When Should I Start Piano Lessons for My Child?
Teaching a child to play a musical instrument is an important part of education, as learning to play music has several benefits. Studies have shown learning to play piano (or any other instrument) helps children to develop:
●Hand eye coordination
●Fine motor skills
However, for many parents, deciding on the right time is a key issue. Sure, your three year old may enjoy pounding on the keys, and you can find plenty of videos online of small children playing highly intricate classics, but that doesn’t mean the child needs to be put into lessons right away.
The right time to start lessons will vary from child to child, but typically, the ideal time for lessons begins anywhere between ages 5 and 9. You can start working with children before this timeframe, of course, but the “lessons” should be less structured, and more for the child to explore the piano for himself. Even if all the child does is bang the keys around, this could be enough to generate interest for lessons when he or she is older.
Is my child ready?
Before starting your child in lessons, make sure he or she is interested in learning to play the piano. If he or she isn’t interested, either spend time fostering an interest, or move onto another instrument option. Though there are many benefits, forcing a child to participate in something he or she has little to no interest in will not provide real benefit.
One of the biggest factors in determining whether or not your child is ready to begin lessons is based on the size of their hands. If your child is not able to comfortably sit on the piano bench with their fingers touching five adjacent white keys, then you need to wait a bit longer for the hands to grow.
Beyond the size of his or her hand, a child should also be able to move his or her fingers independently from one another. You can always test their readiness with a simple song. If your child can successfully play the notes using three different fingers, then he or she is likely ready for lessons. If not, then you need to focus on building finger independence before starting lessons.
What if my child is older?
If your child is older, don’t fret. Though he or she may miss out on the advantages of learning an instrument at an early age, it doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t invest time in learning now. Even adults can get some tremendous benefits of learning how to play the piano. Never let older age be a deciding factor against piano lessons. It may take some more time to get used to moving the fingers the way you have to in order to play, but it can still be done.
If you’re interested in piano lessons, the London Music Centre can connect you with one of our many experienced, professional piano teachers.