The quick answer here is that kids can – and should! – get involved in music at any age. The type of music instruction is where the answer varies. It is dependent on many things, including the personality, ability and age of the child, the expectations of parents, the structure of lessons or classes, etc.
It’s well-known that right from infancy children can benefit from musical experiences. While they may seem light and simple to some, those baby music classes are wonderful for little minds and bodies. As toddlers and preschoolers, children become able to feel rhythms, mimic and memorize vocal melodies, and begin to control their hands to allow more structured music-making, which can often involve full body movement, too. So many benefits start at this young age, from neurological development to coordination skills and more.
Once kids hit school age, the opportunity for exploring additional musical development comes into play for most children. Instruments like piano can be started at this point, when the child can sit through at least a half hour lesson, and can start to learn basic music literacy and coordination skills on the keyboard. Piano is a wonderful instrument to start at any age.
Ukulele is another instrument well-suited to small hands although the ability to have a certain level of finger dexterity and focus is important. While some kids can pick up a fretted instrument at a very young age, a great time to start is around age 8. At this point, they can master some of the basics and reap the rewards of being able to make music.
All this to say, there is no magic age that is consistent across the board but the general guidelines above can give you some things to think about. When in doubt, ask a music teacher! Each child is an individual and you’ll know your own child best. Have a conversation with a music educator who can help you choose what options might suit your child.
Music making is a wonderful experience that every child deserves.