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I was wondering when it would be a good time to begin piano lessons for one of our boys. He has a good attention span, but we do not want to waste good money on classes for a child that may not be ready. We are considering just the standard type of piano lessons, not the Suzuki method, which I understand begins at a younger age.
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I think age 7-8 would be a great time. You could also do other activities leading up to the lessons to engage your child before they start lessons. You could listen to some of your favorite pianists or watch a concert. I know that those types of things would help build interest in my child.
I had an electric keyboard that used a computer program when I was little and my sister and I loved it. It had engaging games and was interactive. I think we were about 9 or 10 when we got it. It was really fun! I'd be interested in hunting it down again.
I’m aware that developmentally around age 5 is when kids have the brain development and dexterity to start playing instruments like the piano well. Of course, every child is different but if they have enough interest and enjoy listening to piano music’ it might be the right time to start learning. It’s also important to consider their hand size, making sure their hands are not too small to stretch across keys as well as dexterity to move fingers individually to play.
I am also not an expert in this area. However, I was 9 when I took piano lessons and I hated them. The teacher was old, old school, strict, not positive at all, and it turned something I desperately wanted to learn how to do, into a hated chore of practice.
I regret not being open and honest with my mom, telling her I really love the piano and want to do well at playing it. She may have been able to find a more suitable teacher for me. At such a young age, I didn't know how ro respond and say "I don't like this person and she's making me dislike what I love doing." Whether this was out of a respect for my elders, or fear of disappointing others, I sont know. I just know I lived with regret over this for a long time.
I think the best time for any child to take music lessons is when they want to, and they voice this desire. Pushing a child into a certain activity can create resentment towards the activity, therefore poor practice skills and performance. In a new age where we want to help kids have an identity all their own, I think it's important they have a say in things which can bring them joy. And then allowing them flexibility to change direction if Mozart just isn't for them, but they really enjoy Santana!
I am not expert in this area, but I have always heard that children do well with formal music lessons from the age of about 8 - particularly piano. I think it has something to do with muscle strength as well as the concentration aspect since it takes quite a bit of muscle tone to work the keys properly. I think music is a great gift to children and there is so much that you can do before your child is ready for formal lessons. Developing understandings of beat and rhythm will definitely help them in so many ways. Music is a great way to build children's phonological awareness skills - the foundation for early literacy learning. There are just so many benefits to learning music so I am thrilled that this is a path you are wanting to take with your little ones :)