"Music for Everyone, All Ages "
(412) 322-0520                                             info@KikuchiMusic.com
                                                                     Founder: Lee W. Kikuchi





Most music teaching materials are targeted toward students ages 7-12, and therefore any child in elementary school is at the best age to begin musical study. At this age, the student should be capable of working independently (with some guidance from the parents), and should fully understand the importance of daily practice and written homework assignments. By age 7, the student is old enough to begin musical study on almost any instrument, although some consideration should be given as explained below.

(See ELEMENTARY DEVELOPMENT for more detailed explanation why NOW is a crucial time in the student's musical development!)

PIANO: There are piano materials available for every age group starting with pre-schoolers, thus making it easy for the teacher to assign age approriate books at all levels. Piano is the best first instrument for all music students because the keyboard allows for easy introduction of musical concepts that are more difficult to understand on other instruments. KMI accepts piano students as young a 4 years old.

GUITAR: Although the teaching materials for guitar are not as varied and plentiful as for piano, the instrument has frets which make the playing easier for younger students to understand than other instruments. KMI accepts guitar students age 6 and up. Younger students begin with a half-size guitar.

STRINGS: Violins, violas, cellos and basses come in different sizes to allow for very young students to begin study. These instruments pose unique difficulties that many students ages 7, 8 and 9 simply will not grasp easily. At KMI we accept string students ages 7 and up. Any student under age 7 interested in a string instrument MUST study 1-2 years of piano prior to the study of the string instrument. Any students under age 9 are strongly enouraged to study at least one year of piano prior to or concurrently with the study of the stirng instrument. Learning the basic musical concepts of rhythm, dynamics and reading music on piano, allows the student to explore the challenges of the string instrument more directly. Learning the theoretical aspects along with the technical aspects of the instrument can be confusing and difficult, and the problem solving tasks become quite challenging for the teacher. We have had great success with string students as young as 5 who have had prior study of piano to get them started. (See STIRNG ENSEMBLES.)

WOOD WINDS: The hand size of a child under age 9 is often too small to hold and play many wood wind instruments, and the general finger strength and dexterity are not developed sufficiently to hold the keys down. In addition, just to produce sound often requires weeks of practice. Students considering wood wind instruments would generally get more fulfillment from starting with piano (at least concurrently if not prior to beginning a wind instrument). (See WIND ENSEMBLES.)

VOICE: Any student under age 10 MUST study piano for at least 2 years before considering study of the voice, and students ages 10 to 18 MUST study piano concurrently with voice and are strongly encouraged to enroll for a minimum of 45 min. lesson length. Piano lessons include many opportunities for singing, and if the teacher is aware of the student's interest in voice - the teacher can be sure to take advantage of them. Voice students of all ages SHOULD study piano concurrently with voice as a primary means of learning music theory and understanding music. Young students (grades 3, 4 and 5) who really love to sing should strongly consider the Children's Festival Chorus in addition to piano lessons. (See CHORAL ENSEMBLES.)

(See CHOOSING AN INSTRUMENT, for more information on what instrument is best for your child.)

(See TUTORIAL: Timeline for more information about your child's progress in music through the many years of education.)

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Last Modified: 02/25/2007