I recently watched a TikTok where a mom asks, “What are music lessons for an 8 month old, anyway?” My first thought is, “Wow, I definitely couldn’t do what I do in my lessons with an infant.” My second thought is, “…but no 2 lessons are the same so we could probably make it work! It’s just a different set of needs.”
The video shows a group class where parents and babies are playing on the floor with musical instruments (maracas, drums, etc.) and the instructor is sitting crisscross applesauce on the floor with his guitar playing and singing a welcome song. He incorporates the children’s names into the song and it’s pretty cute. It reminded me that music is for EVERYONE, not just those who might already have a knack for it. Music is for babies who cannot even utter sounds yet, music is for the oldest adult who longs for interaction. Music is for the stressed-out parent of 3 who needs a hobby just for themself. Music is for the teenager who has big, Broadway dreams. Music is for all those people!
There doesn’t have to be some fancy agenda or lesson plan to music lessons. At its core, music is about internalizing rhythm and notes and reaping the therapeutic benefits music has on your body and brain. By listening to, and playing music we are teaching our bodies and brains to cope with life. Had a bad day? Put on your favorite blues tune and have a good cry. Won the lottery? Put on something upbeat and dance your heart out! Music meets us where we are, and so should music instruction.
Maria Palombo is the founder of Finely Tuned Voice Lessons, a private voice studio. Her studio is open to all regardless of age or ability.