There’s nothing more heartwarming than hearing your tot plinking around at the piano. But sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether your child is just curious or if it’s time to start investing in piano lessons!

What is the right age to start piano lessons? If you’re in doubt, look no further! We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about piano lesson age right here.

Each Child is Different

The first thing to know about piano lesson age is that every child is different. Some children are able to start at age four or younger, while others need to wait until age seven or eight. Some have started as late as their teen years and found great success in piano.

The right age for one child might be completely wrong for another. That said, there are some specific criteria that can help you better understand whether your child is ready for piano lessons.

Attention Span

It’s no secret that piano lessons require some discipline. Finding the motivation to practice and pay attention in lessons each week can be a challenge for a child. So, it’s important to consider your child’s attention span and focus abilities when considering piano lessons.

For example, a three or four year old may be very curious about the piano at first.  Yet in a private lesson they will need to focus on different activities for 3-5 minute time spans throughout the 30 minute session.  The best piano teachers for young children are trained to engage the young student with many different activities both at and away from the piano to keep them engaged and learning during their lessons.  The young student should have fun and may not even realize how much they are learning through these carefully crated playful musical activities.  Some piano teachers can even start as early as 26 months!

A young child will need help from you when practicing piano.  This can be a special time of bonding with your child as they explore making music.  Yet if you or another caregiver does not have time to share music with your child it might be a good idea to hold off on lessons until they are closer to age 7.

Any age is ideal to have fun with music at the piano by playing and experimenting with musical sounds.  Let your young one have unstructured play time at the instrument and encourage them!  This will develop their musical ear, coordination and ability to focus.  That way, they’ll be super excited when they are ready for lessons!

A Desire to Learn

Speaking of being ready for lessons, one of the most crucial prerequisites for piano lessons is a desire to learn. If your child has no interest in playing the piano, it’s very possible that piano lessons will do more harm than good.

Put yourself in a child’s shoes: if you don’t want to learn piano, you won’t want to practice. Then, each week, your teacher will be disappointed that you didn’t practice. Before long, your parent is forcing you to practice when you don’t want to and you’ll grow to resent the instrument!

This isn’t the relationship you want your child to have with music. If they’re not interested in piano, there are many other activities out there that can help enrich their lives.

And there are many other musical instruments that they may be excited to learn.  The key is to follow and encourage your child’s interest.  You are planting a seed for future growth that needs nurturing and support at this tender age.

Reading Capabilities

In addition to these traits, it’s worth considering basic reading skills. Most students will be able to progress in piano study as long as they know the alphabet and numbers 1-5.  There are some teaching approaches, such as the Suzuki method, that emphasize a ‘ by ear first’ approach to learning.  Students in this method can start as early as age 3 as musical reading is brought in well after the student’s musical ear is developed.  So while reading isn’t mandatory when starting lessons, some rudimentary reading skills can be extremely helpful when they’re learning especially in more traditional approaches to piano lessons.

After age 6 many piano teachers use method books that have little snippets of stories for the child to read while they learn. If they can’t read, they may have more trouble engaging with the method book.

That said, consider that one of the many benefits of piano lessons is that they can help boost your child’s reading skills. Their teacher can even work with them to sound out the words.

Piano Lesson Age: More Than Just a Number

As you can see, piano lesson age is completely different for each child. Rather than looking for a number, take the time to see if your child has developed the traits he or she needs to enjoy piano lessons.

And, most importantly, remember that it’s never too late to start lessons (even as an adult!) Check out our website to get started today!