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Kids and music

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, May 8, 2015.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    A new #SJ.comParenting thread. (Hi, JackReacher!)

    We're considering how to pull our almost-6-year-old away from the TV and video games over the summer - and, subsequently, the weekends - and get him doing something constructive and structured.

    He's already playing baseball, to the extent a 5-year-old can. Like a lot of parents probably do, we're kicking around the idea of music lessons. We don't own a piano, but I thought perhaps violin or guitar. He's mentioned drums, but because he thinks it would be "easy," which isn't exactly the point.

    And for the record, he's in no danger of being over-scheduled. He has too much free time at this point. It's not really an issue. We've talked about starting to go to church on Sundays, too, to end the free-for-all.

  2. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    As someone who's not a regular church-goer today, the structure of getting up Sunday mornings and having church-related responsibilities, whether it be acolyte or just attending, was beneficial to me when I was growing up. Again, I'm not talking about the religion as much as I am about the side benefit of establishing the discipline of having something to do, somewhere to be.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Right. That's our thought, too.
  4. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    While a piano is expensive and takes up a lot of room, you'd be surprised at how affordable (and portable) an electronic keyboard can be. Maybe not the full 88 keys, but it's definitely worth looking into. You'd be amazed at what you can get for $200 or under.
  5. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I agree with Tony on the keyboard.

    Five is probably too young for guitar and definitely too young for drums.

    Tell him for every hour he practices he can watch an hour of TV. :D
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That actually works.

    He gets 10 minutes of video game time, for example, for every book he reads. And now he's way ahead of his grade level!
  7. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    My kids go to the YMCA during the summer and they do so much stuff there that they would never do at home. They take them to the library, go on field trips and they keep them so active that they're usually ready to collapse when they get home.
  8. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This is actually a great idea, and the opportunities for activity, learning, fun and making friends are indeed good. It is also likely to be a much less expensive option than music lessons for a 5-year-old who may or may not have any real talent for or interest in learning an instrument.

    Unless a child has already shown some prodigious talent or interest in music, or unless he has already exhibited an unusually extroverted personality or a natural inclination toward enjoying things like dance, singing -- i.e., he likes to be the center of attention and doesn't mind being in front of cameras, on-stage, or otherwise the center of attention, showing he may have the makings of a performer, then I think 5 is too young to throw money into serious one-on-one sit-down music lessons.

    (I have a nephew who fits exactly what I describe above, who clearly showed, even by the time he was 3 or 4, that he liked performing -- even in front of just family in a non-scripted or planned way counts -- and he is now a 9-year-old who's a terrific piano player, writes his own music/songs and is currently rehearsing a lead part he recently landed in his elementary school's upcoming end-of-the-school-year drama performance. But even he didn't start taking piano lessons until he was 7).

    His parents finally went out and bought him a used baby grand piano once they thought he was ready and really interested in taking them, and it has paid off for all involved. The family and friends all take great joy and pride in his abilities, and he loves to perform.

    But we knew all along that he would. There was little risk that any encouragement in that direction would be a waste.
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Depending on how much money it is and what you can afford, does your town have a recreation department that may have a summer day camp or swimming lessons? That can get them out of the house for a while.
  10. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    It's a good age to start violin, perhaps. I think a child has to show an intense interest in being 'on' or performing. Music can be a great group activity with a strong social element to it (speaking as a kid who grew up playing in band).
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