Research has shown that children can benefit from music lessons in many ways. A 2018 study found that children with musical training performed better even in nonmusical tasks than children who had none. They’re also great for developing concentration, patience, and self-discipline.

Aside from these benefits, violin lessons can also enrich your child’s life. Some teachers give lessons to children as young as 3, while others feel that later is better. So when is the best age for your child to take their first violin lesson?

Let’s explore the answer to that question together.

When Should Your Child Start Violin Lessons?

It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s violin lessons and there is no perfect age that works for all children.

Some children have the desire and ability to begin violin lessons from the age of 4. If you feel your child is able to follow instructions and devote time to practice, there’s no reason why they can’t start that early. It’s important to find a teacher who has the skills and experience needed to teach such young students.

It’s also important that you start when your child is motivated. If they’re not ready or not interested, they may feel pressured and begin to resent their lessons. If they’re motivated and ready, they’ll provide the drive they need to succeed.

If your child starts at a very early age, then you are an important piece of the puzzle. Talk to the teacher about their way of working. It may be best for you to plan to attend your child’s private violin lessons for the first year or so.

This will allow you to help your child when they practice at home. If you don’t attend, you won’t be able to give them the support that they need. As the child gets older, you’ll be able to take a step back and let them attend on their own.

Your child’s first violin teacher is very important for their musical development. You want to make sure that your child feels comfortable and yet challenged in an enjoyable way. It’s worth taking the time to find the right fit so that your child’s musical journey gets off on the right foot.

Is It Too Late to Start Violin Lessons?

If you’re reading this and your child is 5 or older, don’t despair. They haven’t missed their opportunity. In fact, some children need that extra time to be ready physically and emotionally for their violin learning experience to begin.

Most children start learning the violin between the ages of 5 and 7. Celebrated violinist Janine Jansen began learning at the age of 6. So whether your child wants to learn the violin as a hobby or hopes to take it more seriously, the 5-7 age bracket is a great age to start.

But if your child is older – even a teenager – this does not mean that it’s too late to start teaching them the violin.

Advantages of Starting Young

A study published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry noted that playing a musical instrument has many benefits. Human intellectual ability is believed to be linked to the thickness of the cerebral cortex. The study found evidence of more rapid cortical thickness maturation in areas related to:

  • Motor planning and coordination
  • Visuospatial ability (ability to imagine, analyze, and mentally manipulate objects)
  • Emotion and impulse regulation

In everyday language, their brains develop more quickly. It also positively impacts their emotional development.

Starting violin lessons early can build on the mimicry skills your child has developed over the last few years of learning to speak.

Kids have an amazing ability to mimic accents and they also have a great ear for rhythmic sounds. They can use these skills they already have and apply them to learning the violin.

Also, younger children have a natural desire to please their parents and teachers. They’re often willing to put in the effort during lessons and practice to make progress and receive commendation. If they get into good practice habits at a young age, it’ll be easier for them to continue when they hit the tween and teen years.

Disadvantages of Starting Young

Generally, there are few disadvantages to starting in the age 5-7 bracket. But children younger than this may struggle with the coordination needed. There are lots of moving parts when you play the violin and it can be a challenge to bring them all together!

At a very young age, they may also struggle to focus. But children vary and it will come down to what’s right for your child.

Advantages of Starting as an Older Child

If a child starts at age 8 or older, they’ve already developed some learning strategies and a measure of self-discipline. If they’re motivated, there’s no reason why they can’t start now and still develop good practice habits.

At this age, they are still young enough to develop a close relationship and affinity with the instrument. Whether they go on to excel and play professionally or not, their lives can still be enriched by their violin lessons.

Disadvantages of Starting as an Older Child

In a word – motivation.

It can be tough for older children to have the motivation and self-discipline needed to make progress. However, this will come down to the individual child. If they are keen to learn, they’ll put in the hours needed outside of their violin lessons to make progress.

The Verdict: The Right Age for Violin Lessons

If your child is motivated and able to focus, between the ages of 5-7 is the ideal time to start violin lessons.

But don’t be put off if your child is a little younger or older. Talk to the music center or teacher and get their recommendation. They can advise you whether in-person or online violin lessons are best and will get your child’s journey with the violin off to a great start.

At the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio, we offer violin lessons to students as young as four. Our experienced teachers have the skills to help your child develop a love for the violin that will enrich their lives.

Learn more about our violin lessons and call us at 210-361-8531 to schedule your child’s first lesson.