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Is My Child Ready to Start Music Lessons?

Philly Music Lessons shares some general guidelines and approximate ages for when a child is ready to begin lessons for popular instruments.

Many parents want their children to learn an instrument, and why not? Studies have shown that weekly music lessons can increase a child’s IQ. Some parents don’t know when their child should begin, though. At what age is a child ready for the commitment? We’ve had parents surprised to hear that their child is too young for one instrument, yet they could have started another instrument years before.


Still, it’s not always as simple as reaching a certain age. General guidelines can help you decide if your child is ready to start music lessons. Let’s consider a couple of them here, then we’ll give you approximate ages for when a child is ready to begin lessons for popular instruments.


Learning a skill comes easier to those who want to learn it. Age or subject matter doesn’t change that. If your child has great interest in learning the piano or guitar, they’re much more likely to meet the other requirements listed here.


Some children focus better than others, and focus is crucial when it comes to music lessons. Your child will need to remain focused for a half-hour lesson once a week, in addition to 15-minute practice sessions daily. Even this can be a long time to some children. Observe your child to see how well they focus on other activities before scheduling their first lesson.

Physical Ability

While physical limitations should not stop a student from enjoying music, some kids are too young to hold an instrument properly or find an instrument in their size. If, for example, your child wants to learn the drums, but can’t keep a sturdy grip on the sticks, they’d be better off waiting until they can.


Music lessons for students of any age do require an investment of time and money. Starting with a low-cost instrument and half-hour lessons are recommended to start, but your child will still be expected to practice at home for regular intervals, and purchase sheet music along the way. Also remember that kids will grow out of some instruments, so new ones will need to be rented or purchased as they grow. It’s worth taking the time to decide if you and your child are prepared to use these resources.

Don’t worry if you’re still unsure after considering these factors. You can always set up a half-price trial lesson to test the waters! Your child can use a studio instrument at the first lesson, so you don’t have to commit to buying one beforehand. After the lesson the instructor will speak with you to help you decide if your child is ready to begin weekly lessons.


Scan the list below for the approximate ages we recommend children start on each instrument. Keep in mind individual teachers may have different age guidelines, so feel free to ask if you are uncertain.


  • Piano: 4-5 years old
  • Violin, Viola, Cello: 4-5 years old
  • Guitar: 5-6 years old
  • Ukulele: 4-5 years old
  • Drums: 5-7 years old
  • Voice: 8-9 years old
  • Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone” 7-8 years old
  • Trumpet, Trombone: 8 years old


Photographs courtesy of Philly Music Lessons.



Philly Music Lessons is a brick-and-mortar music school based in Fishtown and South Philly. Their studios provide top-notch lesson rooms with high-quality upright pianos, drum sets, guitar amps, and other musical equipment and rentals. Their teachers also offer private music lessons in homes across Philly and the Main Line. www.phillymusiclessons.com