Tips for beginner piano lessons
These tips will help you choose the best time and instruction method for your child.
The right time
There isn’t one right time to begin piano lessons. However, signs that your child may be ready to learn to play include:
- The child knows basic numbers (one to five for the clefs on a music sheet) and the letters A – G (notes).
- The child must be able to sit still and concentrate for at least 15 minutes.
- The child can manipulate his or her fingers in a systematic way.
- The child has an interest in learning to play the piano.
Some children are ready at age three. Others are not ready until much later. Keep in mind that the younger the child, the more parents will need to be involved in monitoring lessons and practice sessions. If you’re not sure that your child is ready to begin piano lessons, consult a music teacher for advice.
The right place
Parents should consider home-based lessons for younger children. A preschool age child is likely to feel much more relaxed and comfortable at home.
Lessons at the teacher’s home or studio may be a good option for school-aged children who are accustomed to learning outside the home. Keep in mind that lessons at a teacher’s home will be more time-consuming for parents, as the child will need to be ferried to and from the lesson.
The right piano
An acoustic piano (one with a soundboard and metal strings) is best. Remember that even if your child takes lessons at the teacher’s home, you’ll need a practice piano at home. Acoustic pianos can be expensive. Consider buying a second-hand piano, or ask if a local music store offers rentals. A rental will allow you and your child to test the waters without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a piano.
The right teacher
Ask friends and your child’s teacher at school for piano teacher recommendations. Choose a teacher whose personality is a match for your child’s and who has had experience teaching children. Do a meet-and-greet before you commit to a teacher.