Age-appropriate Classes and Instruction

When considering a formal music education for their children, parents often have many questions like: How old does my child have to be to start an instrument? Which instrument is most appropriate for my child? How much time should we set aside for practice? At Greenwich House, our staff and faculty are expert in answering these questions. We have classes specifically geared toward young players that will help form a strong foundation for their musical journey. Whether in a group or individual setting, students are engaged in age-appropriate instruction that is both interesting and valuable.

View our children's classes to see the available for group instruction, with opportunities for children age two and above.

Private instruction is available for children as well. Administrators at the school will work with you to discuss and evaluate your child's interests and abilities to determine the best instructor to suit your needs.

Guidance in Selecting a Music Program for Your Child

Music lessons involve complex cognitive processes. In the case of instrumental music, a high degree of hand-eye coordination is necessary as well as an ability to participate in a public performance of some kind, usually either at a formal concert, among other students or at recitals. To get a piece to a performance level requires persistence, patience and commitment.  Our teachers work with each student to encourage these traits; but, If your child is easily frustrated or has little patience for repetitious tasks, explore our music and movement experiences, like Music Together or Music, Art and Play, classes.

Honing a Sound Music Environment

Providing a rich musical environment at home with your child prepares them for beginning music lessons. Play is a primary way for young children to learn, so singing, repeating rhymes, and moving to music are all fun and beneficial. Parents are a child’s first teacher so if you actively participate in music yourself, you will be influencing and encouraging your child, as well as laying the groundwork for future success.

Music Together classes help children learn tonal and rhythmic competence relatively early—sometimes by age three or four. While your child develops further physically, encourage them to explore rhythm instruments or strengthen singing and movement skills, which will be useful for future study, before selecting an instrument of focus.

Some General Suggestions

Not sure what age to begin your child’s studies in music, art or dance? While it’s not an exact science, here are some general recommendations to help you decide at what age your child might be ready to begin classes in music, art or dance at Greenwich House. If you would like a more in-depth discussion about your child's readiness, please contact the school.

Six Months Old
Our youngest students can take part in Music Together, a program focused on immersing the child in a comfortable experiential environment where parents are included in the class as they sing songs from a variety of traditions, explore movement and rhythmic play and listen to stories. This class is a wonderful introduction to the world of music.

Two Years Old
Medley of the Arts alternates music and visual arts classes, helping students to develop motor skills as well as encourage socialization between our youngest creative artists

Three Years Old
Music at Three and Art at Age Three separate the elements of Medley of the Arts, placing greater emphasis on increased attention span and growing social Independence.

Three and a Half Years Old
Our youngest dancers can begin studying their craft in our Pre-Ballet classes. We make sure to use age-appropriate exercises, and start to add ballet terminology to their ever-growing vocabularies.

Four Years Old

Morton Subotnick’s World of Music is a composing program designed to engage your child and enhance their ability to make choices among various kinds of sound material, as well as explore their awareness of various cultures through the use of instruments from across the globe.

Five Years Old
Instrumental lessons begin for three instruments at this age: Violin, Cello and Piano. Composers wrote some of their most important artistic statement for these instruments, so starting early is always recommended. Increased finger dexterity, attention span and potential for music literacy makes these instruments an excellent choice for this age group.

Six Years Old
Harp, Guitar and Voice lessons begin at this age. A child’s hands are finally large enough to reach across the fretboard, and basic vocal training can begin without straining a still developing voice. The vocal technique is not stylistically defined at this age, but the beginnings of good vocal technique, such as breath control and diction are introduced to young singers. While the school does offer a concert harp program, beginners start on a smaller Celtic, diatonic harp. Greenwich House Music School is one of the few programs in the city that offers harp instruction to children.

Seven Years Old
Flute and Drums lessons start at this age. Breath control and the ability to reach all of the keys allow young wind players to graduate from the recorder to the flute, and at age seven, young drummers start to form potential for the independent coordination of their arms and legs required.

Eight Years Old
Brass instruments (Trumpet, French Horn and Trombone) are an excellent choice for students at this age. Breath support and embouchure control come together to allow students to play the classics or jazz.





Greenwich House Music
46 Barrow Street
New York, NY
Ph: (212) 242-4770



Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:30 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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Learn More:

2013-2014 Class Catalog


About Greenwich House

Greenwich House is a registered 501 c(3) organization and a member of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York. If you are interested in learning more about the network of settlement houses and the work they do, click here

Greenwich House is proud to be a Better Business Bureau accredited charity.

  Greenwich House is proud to be a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.

  Greenwich House is a proud member of FPWA. 

 Greenwich House is a proud member of Coalition for the Homeless.  

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Greenwich House
, Inc.
224 West 30th Street, Suite 302
New York, NY 10001
Ph: (212) 991-0003


Fax: (646) 365-5730