There truly are few things that can bring greater benefit -and fun- to a child than learning to play the piano, or any other musical instrument. Musicality is one of those gifts that will truly keep on giving throughout a child’s development, and long into adulthood.
If you’re looking into piano lessons for your child, what should you do first? We’ve got some suggestions to help make piano as accessible as possible for young learners!
Things To Do Before Your Child Begins Learning Piano
1. Consider Early-Childhood Music Lessons
There’s some dispute over what the “right” age to begin piano is. Estimates usually vary between 5-10 years of age. That said, a musical education can begin as soon as a child can grasp and hold an object. Recent experiments with early-learning music programs shows that exposure to musical play, even among very young children, can radically boost their musicality in future years.
Children as young as two, for example, can identify harmonious or dissonant chords, even if youngsters lack the music theory that explains why they’re harmonious or not.
2. Focus On Left Side / Right Side Exercises
One of the hardest things about learning piano, for students of any age, is that it requires a high level of ambidexterity. Ultimately, a piano-player has to be able to separate their right and left hands, having each performing largely different motions -even with contrasting rhythms- while still keeping their movements synchronized.
Virtually anything you can do with a child that encourages them to develop muscle control in their right and left sides will make piano easier. Even simple games like “reach to the left, reach to the right” ultimately help to build this muscle control.
3. Expose Them To Pianos Early On
Children have a tendency to just accept anything they’ve accustomed to being around, but are often scared by entirely novel experiences. In terms of making sure your child is happy and alert on the first day of piano class, simply exposing them to pianos helps a lot.
Even if it’s just a few encounters, a child who’s already seen and banged on a piano is going to be far less intimidated when lessons start.
4. Keep Them Away From TV Or Video Games
Parents who have the hardest time getting children to learn piano (or any instrument) are largely those whose children have “learned” that only video-based entertainment is fun. To do well at piano, they should be exposed to enjoyable activities at an early age that don’t involve a video screen.
That’s obviously not to say that ALL televised entertainment needs to be cut from a child’s life, but a child who’s never enjoyed a toy without a screen will have a hard time connecting to musical lessons.
5. You Need A Piano Of Your Own
It’s unfortunate, but true: A piano student who doesn’t have access to a piano at home is unlikely to get very far. Piano requires hours of practice, beyond what happens at the music school.
That said, you don’t necessarily have to buy a great piano. There are plenty of small upright pianos that are perfect for a beginner, without costing too much. Or, there are also a lot of options in digital pianos that are often significantly less expensive than a “real” piano.
Music Lessons Last A Lifetime
Is it time for your child to learn piano? Cooper Music proudly partners with the North Fulton School of Music, providing quality musical education to students of all ages. To learn more, or to receive a free lesson, just contact us for the details!