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Learning to play the piano – at what age does it make sense?

Children develop differently. If you’ve observed a group of children of the same age or have more than one child, you are aware of this. Thus, it’s impossible to give a general answer to the question of when your child is ready for piano lessons, seeing as one child may be able to concentrate well and memorize what they learned at age 5, while another may not respond to music lessons as well until age 7. Nonetheless, we would like to provide a brief overview.

child playing the piano
A young child taking piano lessons – too soon or just about the right time?

Piano lessons for the youngest

If you’re contemplating piano lessons for your child, you may wonder if the lessons, and the required practice at home, could overwhelm them. On the other hand, you might have heard of the Mozart family. Their children were already playing the piano at the tender age of 4 and performing concerts not long after. So, should you introduce your child to the piano, or would that only lead to the opposite effect, namely an immediate rejection of music?

The majority of children can start piano lessons around the age of six. Some children can even start as early as age 5. A teacher is best qualified to determine whether your child is ready to take piano lessons.

Since your child will learn all the necessary abilities during the lessons, they don’t need any particular knowledge before starting lessons since they will learn everything they need to know, including proper posture, hand positions, as well as playing techniques, note reading, and music theory. Thus, your child doesn’t need to have prior musical training, nor do you have to teach them how to read notes. However, it can’t hurt if your child already knows a few letters since the letters A to H are frequently used in sheet music.

Should your child practice the piano beforehand?

Maybe you have a piano at home and have heard that making music has a positive effect on children’s intelligence. Therefore, wouldn’t it be great for little children to start practicing the piano? However, it’s extremely important to adopt the right technique to achieve good results when playing the piano. Without a qualified teacher, your child can quickly develop a bad posture, which is very difficult to correct later. But you don’t have to completely prohibit your child from playing a little. After all, very young children often enjoy hitting the keys a bit because they make such great sounds. But toddlers usually don’t have the ambition to play an entire piece or to achieve great results with the right technique.

piano lessons for kids

What are some alternatives to piano lessons?

Perhaps your child is already interested in music. Or you enjoy making music yourself and would like to introduce your child to your hobby at an early age. Early musical education given by experienced teachers can teach your child their first musical skills. This not only promotes the development of musical talent, but also has a positive effect on social skills, motor skills, and language skills. The hearing is trained and becomes more sensitive, and children also benefit from the creativity that is fostered during these initial music lessons. If your child wants to learn another instrument, later on, early musical education provides the foundation for this path.

There are programs for children as young as one-year-old. Of course, complex theoretical methods are not applied here. Many teachers establish different groups so that the children can be taught in accordance with their age. Most of the time, the groups are formed like this: The youngest children (ages 1 to 3) make music together. The transition to the older group takes place at 3 or 4 and continues until the children start attending school. Early musical education is completed at the age of 6 to 7 years.

In terms of content, children are usually introduced to music via stories and related sound journeys. As for instruments, teachers frequently employ rhythmic Orff instruments, such as castanets, rattles, rain sticks, tubular drums, jingles, jingle bells, wooden block drums, and the so-called guiro. Cymbals, claves, and triangles are also used regularly.

During rhythmic exercises, the children learn how to use their bodies while dancing. In addition, the imagination of each child is developed. As the teacher suggests movements, the children are always encouraged to follow their instincts. Especially with stories, children can learn a lot because they are then supposed to consider which instruments and in which way they can represent certain contexts.

toy piano

Offers for very young children

You will also come across piano lessons for children aged 2 or 3 years. However, these offers usually involve playful approaches with instruments such as the first keyboards for children, wooden pianos with a range of only one octave, or, at best, so-called beginner’s keyboards with a very limited range as well.

These instruments – if you want to call them that – focus on a playful approach. After all, your child won’t develop any real piano skills during these lessons. Instead, most toddlers simply enjoy the fact that they can hear sounds when they press the keys. But these "toys" don’t even come close to the experience of playing on a real piano.

Before spending money on such toys, you can encourage your child at home by buying rhythm eggs (small egg-shaped, rattling objects which are easy to handle) or some other rhythm instruments. These instruments are usually made of plastic instead of wood, so make sure that they are of good quality.

Wooden instruments are usually a bit more expensive but offer a better sound than their plastic counterparts. Such instruments provide the first link between movements and the creation of sounds. They can also be used to accompany audio books or streaming programs. Doing this doesn’t have to turn into hours of practice, seeing as playing one or two songs together can help to plant the first seed.

How do I know which instrument my child is interested in?

More often than not, children are led to a particular instrument by the enthusiasm of their parents. However, it can happen that after some time it turns out that the instrument you love is not the right one for your child. To avoid such a problem, many teachers offer trial lessons to introduce an instrument to the child. After all, children can often tell if they like it after the first few lessons.

Simply ask one of our teachers to provide your child with information without any obligation, so that you can find out together, whether your child is interested in these lessons. You could also get in touch with a public music school.

piano teacher and child

Only offer what you’re willing to support

Why do you want your child to learn piano? Is it a family tradition or genuine enthusiasm? Do you experience pressure from outside, or has your child expressed an interest in learning the piano? Also, don’t forget that you have to be prepared to fully support your child’s interest in learning the piano. This includes not only the investment in lessons but also the purchase of a piano at home, and the possibility of daily practice sessions. If this is something you can do, then nothing stands in the way of letting your child take lessons.

Should you buy an instrument right away?

You’ve finally found the perfect teacher for your child’s piano lessons, and everything is in place. Soon, your child is about to start. Do you need to have a piano at home right away? Yes, that would make sense, since your child needs to solidify the skills, they learn during lessons by practicing regularly. Practicing for 10 to 15 minutes daily is plenty of time in the beginning. Furthermore, it’s much more effective to practice a little every day rather than practicing for 2 hours once a week.

Now you need a piano at home. Do you have to buy one right away?

Certainly not. You can just as well rent a piano first, which gives your child the opportunity to decide whether they want to stick with the instrument or not. After renting a piano for a certain amount of time, the money you paid can be credited if you decide to buy it. By doing this, you and your child are not immediately bound to a decision, and you can make your final choice after a few months. It also makes sense to consult with your teacher since they have the necessary experience to advise you before making such a decision.

Should you get started now?

You have talked to your child about the subject, and you think they are now at the right age to play the piano. Do you have any questions before that? Then please don’t hesitate to ask either in the comments or directly. Our teachers will be happy to advise you. Or do you want to start right away? Then you can also contact our teachers and discuss your questions in a first consultation, as well as directly agree on the modalities.


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