IS IT HARD TO LEARN CELLO? WHAT’S THE RECOMMENDED AGE TO LEARN CELLO?
Is it hard to learn the cello? Well, it depends. This must feel like an unhelpful reply. However, like with most creatives, how early you start and with practice, anything is doable. Well, can you learn cello at any age? Certainly yes!!
Are you are thinking of introducing you child to learning cello only that you don’t know yet, what is the best age to start cello lessons? Well, there isn’t “the definite time” to. However, most teacher of music 🎶 recommend between ages 6 – 7 years as when you can start cello lessons for children.
Like many other skills learning, music learning mostly will depend on a child’s development, willingness to learn and most importantly, time invested in practice. Infact, you can start as soon as a child learns to speak fluently.
However, as early as 3 years, exposure and informal introduction to cello environment is not bad. This should be done progressively as long as there is interest in the child till around year 6-8 when they can be fully immersed in learning. For the love of it, you actually will do all that is possibly needed to see the child be the all-time best cellist in coming days. And why not when a virtuoso today is making millions of dollars, just like the Wall Street guys?
By the way, lately, TV and film composers have increasingly been favoring the cello as the solo instrument. Additionally, cello playing can be a nice hobby besides creating a career out of it.
In anycase, before this age, they naturally are short of discipline to enable them strictly channel their focus and energies. Otherwise, excess push will be a prescription for frustrations; subsequently detest it and giving up. Furthermore, their physiques need to develop well enough to handle the cello.
That said however, it’s good to look out for the early signs of interest and natural talent which can indicate that they are approaching the recommended age to learn cello, bearing in mind that no two children are the same.
One indicative and outstanding personality trait of children that are more inclined to playing cello is that they are shy, keeping away from being in the lime light and appreciate respect to self a lot.
“how hard is it to learn cello” is irrelevant with these attributes:
We just stated that there isn’t the right or best time. Basically, the right time is when the child feels and shows they are ready. These attributes should signal to you that it’s right about time to introduce your child to cello lessons;
Expression of interest:
It been said that a keen interest to learning a skill will contribute about 10% of the learning success. It sets you on the road to achieving the target.
Interest can be natural and can be developed too. Natural interest can be exhibited by the eagerness, inquisitiveness and wanting to learn by a child, with regard to the workings of the cello.
Equally, it can also be aroused by exposure by say, playing cello music, attending performances, using available online videos and tutorials.
A child’s physicality:
Does the child’s body size allow? The child should at least be able to handle the instrument and it accompaniment safely and comfortably.
Size notwithstanding though, the child should also be provided with the right size of the cello appropriate for his size.
Ability to read:
Ability to read brings with it, correct letters identification; and because music is written in notes, and in different pitches, it helps the child to correctly identify and relate the notes with letters, related pitches as well as how the notes relate to each other.
With this reading ability, progression in learning is markedly increased.
How to prepare introduction when your child approaches the recommended age to learn cello
Having convinced yourself that you child has attained the right age to attempt to learn cello and you are ready to start him off, the next thing is knowing how to introduce the child to cello and its apparatus effectively.
This should be in a subtle way without making it difficult lest you deem learning prospects. You could start off with a simulation of how the real cello playing enjoyed by:
Get the budding cellist a toy cello and toy bow from Amazon.com. This will give the child the feeling that will match his imagination of him playing the real cello. This develops and deepens the interest further and the urge to learn.
Additionally, you could get them a Styrofoam cello; it’s very encouraging and exciting to them because it yields more sound with minimal effort from the child, just by the fast uncoordinated bowing.
At this beginner’s stage, they are just learning to have a proper hold on the bow which is to be refined with time and practice. Using the bow well will be easier when they learn proper finger placement on the bow stick.
Playing rhythms to eke tunes with open strings with any stringed instrument is also a practically good way to help with introduction of the child to cello, not too long after. These are good exercises to learn good bowing and proper hand movement with good flexibility.
6 potential benefits of your child learning cello?
It’s obvious that you’ll expend your energies and resources on those things that you will look back and say, yes, it was worth it.
Your concerns on “is it hard to learn cello” should be comfortably addressed by now. Following this, do you consider it a worth investment deserving your effort and resources? Well, bellow are reasons why you just might consider it.
Some of the benefits to children learning cello and other string instruments that transcend the music room include but not limited to;
- There is the obvious potential of creating a great and highly rewarding career out of it. Make a great virtuoso cello player out of that child and he will be forever grateful when in a few years in the future, s/he’s unable to keep up with concerts bookings and millions of music sales.
- The cello playing offers a wonderful platform for a child cellist to express themselves. Music is a language amazingly understood by all, dialects notwithstanding.
The child may be silent, but “loud voiced” with a cello. Coincidentally, most cello and/or string instrument players are a little shy, reserved and reclusive.
However, magically, the creative cello sounds are a fantastic and awesome tool for the child to communicate innate feelings and thoughts with the world.
- It’s a great and therapeutic way for relieving and alleviating stress. This is by focusing all positive energies on making music and the subsequent actual enjoyment of music therefrom.
Children suffer stresses too and need to let out the emotions. Call it ventilating the child’s mind, and not letting it wonder about, but all focused to learning to playing cello.
- As pointed out in another of our article here, playing cello develops body coordination by miles. It resultant of multiple body functions work simultaneously; the fingers, the hand movement especially at the wrist, the feet, the ears and even the eyes.
It’s worth noting that the visually impaired can still play cello. As such, learning cello is a great way of enhancing development of a child’s fine motor skills and functions.
You could do with a note that girl’s motor skills develop faster than those for boys. As such, don’t get frustrated when the learning speeds vary.
- It will definitely nurture the desire to achieve in a child. The gratification and the sense of deep satisfaction that results after successfully attaining milestones in learning the cello, inspires self-confidence in a child and evokes a sense of “hunger” to learn and achieve even more. The sense of achievement is so elating and satisfying.
- Finally, it can improve the child’s general performance in school. Playing cello requires good hearing, reading as well as horned concentration skills for information processing and retention. All these combined, makes for a good learner even at school.
What is the right cello size for your child?
This should not be too much of a task whether renting to buying to start cello lessons. However, it’s important to get the right size if your beginner cello learner is to have ample time and maximum enjoyment.
The back length of a cello determines its size, measured in inches. As such, the cello leaner’s physique and particularly the arm reach, is a key factor in determining the right cello size, attainment of the best age to learn cello notwithstanding.
The chart below would help in deducing the ideal size for your child.
|Cello Size||Age Bracket (Yrs.)||Back Length (Inches)||Avg. Height (Feet)|
|1/16 and 1/8||4-7||17.75 – 20||Under 4|
|¼||6-8||20 – 23|
|½||8-11||23 – 26||4.5|
|¾||12-16||26 – 30||4.5 – 5|
|4/4||Over 16||Over 30||Over 5|
Finally, do you buy or rent a cello to start cello learning?
At this stage, the question on what is the recommended age to learn cello is now settled, and the concern now is just how to get the lessons rolling; but with whose cello? Do you risk with yours? Do you buy or rent one?
Most advisable thing is to first watch the interest of the child and the willingness to go the whole hog, lest you spend unnecessary and get disappointed.
Luckily, you can rent a cello till the time is ripe to buy one for the child. The child must show that they deserve to have their own.
Just get the lessons on the go and remember, no practice will go to waste. Likewise, if it’s not done, it will also show.