Value of beginning music instruction at age 3 or 4
To: Parent’s of children entering first or second year Primary next fall
From: Aaron Torrance, “Parent Ambassador” for the Suzuki Violin program
Did you know that between the ages of three and four is the optimal time to begin your child’s formal musical education? When my oldest child was 3 or 4, I had no idea when lessons should begin, what they entailed, or what additional benefits they provided. Please take a moment to reflect on your aspirations for your child’s overall development, and make sure you’re fully informed about this program’s benefits (before this window of opportunity closes).
Many of you are unaware (as I was) that:
1) There are critical (or sensitive) periods for aspects of music acquisition similar to those for language acquisition. It is much easier for a child beginning violin instruction at age 3 or 4 to achieve professional mastery of this incredibly challenging (and equally rewarding) instrument. Given this fact, we are now strongly encouraging everyone with an interest in violin to begin as young as possible (in first and second year of primary).
2) Any child can gain mastery of a musical instrument, regardless of apparent “talent.” The capacity is innate, analogous to language acquisition. The biggest factors in success are getting an early start and having a disciplined approach to regular practice. Note that at this age it only requires about 10 minutes practice a day but must be 5 days a week. Lessons and practice are age appropriate, and the time can be both fun and rewarding.
3) The study of music has well established and wide-ranging benefits for cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social development. OK, it’s hard to quantify and your mileage may vary, but most find their efforts are paid back with interest.
4) The Suzuki Method is time tested, wonderfully effective, and we are blessed with a stellar instructor. More information is available in our FAQ, but Suzuki training follows a specific curriculum of classical pieces chosen to teach important skills. These build on eachother, as the student develops ever finer levels expression and polish. Toyoko Kitade (KEY-tuh-day; sounds like “learn to play in KEY, today”), has 30 years of experience tailoring the Suzuki method to individual students. She has incredible patience, dedication, and skill. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
I honestly believe the Suzuki curriculum is the perfect complement to round out the Montessori education (just add a sport and you’ve got the complete package). If this has piqued your curiosity, please click through these links for more detailed information.
Music Programs Information Page (piano is another excellent option for 4 year olds)
Fall Violin Online Registration (Registration now open!)
Please contact me if you have any questions!
Wishing all the best for your family,
Aaron Torrance (parent of Sophia and Dylan)