It is necessary to read music from the very beginning?

There is a prevailing notion that if you're not reading music notation from day one, from the first lesson, then you can't be learning music and the method can't be good. But is it necessary to start learning music by first reading it?

"Q: What if a parent wants their child to read music from the very beginning?

N: It's quite common for parents to ask about how soon it will be before their child begins to read. I say that even though that this is the prevailing thinking, it doesn't fully take into account the complexities and consequences of starting beginning students in a reading-based approach. Using music reading as a starting point has been the way 'it's been done' for many, many generations. It just doesn't make sense to me, and for the most part, it seems that the vast majority of people, of any age, who start in a reading-based program typically struggle with the experience. So many people who begin in the reading-based environment never really learn how to play. Too many lose their interest and desire to learn music for evermore. While it's common for many traditional music teachers to say that music is a language, in truth, many of them aren't really treating it as though it actually is a language. If we were to recognize and treat music as a language, we'd be using an approach similar to a way in which all of us learn how to speak."

Extract from A World Where Everyone Plays: Finding a way to bring fun and excitement back into learning, 2010, Edited by Bernadette E. Ashby, pp. 255-256, Published by Efting Press, Sunnyvale, Cal. USA.