Is My Young Child Ready for Private Piano Lessons?
For success in private piano lessons, a child must demonstrate mental, physical, and emotional readiness. The majority of children are ready for private piano lessons once they are in elementary school (age 6-8) however many preschoolers (age 4-5) may also demonstrate readiness.
There are numerous benefits in starting your preschooler in private piano lessons. Students who start early often play with greater physical ease and develop more secure rhythmic, listening and reading skills than those who start lessons later. In addition younger students develop a habit of regular practice and are more likely to make music and practice a part of their everyday life as they get older.
Here are the criteria you can use to assess your young child’s readiness for private lessons:
· Can the child say the music alphabet (A through G)?
· Can the child count to 10?
· Can the child sit still and concentrate for at least 10 minutes at a time?
· Does the child know left hand from right hand?
· Can the child follow directions?
· When the child sits on the bench, are his forearms fairly parallel to the floor?
· Does the child's hand measure at least two inches across the width of the large knuckles?
· Can the child use scissors? Hold a pencil? Wiggle each finger independently?
· Does the child color fairly well "within the lines"?
· Can the child draw numbers and letters?
· Has the child asked for lessons?
· Does the child react favourably when you suggested lessons?
· Does the child respond to music by dancing or moving to it?
· If you already have a piano, does the child show a curiosity toward the instrument?
In addition to a child demonstrating mental, physical and emotional readiness, parental readiness is crucial to success for the young child. Full parental support and commitment is imperative for the child to make steady progress and have a successful and positive experience with piano lessons.
· Are you willing to regularly attend and observe your child’s weekly lesson?
· Are you ready to sit with your child for 20-30 minutes daily to help your child practice?
· Are you willing to drill music reading flashcards daily with your child?
· Are you ready to purchase or rent a piano?
· Are you ready to commit to the expense of long term regular weekly lessons?
Learning how to practice effectively is the key to learning to play the piano. By regularly attending and observing lessons and communicating with the teacher, parents (even those who know nothing about music) can help their child practice at home and develop good practice habits. Parental support is an essential ingredient to ensure success and rapid progress in a child’s music education.