Is your little one ready to start playing the piano? If they’ve asked about taking lessons, but are still fairly young, you might wonder if they’re at the right age to learn to play.
Piano teachers often have differing opinions on when a child can start formal lessons, but they all would encourage you to foster a love of music and playing the piano. Music is fun, and studies have even indicated that learning to play an instrument helps children develop comprehension skills, fine motor control, and more.
Here’s our take on when to begin piano lessons in Atlanta.
Young Children Under Five
If your little one is under age five and wants to play the piano, they may not be ready for formal lessons just yet. However, if you have a piano, you can let them sit at it and play on the keys.
Note that this doesn’t mean you should let them bang on the keys or do anything to damage the instrument, but you can help them play basic tunes and start to teach them the keys and how the piano works.
You can also play for them and encourage them to dance and enjoy the sound of music. You might want to invest in a toy piano or other miniature instrument designed for young children to play.
Are They Ready for Lessons?
For a child around five or six who is interested in playing the piano, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, have them put their hand on a keyboard. If they can reach five keys without moving their hand, they are physically ready to play comfortably. If not, they may need to wait a little longer so they don’t have to stretch their hands.
Your child also needs to be able to move each of their fingers independently of the others and have fairly good manual dexterity. If they have to carefully use one or two fingers to hit the keys, they may not be ready for lessons yet. For some, this may mean waiting until they’re seven or eight, while others may be fine at age five.
Do They Need to Know How to Read?
Some parents are concerned about starting piano lessons before their child is able to read or before they’ve reached a certain reading proficiency level. This all depends on whether they’re going to learn by ear or by reading or sight method.
Those who learn by ear can start lessons before they’ve learned to read, while those who are learning by book may need to work on their reading comprehension skills first.
Of course, learning to read music isn’t really dependent on reading words, and some children even learn to read music first.
When Is Too Late?
On the flip side, you may wonder if it’s too late for your child to start piano lessons. The answer is that it’s impossible to be too old to learn the piano. There are even people in their 70s and 80s who decide they want to learn to play, and they do!
Even if your child is already in their teens or is about to head off to college, don’t tell them that they’re too old. In fact, if they’ve decided they want to learn, they may be even more dedicated to it now that they’re older than they would have been had they started at five or six. It all depends on how committed they are to learning how to play and how much practice they put in.
Ready to Book Their Lessons?
If your child is ready to start learning piano, there’s no time like the present. With convenient lessons held in your own home, you don’t have to worry about driving to and from a studio. Contact us today to schedule the first lesson.