If you’re wondering what a good age to start singing lessons is, you are likely already on the path to help your child learn how to do it safely. Of course, most of us can "sing" from a very early age, but that doesn't mean our instincts will lead us to do it correctly, especially when we are young.
From humming a nursery rhyme to belting out a Whitney Houston song, the demands each song places on our voices will vary greatly. Most parents are usually unaware that our vocal cords have no nerves preventing them from warning us of misuse or strain.
So first things first: if your child loves to sing and wants to sing, make sure they take lessons with a professionally-trained vocal coach. After more than a decade in the business, we will give you our best advice so you can make an informed decision when you sign up for voice lessons. Our advice to all parents is simple—make sure your child has proper vocal training if they are or will be singing regularly.
While a vocalist can work at their ability to produce sound as young as five years old, the biggest obstacle will be their reading ability. After many years of experimentation with different ages at our South Florida music schools, we have found that first grade is a great developmental milestone for a child to start singing lessons successfully. Part of the issue we have noticed with children younger than seven years old is that understanding certain words and phrases in writing interferes with their ability to sing in rhythm. While a child can sing a song that they have heard a thousand times (like the latest song from Frozen), learning unfamiliar material will likely be very challenging. This usually happens because while they might process the musical elements of a phrase, like the notes of the melody, their ability to read and say words above their reading level will need to be worked on before she/he gets to practice the song.
This scenario also means that for children younger than 7, parents will need to be involved in the student's practice routine to work out the reading challenges in conjunction with the musical aspects.
But what if she or he loves Disney and already knows all the lyrics to their favorite songs? That in itself can be a challenge because a vocal coach's critical function is to assign suitable songs that match the student's range and ability. Younger students will have a lot fewer options when you combine the difficulties of processing lyrics combined with the fact that they are at a beginning stage in their musicianship.
Many times as students sing their favorite song unsupervised, they develop habits that are difficult to change. As voice instructors, we need to work with the child on completely unfamiliar material to have that blank slate. Starting with an unfamiliar song allows us to break down the practice routines to assemble the phrases correctly in a step-by-step fashion. This process is paramount for the lessons' success so the student can see progress in their musicianship.
So if you believe your child is ready to join our programs, give us a call.
We feel very passionately that every child deserves proper coaching so they can start their musical journey safely. We would be honored to help your child get on the road to success today.
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In this blog, we share tips and advice that will help students that are currently taking music lessons have a more enjoyable and productive experience.