In this article, we will specifically talk about teaching children the piano, but in general, children can start learning musical skills at an early age.
Besides exposing children to live and recorded music at an early age, there are also musical classes for toddlers.
These classes teach children to embrace and make sounds together and become accustomed to holding and using instruments. These classes can also help parents who want their children to be exposed to a musical outlet but don’t yet know which instrument they and their children will select for the long run.
As far as teaching the piano to children goes, children can start learning to play the piano between the ages of 5 and 9. Keep in mind that the child must have the ability to focus for more extended periods (at least 30 minutes) and have the maturity to keep tasks on their own time (much like doing homework and chores).
Your child will need to practice, and although a lot can be done with parental discipline and structured routines, your child will learn faster and better if they are motivated and excited to learn for themselves.
Your child will need to practice daily, so be sure that this is a commitment that you and your child are willing to make; otherwise, it may be better to wait for the right time. And finally, they must also be good at taking instructions from their teachers.
In addition to maturity levels and focus, the child must be able to sit up straight on the bench and reach five keys without straining when they spread their fingers out on the keys. They must also be able to move their fingers independently from one another but otherwise do not need much strength to learn the skill. The piano is excellent for many children with challenging motor skills and lower strength levels.
What are the benefits of learning the piano?
Teaching a child an instrument helps them grow into enriched bright individuals. Any instrument will help them develop discipline, intelligence, and it has the benefit of bringing joy to the artist and everyone around the artist. It helps builds confidence and ownership. Because learning music is like learning a second language, it can aid your child in expanding the mind and in the ability to make meaningful intellectual connections.
What if my child is too young to start playing?
If you have a piano at home or know someone with a piano, I encourage you to sit with your child at the piano and let them feel and play with the keys.
Allow them to experience the sound they can create with their hands, whether it’s with their fingers, palms, or little fists! This can be done as early as six months and can be done well into the age when they can start learning for themselves.
It makes the child familiar and comfortable with the instrument, which can often feel grand and intrusive depending on the piano you may have at home. Don’t hesitate to play along with them when if the music is haphazard at best!
Things to remember:
1. Most children will be ready to begin lessons between the ages of 5 and 9.
2. A child needs to be able to place their five fingers on five white keys right next to each other without overly stretching their fingers.
3. They will need to move each finger independently to play the piano successfully. Every child varies in when they can do this.
4. They must be able to sit up straight and still at the piano for at least 30 minutes.
5. Your child should be able to read. Your child won’t need to read extensive paragraphs, but they will need to know the alphabet to learn to read music sheets and learn to recognize symbols.
6. They need to know how to count to the number four, as most songs need this count.
7. They need to know the difference between their left and right hand.
8. They need to be able to follow instructions and do homework.
And most importantly, 9. A child must have an interest in learning the piano. You can have a strong desire for your child to play; however, if you want them to devote themselves to spending the time necessary to develop their skills, they have to want to learn to play the piano all on their own.
This video does a great job of answering this question:
Helpful stuff to know:
• Ensure that the piano is always tuned, or if you have an electric keyboard, make sure that it is in an easily accessible place.
• It is ideal for you to put the keyboard or piano in a comfortable place for your child to play in. Whether that is their bedroom or in an open area like in the living room. Your child may feel more comfortable playing in a private space even if they know they can be heard around the house.
• The piano stool should always be at the right height and ready for your child to begin practicing at any time of the day. The right stool height is where your child’s arms (from wrist to elbow) are parallel to the ground.
• Routine or schedule for your child to practice throughout the week. Especially in the beginning, it is helpful for your child to learn to set a schedule and figure out when is the best time for them to practice. Some children may be natural early risers and want to practice in the morning, others right after school, and yet others would like it to be the last thing they do before they go to sleep.
• Encourage your child to focus on accuracy rather than learning everything all at once. Everyone learns at different rates and in different ways, and they must learn the nuances of the piano first and not speed.
• Lastly, finding a group of children, whether at school or in your community, for your child to practice and engage musically will help your child learn at a faster rate and will grow their confidence.
For funsies, I wanted to tell you a little about one of the child most famous child prodigies, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He started to play the piano at age 3, although he is more notably known for becoming a child prodigy at age 4. He was well versed in all the musical genres of his time, composed incredible symphonies, and is still studied today. Ha had an astonishing memory for pitch and natural talent for writing music and picking up various instruments quickly. Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, and others have incredible stories worth learning about, especially because one day your child might embark on learning the music they wrote.
There is no age too early to introduce your child to music, and many mothers use music for child development while pregnant. Listening to music is one of the best ways to help a child’s mind grow without much effort on yours or their part, and as mentioned before, it helps them in countless ways to avoid becoming barbaric cavemen and women. Classical music is a favorite of many parents in the early stages of child development; the piano is specifically favored for many parents with fussy newborns. In the end, what is essential is that you listen and wait for when your child is ready to embark on the incredible journey that is learning to play an instrument.
For more information on pianos and other instruments, don’t hesitate to explore MusicianAuthority.com. We have an article on how hard it is to learn the piano, whether the piano helps with anxiety, and about the cost of pianos. We also have articles on a variety of other instruments. Thanks for reading; I hope to see you back soon!