5 Tips for Children’s Piano Lessons
Many parents ask themselves: when is the “right” time to start my child with piano lessons?
Because every child is different, there is really no exact age; however, it is never too early to have your children regularly interact with different types of music.
Until recently, my policy was that students had to be at least 6 years old to take piano lessons – mostly due to the fact that many children under the age of 6 do not have the patience or maturity to focus for an entire lesson, typically lasting a solid 30-45 minutes.
However, after working with some of my current students, I have come to the conclusion that kids can start music lessons at a significantly younger age. It’s all about tailoring the lessons to the specific child and here are five tips that have helped me create an overall plan that can be adapted to address the individual needs of each child and his or her unique learning style.
Pick a Song They Know
One technique in having younger children develop an interest in the piano, or any other instrument, is to have them learn some basic songs they already know such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Old Macdonald” in their piano lessons. I have found this to be very successful with younger children. Their confidence gradually increases as they realize that they can play songs that they have heard before.
*Tip: Make sure they actually like the song they are learning: just because they are familiar with it doesn’t mean they are going to enjoy spending a substantial amount of time learning how to play it!
Build a Solid Foundation
From here, start children in a reputable piano method such as the Suzuki, Bastien, or the Piano Adventures method books. It is very important that beginners start developing a strong piano foundation at the beginning which includes piano theory, and piano performance.
Most piano method books provide children with a fun, entertaining way of learning piano music and are an essential part of piano lessons. After all, you can’t play the game until you learn the rules and playing an instrument is no different.
Encourage Teachers to Teach by Doing
Another way to build your child’s confidence is to ask the piano teacher to occasionally play piano duets. This allows your budding pianist to hear a fuller version of the songs she’s been playing and it is always a lot of fun for the student. Plus, it gives her a glimpse at what she could become if she sticks with her lessons and applies herself.
Practice is Essential
Although practice may not necessarily make perfect at the beginning, it is important that children spend at least 20-30 minutes every day or every other day going other their piano and theory assignments. Fingers have muscle memory and getting back on the piano as soon as possible following the lesson helps to reinforce what they just learned.
Additionally, children can move much more quickly if they have practiced and learned their assignments well enough to move on.
*Tip: Make sure your teacher does not advance your child before he has learned the previous lessons. Moving forward at a rapid pace may be more fun but taking on more complicated concepts before he has mastered the step below does not do him any good and in fact, can ingrain bad habits that only become more difficult to change as time passes.
Finally, if you are interested in piano lessons for your children but do not own a piano, your local music store may have practice keyboards available for rent at a low monthly rate. Many parents do not want to make the expensive investment in a piano until they see that their children want to continue learning and playing the piano.
Now that you have more info, do you think your child is ready to begin piano lessons?
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!