General—Starting lessons for a 4-year-old

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Wei Fen Chu said: Feb 27, 2017
 5 posts

My daughter had stated preschool classes in a rather noisy environment (her classmates are mostly rowdy boys). She had complained that she didn’t like the noise in class, and seemed intimidated by her classmates. Lately, she has expressed her dislike for musical instruments (she used to climb on to the piano to play when she was younger, and also experimented with the ukulele and the xylophone prior to her new school environment). She used to enjoy listening to classical music (violin was her interest at one point). We had earlier held back from introducing music lessons to her as she was a little too young then (at 3), and did not seem ready to commit to any particular instrument. However, as she’s older, I had asked her about starting piano or violin lessons and she flatly refuses. She seems to have lost interest in music, and claims that every instrument is “loud”.

What can I do to rekindle her interest in music? It seems quite clear that her school environment had some impact on her, as she was always keen to listen to music and to experiment with musical instruments. Would this be a future impediment to learning music when she’s older?

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 27, 2017
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1017 posts

How long has this been going on?

Has her doctor got anything to say about her sensitivity to noise levels?

Wei Fen Chu said: Feb 28, 2017
 5 posts

It’s been going on for about a week or so. She was diagnosed with an ear infection about 3 weeks ago, but she’s fine now.

Katie Perry said: Feb 28, 2017
Katie Perry
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Voice
Sebastopol, CA
2 posts

My son Alex was very sensitive to noise as a young child, and hated being in groups of children who were playing or talking loudly. It helped us decide to homeschool, which turned out to be a wonderful choice for him and our family. He also hated making music with other children because he found it loud, and although he observed many piano lesson since I am a piano teacher, he wasn’t ready to learn himself until he was 6. Once he started, he made rapid progress, and still loves to play piano (at 26).

The most important thing you can do now for your daughter’s future music learning is to create a very music-rich environment in her life. Listen to music together every day (including Suzuki music, classical music, good quality children’s music, and music you enjoy), sing, include music in play, and attend concerts and live performances whenever you can. She will let you know when she is ready to learn to play an instrument. She may do this by asking for it directly, asking more questions, drawing close to someone playing an instrument, singing along with music, and by giving other clues that you will notice as you watch for them. A good start to learning music is worth the effort!

Katie Perry
Piano and Voice Teacher
[javascript protected email address]

Edward said: Mar 3, 2017
Edward Obermueller
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Morris Plains, NJ
42 posts

My own kids have very sensitive ears too, and noisy rooms make them crazy. Try turning the volume of the Suzuki Book One CD way down so that it is really soft.

The following is a short practice tip on listening that has some suggestions for when to play music:

http://edwardsviolinstudio.com/practice-tips/#/practice-tip-2-listening-counts/

Happy practicing,
Edward

Free Guide: Five Ways To Motivate Your Kids To Practice

Kristiina said: Mar 4, 2017
 14 posts

Now did I understand correctly that this has only been a problem of late, only for a week? it may indeed be possible that she has some lasting effect of the ear infection, you have her earcheck after a few weeks, yes? Young kids should be checked after ear infections because sometimes they produce a lasting condition of the ear for a few months, the name of which I unfortunately dont know in english, in my language its the glue ear. Though usually it makes the child not hear instead of hearing too well.

But she will most likely get used to the environment with more sounds, I wouldnt worry about it so much, in any case it is not a good time to start violin, better to start when there not other changes that need the childs efforts. At the moment she need time to adjust. So dont push but wait, there is time :)

Wei Fen Chu said: Mar 5, 2017
 5 posts

Thanks for the helpful comments. Yes, I do believe that she had been a little sensitive to loud noises during that time. Thankfully, she seems to be back to her usual self these last few days and has resumed to requesting for music, and back to playing her xylophone/singing.

We will wait until she cultivates a deeper interest in a particular musical instrument before discussing about formal lessons.

Thanks again!

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