For parents that want to start their child’s musical journey early, the question is always “When?” Now, every child is different, so there is no universal answer. A child can be ready for private music lessons as young as three and a half, or as old as eight. The best judge, of course, is the parent, but if you are unsure, here are five ways to tell if your child is ready for piano lessons
1. They know their right hand from their left
2. They can count to 10 forwards and backwards
This is important because we begin with assigning each finger a different number, so they should have an understanding of numbers. For example, when asked to hold up two fingers they hold up the correct amount of digits. They will need to be able to answer questions such as “What comes after 4?” or “What comes before 3?” It will also be beneficial if they know how to write their Arabic numerals (ex. 1, 2, 3) as well.
3. They know their alphabet
4. They can discern between a group two and a group of three
5. They understand “up” from “down”
If you are still unsure, you can always have a trial lesson with a teacher experienced with young children and then decide to wait another six months to start regular lessons. It is also helpful to have a piano in the house so they can begin to explore how the keys feel and the sounds they make before they start lessons, and hopefully to spark their interest! Children will take to private lessons better if they have experienced a classroom before, whether it be preschool, group lessons or kindergarten. If you want to immerse your child in music before private lessons, then group music classes for preschool-aged children serve as excellent introductions to music as well.