I’m no “tiger mom” (hardly), but my son actually wants to learn to play the santoor. We went to a santoor concert about 6 months ago (read that post here) and by now he’s memorized the whole musical composition of the audio CD we purchased at the show.
But what’s a good age to start kids with music lessons? At 5 1/2 is he still too young? Or, according to proponents of the Suzuki Method, maybe he should have started the violin 2 years ago.
It seems that piano is the favourite starter-instrument in Western music circles – but what of the traditional Indian instruments? It seems that age 7 is the magic number for starting kids on instruments like the tabla, sitar and veena (though age 5 may be OK for something like the mridangam).
Here are some guidelines published by the Children’s Music Workshop. I also decided on a few ground rules of my own:
I don’t think we’re there yet on #2 and #3, especially given the complexity of the santoor. So for now, we’ll continue with basics of Carnatic music on the xylophone (see our post here – terrific for toddlers and up).
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