Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What is the Best Age to begin Piano Lessons?

The benefits of learning music and playing musical instruments enhances your, ability to learn, memory, happiness, discipline and so much more! Music Education enriches the lives of so many children and it is the best gift a parent could give their child.

As music educators, we are often asked 'What is the best age for my child to begin piano lessons?'. Although there is no exact age to begin instruction, in our experience the best age is between the ages of six and eight. 

You may come across the occasional YouTube videos of children as young as three years playing complicated Mozart sonatas but that doesn't mean every 3 year old is ready to learn the Piano.

Children under the age of six who show an interest in the piano should be allowed to explore and learn on their own time table. They won’t always respond well to an adult-imposed learning structure. Always active and curious, a toddler might pay attention to an adult who is trying to teach them something for about three minutes, but then they notice something else they want to check out. If you put a child at this age in piano lessons, most of the teacher’s time will be spent in redirecting the child’s attention to the piano. It just isn’t a very effective use of your time and money.

Instead, parents of children under age six should be doing things to cultivate a general interest in music. Singing and listening to recorded music are things you can do at home with children at any age. Also, consider enrolling your child in a good preschool music program, like BlueTimbre's Junior Music Program (JUMP). This program build awareness of musical concepts like rhythm and pitch, musical alphabets, music notes, music appreciation and introduction to musical instruments and lays a good foundation for learning a musical instrument.

So, How do you know if your child is ready?

  1. Size of Hand - Can your child easily place five fingers on five adjacent white keys? For some five-year-olds, that’s a big stretch! Before beginning piano lessons, make sure your child’s hands have grown enough to be comfortable using a keyboard.
  2. Finger Independence - Before beginning piano, children need to be able to move individual fingers. A child who can use three different fingers on three black keys to play is ready for lessons. A child who can only play by picking out the tune with one finger is probably not ready.
  3. Interest in Music and Desire to Learn - Probably the most important thing on this checklist is your own child’s desire to learn the piano. If the motivation to learn comes from your child, it will help them overcome all sorts of difficulties they might encounter. If the motivation only comes from you, then sooner or later you’ll end up with a power struggle.

If you’re a teen or an adult beginner, you might get frustrated and want to give up because you feel awkward at first. It may seem easier to stick with the things that you’ve already mastered. If that happens, remember, you are doing this because you want to! Don’t give up. Be patient with yourself as you learn the piano. You’ll feel like a little child all over again. Set aside twenty minutes a day and enjoy that process of learning something completely new. If you can find thirty or forty minutes a day, you’ll progress even faster.

BlueTimbre is a Music Company with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in Whitefield, Bangalore, India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.