Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2017

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Page 22 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 23 By KENNETH K. GUILMARTIN T oday's cultural norm seems to be a desire to produce children who are smarter and more accomplished at earlier ages. Starting with music-in-the-womb programs, parents are bombarded with enrichment options, and it's hard to judge what is actually developmentally appropriate for your own growing children. Pressure on parents Is earlier really better when it comes to traditional music lessons? If children can start Suzuki violin at age three, does this mean your child will somehow be "behind" if she waits until age six to begin studying piano? Andrea Soberman, director of Musical Munchkins of Orange since 1992, says, "Feeling bad about anything is never productive. If your child does not seem to be ready for formal music lessons, there are musical programs that do not require the very structured one-on-one format of learning to play an instrument." Music lessons can all too often be a frustrating and even painful experience for a child who is not developmentally or musically ready for them; and most children - even those obviously musically inclined - can benefit from waiting a little longer to start traditional lessons. Are traditional lessons the right choice? Traditional music lessons involve learning to read music, and they require a high degree of hand-eye coordination. They are inevitably product-oriented, focused on semi-regular recitals at which the student's learning will be displayed Get your child in tune with music Is earlier better when it comes to music lessons? (Continued on Page 24)

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