This is a question that I get asked a lot by new callers regarding piano and keyboard lessons. Sometimes I get calls from parents asking if their 2 year old is too young to start lessons. I answer this with an absolute “no”. The attention span, cognitive abilities and fine motor skills do not meet the criteria for lessons. I usually ask the parent to call me back when the child is at least 4 years old. Sometimes I will work with a 3 and a half year old, but this is usually more the exception than the rule.
So what really is the best age to begin piano or keyboard lessons for a child? My answer to this is that it truly depends on the child.
Every child is unique and there is really no set age to begin the study of the piano. I personally, will begin a child at 4 years old and I usually find the teaching to be quite successful for the majority of the time.
There are some things to consider as well:
- Is the child able to sit still at least for 30 minutes with a relatively good level of focus on the task at hand?
- Does the child show some interest in studying the piano, or is he or she highly resistant to the idea?
- Will the family and child collaborate on practice times and agree that this will be part of lessons. (tough with 4 and 5 year olds as I only recommend 5-10 minutes a day) 🙂
- Will piano and keyboard lessons fit into the schedule of the student, not creating too much pressure? I always recommend that a student is not overloaded with other activities when beginning piano instruction.
- Is the “student to be” able to count up to 10 and know and recognize numbers and letters. Knowing alphabet, at least first 7 letters is necessary.
- Will you, the family member be able to purchase a piano or keyboard to help your child practice at home? This should definitely be in the budget when thinking about lessons.
- In addition, can you afford piano or keyboard lessons at this time in your child’s life or will it be better off to wait a little bit.
So basically there are a few things to consider before enrolling a child in piano or keyboard lessons. Sometimes I believe that you and the child will know when the time is right.
Also, if the child keeps asking for lessons, and they are over 4 years of age, this is THE BEST time to start. Students that have a true desire to learn the instrument will usually stick with it over time, thrive at the instrument, and have great results.
In conclusion, every child is different, but ages 4-7 are wonderful ages to start a musical journey in learning an instrument.
Also, remember that nobody is too old to start. I teach adult beginners, teenagers, and older adults and it is a great experience for these students. One should never give up their dreams of learning the piano or keyboard.