As seen in my previous post Young Musical Prodigies- When is the best age to start music lessons/tutoring it is quite possible to teach preschoolers music. However, it is highly important that the parents are very much involved in this process so that your child can maximize their time with their teacher and also for you, as parents, to assess if your children are making any progress. Alternatively, I have compiled a list of things that you, as a parent, should do or be aware of.
1. Ensure that your child has multiple sessions
Unless you are a musician yourself who can push your child to have at least 5 minutes on the piano or whatever instrument that they are learning, then it is extremely difficult to cultivate a 3-4-year-old musical skills if they have only had a lesson once per week for 30 minutes. By the time the next lesson comes again, they would have forgotten the majority of their previous lesson, which ultimately slows down the process. I would suggest at least 2 lessons per week that are spread out so that there isn’t too much time that has passed between lessons with the ideal lesson being 30 minutes every day. Repetition, in this case, is key!
2. BE CONSISTENT
It is imperative that parents must avoid skipping lessons as much as possible. I have had many parents skip so many music lessons for their kids that I had to start from the beginning because the children had completely forgotten, which further slows down their advancement. It also gets the teacher and, inevitably, the parent, frustrated. Remaining committed and consistent also establishes a routine in which the child will expect their music lessons and be ready for them at a certain time of day. Of course, life happens and some things are simply unavoidable and that’s fine as long as you give the teacher/tutor advanced notice.
3. Parents should be highly involved
If private music instruction occurs at the home of the parent, it can be difficult for a music teacher to establish a root of authority and keep the child’s attention (whereas in school, the child will be in an unfamiliar environment and learn that their teacher is the only authority in the room). Parent’s help will be greatly needed in this area as they are the ones to instill or ‘pass on’ authority to the teacher in front of the child so the child knows that their parents allowed it. This then creates cohesiveness between the parent and the teacher, while at the same time, the parent is able to assess what the teacher is doing.
Establishing routines in this aspect will further help the development of the child’s musicianship. It also goes back to point # 2: that music classes must be consistent.
4. Avoid group preschool music classes
These are the type of music classes that occur in school where the children learn to sing and play percussion instruments as a collective group. This is advantageous for the child’s social development and also to learn the fundamentals of music. However, if you are looking for the child to play an individual instrument, it would be best to find a private tutor who is both a musician and knows how to teach 3- 4 year olds for several reasons:
- the private tutor can on the one student, rather than having to split their focus between 5-10 children of the same age who has extremely short attention spans
- One student won’t get distracted by another
Once you have enrolled our preschooler in a private music class, as long as you follow these guidelines, your child will succeed and they won’t forget the foundation that you have allowed them to receive. This means that if they decided that music was not their interest at a certain age (like I did), but they were persuaded to do it again, they would already have the firm foundation necessary to continue their lessons and advance faster than they would have at a younger age. Believe me, it happens!
For your tutoring needs in preschool music education, call or email Tyra’s Tutoring and I will be happy to assist you!