Forbes Music Student Help Center

What is the right age to start lessons?

Musical learning can begin at any age!

For Babies & Children under 5 years old

Attending group lessons with a parent is a great way to introduce musical concepts into your everyday routine. Most classes for young children focus on the building blocks of music: feeling various rhythms by dancing or clapping to a beat; singing songs with simple melodies to encourage toddlers to vocalize; using small props like scarves or egg shakers as visual representations of the music being played or sung.

For Children 5 & Up

Private or group lessons in piano, ukulele, or violin are recommended. These private, on-on-one lessons usually occur without parental participation, and group class sizes can average 3 to 8 students. While some children find piano to be easier to play, learning either instrument will help build the fundamentals of basic music theory, like note names and values, and how to read a staff.

For Children 7 & Up

The guitar, bass, drums, or additional string instruments, such as the viola or cello, may be introduced. Private lessons are very common for these instruments. Many children find learning a new instrument easier if they have had piano training in the past. However, beginning any instrument will require adjustment and review of musical basics.

For Middle & High School Students

Many schools have ensembles like band, orchestra, and choir that are wonderful and important additions to the core curriculum. Many students will choose to continue private lessons (including wind & brass instruments) in tandem with their school ensembles. Private voice lessons are great for children 13 and up. In general, voice lessons are most beneficial after a child has entered puberty, but can absolutely be useful, fun and engaging for any younger students who want to learn breathing techniques, meter, pitch matching, and musical concepts without choosing an instrument.

For Adults

Any time is a great time to start lessons. It’s never too late to learn an instrument or start singing!