What age should a child start piano lessons?
Does your young child show some musical aptitude, but you're not sure if they're ready to start lessons? Well, first thing is that piano is a great instrument for a young student to start playing. But it is somewhat difficult for a parent to know what age should a child start piano lessons. We'll make sure to help you out on this today.
The youngest age that many piano teachers of young students will take is typically 3 years old. However, there are many teachers who won't start teaching lessons until a child is 6 or 7 years old. The youngest age that a teacher will take for a private student is specific to each teacher. At Southern Music Academy, we usually start as young as 4 years old, but will start a 3 year old if the parent believes that they're interested enough to start taking lessons.
What to expect in piano lessons for preschoolers.
1. The lesson could be as short as 15 min to get started. Usually, no one actually knows how the student will respond to taking a private lesson, even if the teacher is bubbly, has games and activities for the student to do in the lesson. To help the student get acclimated to taking lessons and following directions on a one on one basis in music, a teacher can start off the lessons at 15 min every week. This amount isn't very long, and will cover a limited amount of material, but it will give the student some time to learn the personality of teacher, and vice versa. This will also help the student get used to the structure of a lesson, since the style of instruction could be very different from the parent or preschool teacher.
2. The student will mostly learn music by colors, numbers and shapes. Since a preschooler will be taking lessons before learning how to fully read, the teacher will mainly teach the student by letters, colors and numbers, but may add shapes in the mix to help differentiate certain musical concepts. So, this is something that the student will need to know prior to starting lessons. If the student cannot identify a few colors and numbers, then it may be a bit too early for them to start piano lessons. However, even if they have some familiarity with colors and numbers, this may be all that's needed to start lessons. Mastery of colors, numbers, letters and shapes isn't completely necessary, but a comfortable familiarity will certainly help.
3. Even after taking lessons for a few months, they may still need assistance playing songs. Piano lessons for preschoolers will take quite a while before the student is able to play songs independently. However, don't worry about there being progress. Many times, a preschool student just needs outside help keeping their focus as playing piano is a complex combination of motor skills, cognitive skills, and spatial reasoning. Even though it may take a bit longer for a preschool piano student to play a song independently, the concepts that they're learning will be deeply embedded when they do begin to play independently.
In conclusion, it is perfectly fine for a 3 year old to begin taking piano lessons, even if it's only for 15 min weekly at first. The goal will be to get to playing songs independently and having fun at the lessons. This will be through a combination of games, activities and fun performance pieces. At Southern Music Academy we use a unique milestone program, suitable for all ages including preschoolers, that teaches them playing music and understanding theory in a fun way.