When to Start Learning an Instrument
Janice Frehlauer, violin (piano at 4 years)
Stirling Trent, violin
Shannon Lee, violin
Elena Dorozhkina, piano
Christina Kim, piano
Anton Mordazov, piano
John-Henry Crawford, cello
Rick Wu, piano
Anna McDonald, piano
Alison Chang, piano
Sihyung Kim, violin
Wyndham Tsai, cello
Violetta Zharkova, piano
Grace Ho, piano, (cello at 9 years)
We recommended introducing the boy to a piano to see if he would he play it or tackle it. Assuming he wanted to play, musicians from the Symphony orchestra said that around five was a good age to start piano. Earlier for more compact instruments.
A while back, the Symphony was contacted by a Dallas Morning News staffer who wanted to start her son on a piano before he was three. However, her husband, who played for a well known NFL team, didn't want his son wimping around with musical instruments. What to do?
We asked the guest artists from recent Symphony Series and International Chamber Series when they got started.
(Mozart began clavier lessons at age 3; Elton John took up the piano at the same age)
Playing music builds motivation and self-esteem.
A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas.
Burton, J., Horowitz, R., Abeles, H.
Champions of Charge, Arts Education Partnership, 1999
Students indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks.
Barry, N., Taylor, K. and Walls, K.
Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, AEP, 2002
Music Lessons boost thinking skills
Young children who received a year of musical training showed brain changes and superior memory compared with children who did not receive the instruction.
Fujjioka, T., Ross B., Kakigi, R., Pantiv, C., and Trainor L., Brain,
A Journal of Neurology, Sep 2006
A study examined the influence of music education on nonmusical abilities, the effects of music lessons on academic performance, and cognitive abilities. The study revealed that students who participated in music lessons showed statistically higher intelligence quotients.
Glen Schellenberg, Musical Lessons enhance IQ,
Psychological Science Vol 15, No 8, 2004
Music Fosters Well-being
A study of rural and urban inner-city schools found that arts programs helped schools in economically disadvantaged communities develop students' critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Stevenson L., Deasy, R.
Third Space, When Learning Matters, AEP 2005
With music in schools, students connect to each other better --greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm.
Jensen, E., Arts with the Brain in Mind
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001
The vast majority -- 96 percent -- of the school principals interviewed in a recent study agree that participation in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school. Further, 89 percent of principals feel that a high-quality music-education program contributes to their school achieving high graduation rates.
Harris Interactive Poll 2006
Learning music builds skills for the future
The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace.
U.S. House of Representatives,
Concurrent Resolution 365, March 6, 2006
From an NAMM brochure 'Why Learn to Play Music'