At what age should my child begin piano lessons?
Parents have asked this question throughout the years in search of a definitive answer. They recognize the necessity of seizing opportunities of growth and development for their children, while simultaneously considering concern for age-appropriate activities and expectations.
So, what is the appropriate age to begin piano lessons? To be honest, there are as many different answers as there are children because the correct answer is unique for each child. Therefore, we offer three questions to help sort through what parents should be asking to assess when their child is ready to begin piano lessons.
Does my child already show interest in the piano?
Often, young children will initiate their own discovery of the piano. They will enjoy sitting at the bench and with little hands play as many different notes as possible. They begin to realize that moving their hands in different directions creates different sounds and they love to mix it up. Showing such an interest of their own choice is a great indicator that they are ready for further exploration and discovery of the piano.
Can my child focus on an activity for 10 minutes?
Children's attention spans are an important factor to consider in determining their readiness for piano lessons. Many adults can remember being told to practice the piano for 30 minutes before they could (fill in the blank). Yet, 30 minutes is an eternity for young children and their ability to practice for this length of time should not be a deciding factor about piano lessons. Instead, 10 minutes of focused attention at the piano each day is all that is needed in the early stages and would suggest that your child is ready.
Are my child's motor skills developed enough for piano instruction?
No one is expecting a young child to perform with exceptional dexterity. However, does your child demonstrate the ability to move their fingers independently? Counting with their fingers is an excellent example of finger independence. Additionally, does your child show dexterity between their two hands? The skill to move independently between fingers and hands is an acquired ability requiring practice; but, if your child is exhibiting early signs of independence, then they are ready for piano lessons.
These are just three factors to consider to determine if your child is ready for piano lessons. Overall, with great parental support and a desire to learn, any child at an early age can begin the journey of piano instruction. Likewise, it is never too late to begin for those children who are older...even adults. As parents consider each child individually, assess their needs and their desire to learn, the correct decision for that child may be made.