The advantages of learning music are numerous and varied. Benefits include assisting in the development of discipline; hand-eye coordination, intellect, and brain training, all while generating a skill that may provide delight to the performer as well as those who listen. With that in mind, it’s understandable that you’d want to enroll your child in piano lessons.
The question you may have is how old my child should be. “What is the optimum age to study music?” you might be asking yourself. While the answer to that question is largely determined by your child, there is no wrong moment for anyone to begin to play music.
Here are some tips to assist you in making this selection.
Some youngsters begin learning at the age of three and progress to a high level of proficiency. Children under the age of six have higher brain growth and stronger fine motor abilities than their classmates, according to studies. Some youngsters as young as ten or eleven years old can become great professional pianists. There is no one guideline that can determine whether a youngster is ready to begin classes. Anyone who is willing to study and put in the requisite hours of practice may achieve a high degree of competence and enjoyment.
What are the signs that your child is ready to study music?
Even if they are not taking official lessons, there are things you can do with a child of any age to help them develop as musicians. Taking a lesson at your local music school, or simply listening to a wide range of music and enabling them to participate with it with their own noises and motions, may help young children and even newborns learn about rhythm and sound and how it all fits together. Children under the age of five who show an interest in the piano should be given the freedom to explore and learn at their own pace. Because they are too energetic and curious to focus on one thing for more than three minutes, toddlers are unlikely to react well to an adult-imposed organized instruction.
A youngster in formal instruction at this age is unlikely to profit much simply because their brains are incapable of focusing for 30 minutes. Enrolling children in a music program such as Kindermusik, Music Together, Musikgarten, or any form of preschool music and movement program can help them develop a general interest in music that will ideally grow with them.
While every child’s optimum timing to begin piano lessons is different, most children are ready to begin between the ages of five and a half and eight. What is the best way to tell if your child is ready? Three items that can be regarded as prerequisites for formal instruction are listed below.
Their hand size
Your child’s hand must be large enough for five fingers to fit comfortably on five adjacent white keys. The fingertips of some five-year-olds are just too short to read the keys. As a result, before starting piano lessons, make sure your child’s hands are mature enough to use a keyboard.
Finger independence and coordination
Your youngster must be able to move each finger independently of the others due to the nature of playing the piano. To see if this is true, have your youngster raise their hand. Request that they wiggle only one finger, such as their left ring finger. If they can wiggle the finger you requested them to wiggle consistently, they have at least the beginnings of the needed autonomous finger coordination. You may also assist kids in developing and improving this skill at home. Play a basic copycat game in which you hold out your hands and wiggle a finger for them to copy. Just remember to make it lighthearted and enjoyable.
A passion for music and a drive to study it
The most critical criterion is that your youngster has an interest in learning to play the piano. If your child is motivated to study, it will aid them in overcoming whatever obstacles they may face. If your incentive is based on your desire for them to learn, it will eventually backfire, and you will find yourself in a power struggle. If your child shows interest at first but then becomes adamant about not studying, it’s fine to take a break for a few months to see if the enthusiasm returns. You don’t want to push them so hard that they lose interest in playing. Taking a little hiatus may be all that is required to re-instill their passion for music and drive to study without causing a major quarrel.
Is it necessary to be able to read?
Deciphering notes on a piece of music may be a frightening and challenging chore for younger children who are not yet able to read. This does not suggest that they are not ready for formal music instruction; rather, it indicates that a new approach is required. Rather than taking them to lessons where the teacher utilizes a book-based technique and emphasizes sight reading from the start, look for a teacher or music school that teaches classes based on the ear. You won’t have to wait till a youngster is more skilled at reading before you can start teaching them. Reading and writing music are introduced later in an ear-based learning technique when the youngster is more ready for it.
Is there ever a time when it’s too late to start?
To which I must respond emphatically NO! While our brains lose some of their flexibility and the ability to learn quickly as we get older, our endurance and willpower tend to rise. Learning the piano later in life may take more patience, simply because most teenagers and adults are used to being brilliant at everything, and being uncomfortable at the piano may be challenging. It’s important to remember to keep going. Learning and playing the piano has several advantages.
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