How do I know when they are ready?
Typically a good age for children to start learning the piano is between 6-8 years old, but there’s nothing stopping children as young as 4 from having piano lessons with a piano tutor. Their age should dictate the structure of their piano lessons, rather than determine if they are ready or not.
If you're not sure about whether your child is ready or not, you can take our readiness quiz!
Can they sit and focus for longer than 10-20 minutes?
Can they read the alphabet?
Can they count to 10?
How good are their fine motor skills - can they write?
Have they shown a natural enjoyment for music?
Something to think about when considering private piano lessons for toddlers is their attention span - are they able to sit and engage with a task? Of course, they might need a bit of encouragement to stay focussed (we all do sometimes!), but by slowly lengthening the lessons, piano classes can actually be a great way to help your child increase their attention span.
If the answer is ‘no’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t start some really basic lessons. Being able to read the alphabet is essential for being able to read music, but if you want your child to get used to the hand movements and sounds and learn some simple pieces from memory, then it’s not a complete blocker on getting piano lessons! A good piano tutor will make this work for any age.
If you’d really rather they learned to read music from the outset, then it’s probably worth waiting until they have a full grasp of the alphabet!
Ideally, your child should be able to count to 10 to help them count the note values. Some piano tutors are happy (if your child is young) with an ability to count to 4, as children's beginner pieces general focus on up to 4 counts.
Can they do up their own buttons? Can they grip small items without dropping them? Can they colour things in neatly?
Playing the piano requires good finger strength and dexterity, and coordination is fundamental too, especially when it comes to playing with two hands later down the line. Of course, if you just want your child to get used to the piano, then fine motor ability matters less, and it’s not something that should put you off.
Fine motor skills develop with age and practice, and there is research to suggest that learning how to play the piano improves your fine motor skills.
Does your child like to sing along to nursery rhymes? Do they sing to themselves when they’re lying in bed?
For many, music is one of the greatest joys in life, and - by engaging with it early on - children develop an innate understanding and appreciation that goes beyond singing along to rhymes. So if your child is showing early signs of musical ability, make the most of it and they will thank you later in life!
Many of our piano tutors will teach young children and are experienced at making lessons fun and effective. They’ll set them up for future piano success and build an early rapport so that they’re there for the years ahead.
When you reach out to a piano tutor, it’s worth mentioning your child’s age straight away. This will let you establish whether or not the tutor teaches children of that age and ensure they prepare an appropriate piano lesson.
So are you ready to invest in ultimately life-changing piano lessons for your children?