The most common time for children to be ready for piano study is age 5 to 6, though some children are ready as early as age 3 or 4 if they have strong interest and full parental support. Others may not be ready until age 7 or 8. To ensure a successful experience, both children and their parents need to be ready for lessons.
Children ready for piano lessons need to:
- Know the difference between left and right hands
- Be able to count at least to 5.
- Be able to identify patterns and groupings (for example, groups of three black keys on the piano)
- Be able to focus and follow instructions for up to 30 minutes at a time (15-20 for youngest beginners)
- Either know or be starting to learn the alphabet (A to G)
Parents of children taking piano lessons need to:
- Own an appropriate instrument. Beginners can start out on an electronic keyboard, but they will soon need a true piano (good pianos available on Craig’s List for free or up to about $300).
- Support their child by providing a regular quiet time for practice and encouraging daily practice.
- Assist very young beginners by sitting in on lessons and supervising each practice session (about 10-15 minutes per day).
- Be prepared for the financial and time commitment of weekly lessons.