The average age of a child starting violin in my studio is 6. But I have students who are as young as 3 months.
They don’t realize they are students. Their mom is holding them while their older sibling is taking a lesson.
Younger siblings have a distinct advantage — they learn by exposure. They learn music like they learn language. And when they are old enough to hold the violin, they are able to move up the learning curve faster and with less effort.
Hearing the same songs week after week in the early years — from an older sibling, from parents who play or are learning to play, from musical friends and community — is the best way to get started in music.
For eager parents who want to start very little ones in lessons, before their fingers are ready, here are 4 suggestions:
Start learning an instrument yourself. If you want your child to learn violin, start taking violin lessons and bring your child in the car seat and set them right next to you. Not quite ready to start an instrument yourself? Offer to take a busy friend’s child to their lessons and bring your young one.
Listen to the music that you love at home.
Play the music you anticipate them learning. You might as well pick the music you love, because you will hear it a lot. Like the violin? Try this FiddleQuest playlist.
Find people who love to sing and dance and join in. Listening to music is really good. Singing together is even better. Dancing and singing with the music is the best.
One of the reasons that musicians have musical kids is that steps 1-4 happen naturally.
Non-musicians, with a bit of extra effort now, can give that same advantage to their children and start a tradition of music in their family.