Do You Recommend Voice Lessons for a 6-year-old?
I have an almost six year old girl who loves to sing, dance and act, but we haven't done anything formal. She is definitely a girly girl.
We have been told that some teachers won't give lessons until they have reached puberty or at least 8 years old.
We would like to learn a song that would interest her (she has a good memory) and she would have fun singing.
We live in Ohio and don't know what to do. Can you recommend some songs and what you recommend for lessons?
Thank you so much! You have a wonderful site.
I agree that 6 is really too young for formal lessons, unless your daughter already has some ability to play a musical instrument, and a habit of practicing. Self-discipline, in other words, or imposed discipline from you. It is too easy for singing lessons to be a "whatever-you-feel-like-doing-today" kind of situation, and that is no fun for music teachers, and is really a waste of money for you.
What I would recommend in her case is to find a GROUP class that she can join, or perhaps a youth choir. Generally, musical principles will be taught in these classes, and she will have the fun of singing in a group plus learning along the way.
In addition, go to my page called My Favorite Broadway Musicals List and look at the recommendations I make there. If there are no pianists at your house with the skills to accompany your daughter (musicals are pretty hard to play), then buy some recordings of movies you like. Older Rodgers & Hammerstein soundtracks are very melodious, and great training for girly-girls, just to sing along with!
Most definitely, I would concentrate on older music, not modern pop, because that style is way harder to sing effectively and is frequently very inappropriate for a girl her age.
Thank you for replying! What age is appropriate?
Your website is a valuable resource!
Hi again, Dawn,
The age depends on the seriousness of your daughter, and her goals. Most teachers would be reluctant to accept a child for vocal lessons who is not able to read music on her own, though that is less of an impediment with the ease of recording onto computers & other devices. I frequently make CDs for my students, and that's even getting to be old technology, I fear!
I would recommend starting lessons at 11-12; but I have certainly started students earlier, if they made if plain that they would go home and practice what we had done at the lesson. Sometimes teachers are willing to say, "Let's try it for a month and see how it goes..." and I often do that too. In that case, summer lessons might be the best bet, because having a student take a teaching slot at the beginning of the school year and then not follow through has a financial downside for serious teachers. But some teachers are more flexible in summertime.
I still think you should look for a regional choir, at least to go watch a few rehearsals and see if your daughter thinks they might be fun.