a while ago so he would probably love a ukulele. I have found one on Amazon and will let him pick a colour tomorrow I think just to see how he likes it at home. I have put a keyboard on his Christmas list too.

I have been looking at local music groups but am really struggling to find anything in the afternoon because he is at nursery in the morning.

I may well look into that Suzuki training if he takes to the instruments we get for home I think :)
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: creations on October 16, 2013, 21:36:07 pm
Can I suggest you buy a tuner too.  I got this one
It's very easy to use, ukes fall out of tune a lot so it will need tuning at the start of each session he plays, only takes a couple of mins (longer the first time you do it) and as he is older than DS I am sure he will be able to follow your instruction how to tune it himself very quickly.  This one has a light which shows red when out of tune and green in tune as you pluck each string.  It's pretty neat!
I also got this book
there's a whole series of them - but you can google for free music and just about any song too and print it out. There are free classes on line too, to see how to strum, how to make chords etc.

Also on DP's advice (he is a guitarist) I got a uke with geared ukulele machine heads, I wouldn't know the difference myself but apparently this makes tuning much better/easier.
The only thing with the uke is that it is pretty hard work on the hands and fingers. After less than an hour I was getting hardened skin on my finger tips from holding the strings, much much easier than a guitar though and if you play regularly your fingers toughen on the tips so it hurts less.  In that sense he might actually have more fun with a toy guitar which will be much softer and he can play longer iyswim.
Title: Re: First musical instrument at 4yo
Post by: *Ali* on October 16, 2013, 23:13:40 pm
Thanks. Yes the one I want has geared machine tuners.