If you want your child to learn the piano, you might start to wonder, what is the best age to start piano lessons? Is it better when they’re young or should you wait until they are old enough to understand music lessons a little better? The answer seems to depend on who you ask because even music teachers can’t seem to agree on a specific age that is best for learning keyboard instruments.
Your child’s emotional and physical growth is usually more important than their chronological age. If you’re unsure about your own child, below are seven signs your child is ready to learn the piano, regardless of his or her age.
1. Your Child Can Count to 10
Learning to read music isn’t hard, but your child should be able to count to 10 to learn to do so while taking piano lessons. While it’s true there are only seven notes in a scale, counting to 10 is important when you’re trying to establish rhythm and timing, which are important parts of every song your child will play.
2. Is Your Child Really Interested in Music?
A lot of parents make the mistake of putting their child in music lessons because that’s what they themselves wanted to do as a child, but this is a huge mistake. A child who loves music and who actually wants to begin piano lessons will always do better than a child who is forced to do so by the parents. If your child complains every time he or she goes to their lesson, it may be because they’re not ready to learn a musical instrument at this point.
3. Your Child Can Hold a Pencil Correctly
This sounds like something kids do very early, but it isn’t. In fact, it takes some children quite awhile to learn how to properly hold a pencil, but until they can do so, it’s best not to put them in piano lessons. Why? Because learning to play piano requires certain motor skills, and if kids can hold a pencil the right way, they can usually do well playing on the keyboard. If you’re unsure if your child has the proper skills, you can ask a teacher or occupational therapist to evaluate your child.
4. Your Child Has No Problems Following Instructions
When determining the best age to learn piano for your own child, just consider whether or not your child follows instructions well. Learning to play the piano is just like learning anything else, meaning it always involves instructions telling the child what to do. If your child gets frustrated when you ask them to go find their blue sweatshirt and bring it to you, they may not be ready for piano lessons. Consider this aspect before enrolling your child in any type of music lessons.
5. Your Child Can Tell Difference Between Right and Left
Since playing the piano involves both hands, knowing the difference between left and right is a must for any child taking piano lessons. If your child hasn’t mastered this knowledge, it will be incredibly difficult to keep up with most of the lessons taught by the piano teacher. The lessons will be too confusing for your child, so make sure your child knows both left and right before you enroll him or her child in lessons.
6. Your Child Can Pay Attention for 30 Minutes or More
If your child is unable to focus and pay attention for at least 30 minutes, he or she might not be ready for piano lessons. Most piano lessons are a minimum of 30 minutes, and if your child is fidgety or hyper and cannot pay attention to everything that is going on, piano lessons may have to wait. Otherwise, both student and teacher will become frustrated with the process and want to quit. For many reasons, a child has to be able to concentrate not only during the lessons but during practice time as well, which is even more important in many ways.
7. Your Child Knows the Alphabet
Your child should know the alphabet before starting piano lessons, especially the letters A through G. After all, music involves the first seven letters of the alphabet, so if your child doesn’t know at least these letters, it will be very difficult for him or her to learn to read music properly. Determining when to start piano lessons includes many different steps, and knowing the alphabet from A through G is one of the most important steps for your child.
Is It Too Late for My Child to Learn Piano?
Fortunately, there is no age considered “too late” for a child to learn piano. In fact, children who are around eight years old learn quicker and more easily than younger children. As long as kids show an interest in music, have reached a certain maturity level, and are willing to put in the practice, it is never too late to learn to play!