It’s a common question that we get all the time from parents who are excited for their child’s musical journey to begin.  I wish I had a simple answer for you.  The short answer is “it depends”.  It depends on the child, the instrument, the environment, and the teacher.

Every child is different of course, and even parents learn new things about their own children every day.  Every child’s learning style is different as well.  Some children may pick something up by hearing it once; for others, information sticks better when visualized in some way.  We usually say that most children have the ability to best start learning an instrument around the age of 5.  That being said, if a child under 5 is expressing a keen interest in a particular instrument or in music in general, we also don’t want that curiosity to go unnoticed!  Here at Music Lab Woodland Hills, music lessons for the “under 5 crowd” looks more like clapping, singing, music games, and instrument exploration!

Not all instruments have the same learning curve either.  Some instruments, like violins, require very fine motor skills and hand-ear coordination.  It could take a few weeks for a new student to make a good sound on a stringed instrument like a violin.  Keep in mind, fine motor skills are still being developed until about 8 years of age.  Piano or drums, for example, take less sophisticated fine motor skills and make a pleasing and effective sound right away too.

The right environment and the right teacher also make a big difference when it comes to exploring music for the first time.  We’ve made our lesson rooms spacious, light, and bright, perfect for focusing and learning new things.  Of course, not just any teacher fits with any student, so I make sure I pair each student with a teacher who will fit well with them.  We have teachers on staff who love working with younger children, as well as teachers who prefer to work with adults.  You can see our growing list of instructors here:

My philosophy on music education is yes, yes, and yes.  Learning music is an essential part of the human experience, and helps with all other aspects of physical and mental development.  If your child is under 5 and you want them to start experiencing music, I say go for it!  We’ll start with fun and music games until they’re ready to choose and start learning an instrument.

Also keep in mind that one of the great things about Music Lab is that the first trial lesson is free, so it won’t cost you anything to give a music lesson a try!  During a trial lesson, the teacher is also assessing the student’s abilities on the fly, and can make suggestions after the lesson.  Sign up for a free trial lesson here:

Below is a list of instruments and the best age to start learning them.  These are just suggestions.  We’ve seen exceptions to these rules, so these are just guidelines:

General Music/Games: Under 5, also any age!

Drums: 5

Piano: 5

Guitar: 6

Violin: 6

Cello: 7

Bass Guitar: 7

Voice: 7

Trumpet: 8

Saxophone: 8

Flute: 8