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The Ideal Timeline for Music Education: What is the right path for your child?

This map is focused on the internalization of music. "Audiation" - hearing music in your head. This is based off of the research of music educator Edwin E Gordan and early childhood musical development specialist Lili M. Levinowitz.

Contrary to marching into the music store, signing up and starting on guitar the next week, this timeline includes an assessment followed by an "Instrument Readiness" stage. Many great teachers, including Kolday have proven that music should be sung before it should be played as this proves the student is audiating. This also helps students with future pieces - breaking them down into patterns and learning them more efficiently.

As far as learning notation, you may consider it depending on your intentions with music. Notation should be taught like language - instead of highlighting singular letters and decoding pieces of music, it ought to be taught in "words" with the focus of patterns. Like learning language, it is best taught by the age of 9. Alternatively, the student may choose a more casual path that can be just as rewarding.

Very rarely are the long term results of music lessons considered. It often focuses on the short term results - doing a perfect performance at the year end recital. It is important to consider how the experience will carry on into adult hood. Some of the potential outcomes are listed.

Don't worry if your child has a late start or didn't go to a mommy and me class. In the end musicality is really not something that can be put in a box. This is just to help you understand the process and decide what path would be best!

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