Piano lessons provide a number of benefits that people of any age range can enjoy. They work well as a means to relieve stress and as a means of self-expression, particularly for kids. They also are a child’s starting point in learning music reading and music theory which gives them a big head start for learning all other instruments. In fact, most professional musicians suggest starting music study with piano lessons.
Today we will look at how to prepare for your child’s first piano lesson. Take note of these steps as they will help you make the most of that first piano lesson. As Kenneth Thompson, CEO and Founder of MACSAinc states, “The first teacher is the most important teacher!” The first teacher builds the foundation for your child’s love of music and inspires them to achieve greater things in piano lessons and music in the years to come. Your child’s first piano lesson is step one of a lifelong journey.
Evaluate Your Child’s Goals in Learning Piano
Before taking your child to their first piano lesson, look at your goals as a parent and what may help motivate your child to get the most out of piano lessons.
There are many reasons to take piano lessons:
- Piano lessons are great for your child’s brain. Music works on all parts of the brain in a coordinated way. If they are analytical it will help them become in touch with their emotions. If they are more emotionally grounded it will help them develop self-discipline, learn to break goals down into smaller daily tasks and apply themselves towards reaching long term goals.
- Piano lessons are fun! Excellent piano teachers seek to find ways to motivate and inspire your child towards success no matter what their level.
- Piano lessons help your child understand and enjoy all music more. As they explore the world of music through the piano their minds, ears and hearts will find even more joy in listening to music of all styles and from all cultures.
- Piano lessons set the foundation for learning any other instrument! Most students find that piano lessons provide a thorough grounding in music reading that they can then use with any other musical instrument they wish to learn in the future. This greatly speeds up learning of multiple instruments.
Communicate Openly with Your Teacher
Your child’s piano teacher is an expert who wants the best piano lesson experience for you and your child. They have become a professional piano teacher because of their enthusiasm for helping adults and children reach their potential at the piano. Ask them as many questions as you need to understand how to create the best experience for you child with piano lessons. Your child’s piano teacher needs to know your expectations as well so be sure to express your expectations for piano lessons for your child.
Most piano lessons take place once per week. Students are expected to practice what their teacher has assigned them as consistently as possible between lessons for maximum progress. Young children often need help with practicing and guidance for when to practice. Your child’s piano teacher is trained to help with organizing in home practice sessions.
Most beginners start with 30-minute lessons per week. However, to maximize learning, younger children benefit greatly from two 30-minute sessions per week. Some children are ready for 45-minute sessions at around age 7. Intermediate and more advanced students typically take a 45-60 minute (or longer) piano lesson each week.
Online piano lessons are an excellent option that provide convenience as well as safety. Some students mix in-person with online lessons to get the best of both worlds. For others in-person piano lessons are their preferred option. All of these options should be discussed with your child’s piano teacher so that you can weigh the pros and cons in your case.
Excellent piano teachers know how to motivate your child towards success in their piano lessons. Be sure to discuss with your child’s piano teacher anything that is particularly exciting and motivating for your child. Likewise, if their interest decreases, be sure to tell your child’s piano teacher quickly so they can help build the excitement of their piano lessons.
Ask Your Child’s Piano Teacher About Music Books and Piano Options
You want to set your child up for success from the start. Your child’s piano teacher is a valuable resource for this. Your piano teacher will have piano books and musical materials they feel are best to help your child succeed in piano lessons. The best teachers customize their recommendations to suit the interests and needs of your child while still helping them to develop musical literacy. Because of this, expect your child’s piano teacher to suggest piano books and materials after you start communicating with them or after your trial lesson.
It is critical for your child to have a place to practice regularly in your home. If you have a grand piano in excellent condition already in your home – Congratulations! You are set!! If you are new to piano and need an instrument many piano retailers offer in home piano rental programs. These are VERY affordable and in many cases they will convert what you have spent on your rental (for 6-12 months) towards the purchase of a piano in the future. In this way you can have a piano in your home while reducing your financial risk.
Other options are digital pianos (which can cost the same as an acoustic piano) and electronic keyboards. Used pianos that are well maintained can be great bargains! Be sure to have a qualified piano tuner/technician evaluate the instrument if you buy used! This is a nominal cost, and the piano tuner/technician may know other used pianos for sale in your area.
Electronic keyboards have made great strides in the past few years and can be very reasonable. At a minimum for piano lessons, they must have 88 keys, have a weighted key action, and have a sustain pedal. You will also need a bench that can raise and lower to the proper height.
Wow! That’s a lot to consider! Again, your child’s piano teacher can guide you with all of these decisions even at the very beginning of your time with them. They want to help!
Go for a Trial Lesson
“The First Teacher is the Most Important Teacher” because that experience sets the foundation for all future music study. There needs to be a connection between your child and their piano teacher so that they feel motivated and excited as they move through the early levels. Do not wait until they show an interest before finding a great teacher for them! Now is the time to find a teacher who is an expert with beginners. They know how to engage with and motivate children to succeed in piano lessons.
You need to meet with your potential teacher online or in person before starting up regular lessons. A great teaching reputation is important, yet it is even more important that the teacher connect with your child specifically. If you do not think that your child and piano teacher are a good personality match it is best to keep looking until you find a good match.
Most teachers will schedule a first lesson/meeting for free while some will charge for this service. No matter what this is a critical first step that will set the stage for success.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions of your Piano Teacher
An environment of open communication between student, parent and teacher is critical for success. Your piano teacher is an expert, yet they need your help. If you, or your child, is confused or concerned about anything ask your piano teacher. A good piano teacher will make time to answer your questions and can even change their teaching style or approach if needed.
Your child should also be encouraged to ask questions. An open environment of questions and answers will foster a place where your child will grow and thrive in music.
Start Your First Piano Lesson Today!
Piano teachers are waiting to hear from you right now! You are only one or two steps away from starting this musical journey. The amazing world of music is just around the corner!
Get started and contact us right now and schedule your first lesson.