The best age to start piano lessons is now.
As a piano teacher, I'm often asked if a child is too young for piano lessons. Often, parents are told to wait until after first grade to ensure a child understands basic reading, counting and letters. I agree that it makes learning the piano easier. I disagree that anyone needs to wait to start learning about music or an instrument. I have students who could read music before reading books!
The mechanics of music - the notes, their names, time and pitch, etc. are fairly easy to learn. Children are very bright and eager learners. From the beginning, students are encouraged to read music as written and, as early as possible, to play "real music" in which right and left hands perform complementary parts.
Challenges of piano lessons before grade school:
You may encounter some difficulty with motor skill coordination.
You may need to start on a weighted keyboard for some children.
Your child will need the parent to practice with them each time.
Benefits of starting piano lessons before grade school:
Your child will become familiar with the instrument and not intimidated by it.
Learning music is said to stimulate children's brains and help with other learning.
They will develop motor skill coordination that they did not have.
Their fingers will be stronger by the time they are old enough to play harder songs.
They will know the routine of piano lessons and piano practice before entering school.
They will get faster at learning their music.
Music is fun and it's a whole lot more than that.
In learning an instrument, a child learns focus and challenge and achievement. Music performance offers opportunities to fail. Students learn the value of persistence and of working hard for an uncertain outcome.
As long as parents maintain a patient approach to music lessons, children will see it as fun, and something a whole lot bigger than the ability to do maths. It nurtures the soul and teaches us that challenges are exciting and that each have within ourselves the key to succeeding at whatever we set out to do.
There is so much wonderful music in the world to learn to play. Once a solid foundation has been laid, the nuances of music are taught - dynamics, expression, tempo. The bottom line in written music is that it is little more than black dots and lines on white paper. It is the performer that brings music to life, the same way each of us bring our own unique expression to our individual lives.
I use the Royal Conservatorium of Music's curriculum to develop a player. Their courses provide a very thorough foundation for all areas of music - performance, theory, musicianship, etc. - a springboard for whatever you choose. There is so much gorgeous music in their repertoire.
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