Question

Music for Young Children

There is no musical talent in my family. Is it a waste of time for my child to take music lessons?

What the Expert Says

By Joey Lye

Founder and Principal of Juzmusic Academy

Masters in Music, Bachelor in Music from University of Houston, USA, Suzuki certified (Piano, Early Childhood Education)

Expert in Suzuki method, Music education, curriculum and performance

One of the founding principals of the Suzuki Method. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki said in the preface of his book, Nurtured by Love:

“In today’s society a good many people seem to have the idea that if one is born without talent, there is nothing he can do about it; they simply resign themselves to what they consider to be their “fate.” Consequently, they go through life without living it to the full or ever knowing life’s true joy. That is man’s greatest tragedy. We are born with natural ability to learn…”

Learning Music is like Learning a Language

Musical ability is not a matter of luck at birth. Like language, it is a skill to be developed, just like Japanese children speak fluent Japanese, and French children speak beautiful French. As long as there is supportive parents and encouraging teachers to create an environment conducive for learning, your child can learn to play an instrument.

I often get many parents asking me if their child is talented in Music, my answer is always “Yes!” When I see a student, I see a possibility, the power to learn and grow into something promising. I see this possibility in every child.

At the same time, I also ask the parents to ask themselves if they want their child to believe that:

  1. they can do anything they want to?
  2. they should connect diligence to success?

Talent Needs to be Nurtured

The truth is that you cannot attend a few months of trial lessons to see if child has any talent. Talent, even if it is genetic, needs to be nurtured and groomed for a long time before it can emerge. Joseph Schooling did not begin breaking records at the age of 8. Neither will your child, no matter how ‘talented’ she might be. Instead, her ability will bloom and grow over time. Playing an instrument is more of a skill that one would need to develop and improve over time.

As parents, we have the power to nurture ability in our children.

To quote Dr. Suzuki again, “Every child can!” and “Any child can be developed, it depends on how you do it.”

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