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QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK

We receive e-mails from parents that we think (the questions and the answers) can benefit other parents deciding how best to pursue music education for their kids. We'll post them here when we do. Because we'll try to link to university and other non-commercial sites to answer these questions, the links might change from time to time as new studies become available. We do our best to monitor these links, but if one is dead and we haven't yet noticed, please notify us at service@ellmansmusic.com. Thank you. For internet relevance, we paraphrase the e-mails:

(Q) We've heard a lot about the benefits to our son's brain if he starts to play an instrument even though we're not sure he's ready for it now. We're on a tight budget, but will do our best if this is true. I bought an instrument from Ellman's back in the 80s, and I don't even live in the state anymore. Anyway, thought I'd ask since I found your site. Help?

Ellman's Answer: We'd like to think we aren't influenced by ulterior motives when dispensing information, however, we understand your doubts, and here are a few non-commercial sites that can assist you. We couldn't find any sites claiming that music education can be detrimental to a child. For a highly-intellectual breakdown of the pros and cons of justifications for music education in public schools see the Indiana University articles published in 1996.

(Q) Neither my wife or I were very good at music and we're hesitant to spend a bunch of money on something that will make our son miserable. Do you have any added info for us? Basically, he had never shown any interest in the trumpet or any other instrument until seeing the Labor Day parade.

Ellman's Answer:Biological influences obviously play a role in a child's musical development, but specialists disagree as to the extent. Like any other pursuit, music requires setting attainable goals, hard work and utilizing your innate talents to the best of your ability. As parents you need only provide the necessary emotional support and the basic physical tools to begin learning. We're talking student-level now, not Mozart, and we mean no offense. By all means, it's okay to aim high. Most music stores offer an initial program of $100 or less to allow a student several months to investigate and guage their interest in a particular instrument. In conjunction with the advice and teaching of your child's band or orchestra director, this is all that a child needs to begin a musical journey. More weighty decisions can be made at a later date.

Do you have a question you'd like us to answer? Email us at service@ellmansmusic.com.