Yesterday, we talked about adults who want to take piano lessons. What about the opposite end of the spectrum? How young of a child can begin piano lessons?
The independent piano teacher usually sets their own policy for the age limit for beginning piano students. When I started lessons with Elizabeth Cothern in Mississippi, I had to be in second grade. Many teachers still hold to the rule that students need to be able to read and be semi-independent. This is a great guideline for families where the parents of unable to assist in practice from an application stand point.
However, if the parents or grandparents are willing to sit and help a student then really it is up to the teacher as to how young is too young. There does need to be some maturity there. I have had 4 year olds that have no problems sitting through a lesson and were quite dedicated in their practice. With other 4 year olds, it was obvious immediately that the child was not ready to begin lessons.
Here is my list that I follow at Brunner Studios when evaluating a potential new student that is quite young.
1. At least 4 years old.
2. Recognizes the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-9.
3. Rudimentary understanding of left and right
4. Can the student focus and behave for a 30 minute lesson?
5. Will the student have assistance at home with practice?
6. Is the student interested in playing the piano?
7. Does the family have access to a piano on a daily basis?
Every child is different. If you are interested in piano lessons, contact a teacher and set up a trial lesson. Summer is a great time to give piano lessons a try.