ALL children are musical. They love to create their own little songs, dance to music, and explore sounds. I loved Music Together classes with my own children because the classes build musical skills while still giving children space to “play” with music through exploration and improvisation.
My brilliant early-childhood music professor, Dr. John Feierabend, says that instrumental lessons are not necessarily “playing” music, they mostly teach you which button to push when you see a dot on the page. They are great for learning to use an instrument to express music, but they are NOT a way for children to become musical. If a child doesn’t have a base of musicianship to draw on, he/she will find little joy in learning an instrument.
My son is 5, and he just began piano study with a private teacher after years of experiencing Music Together classes (and lots of music at home with Mom. 😉 ) I help him practice his “book songs” because learning how to read the dots and push the buttons *is* an important part of instrument study. But I also try to keep the “Play” in playing music. He might not be practicing proper technique by making up his own songs, but he is learning to use the instrument to create and express ideas. Practicing technique will help him become a competent pianist. Giving him space to create music without any constraints is what will make him love playing and keep him interested in studying the instrument.