These days, there is much pressure for parents to begin their children in activities from an early age. We know that children tend to pick up new skills easily and we want for them to have an opportunity to become experts at these new skills. We also see curiosity, desire and eagerness to learn in our children and want to capitalize on that.
Music lessons are no exception. We often get calls asking the question, “When is the best time to enroll my child in piano lessons?” The answer to that is a tricky one, and varies for each child. The right age for one may not be the right age for another. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering enrolling your child in music lessons:
1. Does my child have an attention span to sit still for chunks of time and listen to instruction?
Many teachers today are very creative in using off-bench activities during lessons and have a plethora of activities to make lessons fun and engaging. However, the fact remains that your child will need to sit at the piano for some periods of time during the lesson. It is important that your child have the attention span to do this.
• 1863 ~ Isador Philipp, French pianist
• 1888 ~ Friedrich Schorr, Hungarian bass-baritone
• 1917 ~ Laurindo Almeida, Grammy Award-winning composer, musician, guitarist
• 1919 ~ Marge Champion (Marjorie Belcher), Dancer, actress, choreographer with Gower Champion, model for animated Snow White
• 1924 ~ Theatregoers heard the song Indian Love Call for the first time in the operetta Rose Marie, which opened in New York City.
• 1927 ~ Sophie Tucker recorded her signature song, Some of These Days, for Columbia Records.
• 1931 ~ The radio show 15 Minutes with Bing Crosby debuted on CBS. The singer became a super-hot property after the debut.
• 1936 ~ David Blaki, British composer
• 1939 ~ Sam Gooden, Singer with Roosters
• 1940 ~ Jimmy Clanton, Singer, songwriter, toured with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars
• 1943 ~ Rosalind Ashford, Singer with Martha and the Vandellas
• 1946 ~ Marty Grebb, Musician, keyboards with The Buckinghams
• 1957 ~ Steve Porcaro, Keyboards, singer with Toto
• 1958 ~ Fritz McIntyre, Keyboards with Simply Red
• 1965 ~ The Beatles received a gold record for their single Help!, from the movie of the same name.
• 1997 ~ Sir Rudolf Bing died. He was an Austrian-born opera impresario who worked in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, most notably being General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1950 to 1972.
• 2000 ~ Elvera Sanchez Davis, a tap dancer and the mother of Sammy Davis, Jr., died at the age of 95. Known as Baby Sanchez, Davis began performing at 16 in the chorus line at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem. She continued her career into the early 1940s, dancing for six years in the chorus line at the Apollo Theatre. In 1923, performing in a touring show called “Holiday in Dixie”, she met and married Sammy Davis Sr., also a dancer in the show. Their son was born in 1925. He became a tap-dance prodigy by age 10, trained and brought up by his father after his parents separated. Mrs. Davis retired when the Apollo disbanded its dance chorus, though she danced informally into her 90s. She also performed in touring revues and in films including Carl Micheaux’s 1936 “Swing”. Davis continued to be involved with tap dance until her death, serving from 1989 as an adviser to the New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day.
Sammy Davis, Jr. died in 1990 at the age of 64.
• 2001 ~ Troy Donahue died at the age of 65. He was a matinee idol who climbed to stardom in the 1950s with his role in “A Summer Place.”
• 2001 ~ Jazz saxophonist Jay Migliori, who worked with musicians and singers ranging from
Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra, died of colon cancer. He was 70.
Migliori, who was also a founding member of the Grammy-winning jazz group Supersax, played on some 4,000 recordings during his career. Although he described his own style as “modern acoustic jazz with roots in bebop,” he was equally comfortable working with country stars like Glen Campbell, a wide variety of rock musicians including Zappa and the Four Seasons and pop stars as varied as Dean Martin and Celine Dion. He performed with more than two dozen bands over the years, including those led by Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Terry Gibbs and Maynard Ferguson. In 1971, he joined Supersax, an ensemble built around a five-saxophone section that specialized in orchestrated Charlie Parker solos. He also recorded several albums of his own, including “Jazz in Transition” and “Smile.”
• 2006 ~ [Jean-Josephat] Clermont Pépin, Canadian pianist and composer (Implosion Symphony), died at the age of 80