Expert Answers: David Geller, pediatrician
“Whether your child takes a music appreciation class or starts actual lessons, she’ll benefit mightily from being exposed to music. Kids can start formal music training as early as age 3, when brain circuits for learning music mature. In fact, studies at the University of California suggest that taking music lessons at age 3 can increase your child’s brainpower. However, many piano teachers prefer that children wait until they are 5, when their hands are bigger and they’re more ready to sit still and concentrate.
If you don’t feel your toddler is ready for formal music lessons yet, you might want to join an early music program such as Kindermusik, which focuses on fostering a love of music, rhythm, and self-expression. By exploring how different instruments sound, and how music makes her feel, your child may learn to appreciate music much more than if she were practicing scales. When your child is ready for more formal training, piano is a good instrument to start with, as the finger movements are less tricky than those for a guitar or violin. At this age, however, the most important thing is that your child enjoys herself. Make sure the instructor works well with young children and keeps the class fun and fast-paced.”
For more on this topic, go to: http://www.babycenter.com/404_when-can-we-start-music-lessons_6876.bc