Piano lessons can be an experience that is at once fun and relaxing. Some kids who are introduced to the instrument at a young age develop a lifelong love of playing. Of this number, a few will pursue careers as professional musicians or as music teachers.
Is your child demonstrating a fascination with the piano at a young age? If so, then it may be time to consider enrolling them in piano lessons.
Rather than there being one perfect age by which anyone should begin lessons, the choice for when to start studying the piano varies for everyone. Before we dive in, we wanted to mention how excited we are for the Piano Prodigies release that is coming out this August 11th!
We might only have 12 or so videos for the launch on August 11th, but we're working as fast as we can, and of course we'll be adding new episodes often! The episodes are coming out GREAT - - - arguably our best yet - - - and we can't wait to share them with you!
Learn more about our curriculum at Prodigies.com/curriculum and stay tuned for more updates!! Let's take a closer look at some of the factors that may go into deciding when it's time for your child to start piano lessons.
Consider Your Child's Physical and Mental Development
While some instruments, like violins, are made in sizes that are suitable for children, pianos are not. Accordingly, a piano is a huge instrument from the perspective of a small child. The keys can feel quite heavy to press, and it's worth noting that playing the piano doesn't just involve the hands. Musicians engage their whole body when they play, so if your child is really small, he may not get the most out of lessons.
Nonetheless, some kids are drawn to the piano even when they are quite small. The playing experience varies widely for these kids, with some of them enjoying the time spent on the piano bench and others struggling with the physical challenge.
Additionally, it's important to carefully consider your child's brain development before beginning lessons. Playing the piano requires focus and concentration. Both of these characteristics tend to not be well developed in very small children, though of course there are exceptions to this rule. If your child is not inclined to sit quietly and focus on a single activity for a minimum of 15 or 20 minutes, then they probably are not quite ready for piano lessons.
Because playing the piano can be incredibly challenging for really small children, it is almost always advisable to wait to start lessons until the child enters elementary school.
At this age, your child's physical and mental development are more balanced and advanced than before. Their powers of concentration and attention are enhanced, and they are better able to coordinate their entire body while playing the piano.
Of course, no one knows your child as well as you do. Your child may be able to start lessons before elementary school without difficulty. Either way, it's unwise to force your child to start lessons before they genuinely seem capable of learning.
Fostering a Love of Music in Young Children
Do you have a young child who won't be starting elementary school soon but who is fascinated with music? Perhaps you're thinking that piano lessons would be great for her but also that she's a bit young to commit to such a challenging endeavor.
If so, then you are in luck because there are tons of things that you can do to foster a love of music in your little one, and none of them involve formal piano lessons. Instead, you can find many ways to introduce musical concepts and music appreciation to your child. These methods are fun, engaging, age appropriate and they will help to prepare your child for piano lessons in the future.
Here's just a sampling of the music-related activities to which you can introduce your child:
- Listening to music, especially classical music, throughout the day
- Playing along to music with tambourines, shakers, maracas, drums and other instruments
- Clapping or tapping your toes to the music
- Dancing or marching to music
- Watching basic instructional videos that are geared toward kids on subjects like note reading, rhythm and more
When these activities are made a part of your child's everyday routine, he will naturally develop a sense for musicality, beat, rhythm and more. This will assist when he does begin piano lessons or in the event that he wants to study a different instrument.
What If My Pre-Kindergarten Child Wants to Play the Piano?
When young children are irresistibly drawn to the piano, then it may make sense to begin lessons at an early age. However, the key to success may lie in finding the right teacher.
Certain instructors now are specializing in offering piano lessons to children who have not yet entered elementary school. Rather than being traditional piano lessons, these sessions focus on things like ear training, singing, notation and rhythm. As your child matures, she will begin to play the piano more, and this can be a great way to get your child started on the right track at an early age.
Why Are Piano Lessons and Other Music Training Important for Kids?
Researchers have uncovered all sorts of benefits to taking piano lessons or generally learning more about music at a young age.
Here are some highlights:
- Enhanced mental development
- Improved emotional health
- Better academic performance
- Higher self-esteem
- Enhanced problem-solving
Enhanced Mental Development
When a child plays the piano, different parts of his brain are activated and stimulated. New neural connections are created and developed, and all of this leads to greater cognitive ability.
Moreover, playing the piano requires sophisticated coordination between the mind and the body. Children who study this instrument may show greater physical coordination, and they develop the ability to perform two tasks at once, such as reading music and moving their hands.
Improved Emotional Health
Listening to or playing music provides children and adults with tremendous creative outlets. Music is a wonderful means for expressing yourself or working through difficult emotions. It's even an avenue for expressing unbounded joy.
Playing the piano may become an important mechanism for coping with stress or inducing relaxation, benefits that may last for a lifetime if your child continues her studies.
Better Academic Performance
Many parents are surprised to learn that children who take piano lessons or other music classes tend to excel in a variety of academic subjects. Perhaps this is because music study helps to develop characteristics like focus and concentration. It similarly is likely that kids who play the piano and learn to read music also are introduced to certain mathematic and language concepts at an earlier age.
For these and other reasons, it may be wise to enroll your child in piano lessons if you want to improve her academic performance.
Studying the piano or another musical instrument represents a tremendous mental, physical and emotional challenge. Being able to overcome the myriad obstacles that are presented in lessons and daily practice is a fantastic way to support and enhance your child's self-esteem.
As their accomplishments at the piano grow, so too do their sense of worth and their confidence. These traits will serve them well in elementary school and throughout life.
As they study piano, kids are faced with all sorts of challenges that they must find ways to overcome. This can help them to build creative and critical thinking skills that will serve them in the classroom and in life.
Prodigies Music Can Help
Whether your child has expressed a specific interest in the piano or just generally in music, it's a great time to start one of the fun and engaging programs from Prodigies Music.
Use the colorful, interactive online lessons in conjunction with formal piano lessons or on their own. Either way, kids will develop an appreciation of music and begin to understand key concepts like rhythm, beats, notes and more.
Even better, you might consider using Prodigies's colorful deskbells so that your child can start making his own music today.