Sending your children to music classes at an early age can be beneficial to their overall learning ability and development, but at what age should you start? Executive director of The Diller-Quaile School of Music in Manhattan offers some insight.
There is much to be gained from beginning music education at an early age. The years from newborn to age 6 are critical times for engaging in and incorporating music education in a child’s life as children develop at a faster pace than adults during the early childhood years. This period has been identified in literature as the “music babble” stage or primary music development. Still, we at The Diller-Quaile School of Music believe that participating at any age is going to positively affect your life.
First and foremost, sharing music with your young child is accessible and fun, and it establishes a lifetime of appreciation of music. Young children develop listening skills by being in a musical environment. They develop sensitivity to all the elements of music, which are experienced through singing, rhythmic and expressive movement, playing instruments, improvising. Children also develop an awareness of self and others, and the ability to be part of a group. If children are beginning instruments at a young age, they also develop strong practice habits.
For us at Diller-Quaile, we think that it is never too early, and never too late. Music at any time is the right time. We begin classes with infants at 4 months old to adults of all ages in a variety of music classes and programs, including early childhood programs, instrumental and vocal programs, adult programs, teacher training programs, and outreach programs. We also have lots of concerts and master classes, recitals, and events.
Kirsten Morgan joined The Diller-Quaile School of Music faculty in 1981 and became its executive director in 1998. She holds a bachelor’s in flute performance from Manhattan School of Music, a master’s degree in education in the program of educational leadership from Bank Street College of Education, NYS School Administrator and Supervisor certification, and a Dalcroze certificate. She also studied at the University of Michigan and the Dalcroze School in New York City.
Kirsten teaches children’s Dalcroze classes and college level teacher training courses at Diller-Quaile. She serves as a vice chairman on the Board of Trustees for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, is chair of the National Guild’s Members Council, and has served as a presenter at the annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music.