There are plenty of investments you can make into your child’s future, but few are going to have as many demonstrable benefits throughout your child’s life as piano lessons will.
Children who regularly attend music classes from an early age are never going to have an easier time learning and, even better, are unlikely to ever forget the skills they learn. A musical background enriches so many areas of a child’s developing years and their education, and it’s been tied to improvements to everything from fine motor skills to faster social development.
An early music learning sticks with a person throughout the years, giving them an ever-reliable skill that will always impress.
However, there’s still the question of when to start your child’s piano training. There are three basic schools of thought, and much of it will depend on your child, as well as just how much of a focus you’re planning on making music.
The Three Ages A Child Might Start To Learn Piano
1 – Age 7-9
In terms of beginning formal piano training, such as under a tutor, students between seven and nine are usually considered perfect, around their first or second year in formal school. They’re old enough to understand directions and be responsible for themselves, as well has having reading and math experience that can help with music reading.
Students who begin this way get a classic piano education, dealing with the whole keyboard and sheet music directly in front of them, just as piano has traditionally been taught for centuries.
The downside to this technique is their prime learning years are, in fact, already mostly behind them. Music is just another form of language, and children are born ready to learn language above virtually everything else. By the time they’re in grade school, the most intensive parts of their language-learning are already over with.
2 – Age 4-6
Pre-school piano classes are another option, and there are a growing number of tutors specializing in earlier ages specifically because it’s easier for children to learn. These programs often use simplified keyboards, or number systems rather than sheet music, to try to ease children into learning the theory without overwhelming them with the full notational system.
This does, of course, mean at some point they’ll have to transition over to traditional piano-playing styles, something such a teacher should be planning for.
Plus, children at this age are still genuinely excited about doing new things. These days, even grade-school children quickly start deciding that they aren’t interested in their parents’ planned activities. Starting a child on music early helps encourage them to truly enjoy it.
3 – Age 3 And Younger
Believe it or not, there’s actually a growing body of music researchers and teachers who believe there really is no such thing as “too young” to begin learning music and how to play a piano. Classes are being organized aimed at children who are merely able to grasp and swing, so that music can truly be part of your child’s entire life.
At this stage, it’s a parent-child bonding opportunity as well, with guided classes and take-home materials so that you and your child can grow in musicality together. “Classes” are usually built around a number of themed activities, introducing the basics of tonality, harmony, and rhythm.
Classes like these can transition smoothly into more traditional lessons, except with a student who’s been growing up with music theory surrounding them.
Any Time Is A Great Time For Piano Lessons
When it comes down to it, whether the student is five or fifty, there’s never a bad time to start learning piano. However, the earlier someone starts, the easier it is and the more time they’ll have to experience the benefits of a musical background for themselves.
When did you or your children learn to play piano? Do you think it was too early or late?