When should my child start learning the piano?
As some of you know I have been teaching the piano for the last 9 years. Over the years many parents have asked "when should my child start piano lessons?". Generally I advise them that children should start having piano lessons from the age of 6 or 7 years old. Children can start from as young as 4 years old however it totally depends on the child, how dexterous they are, how much strength they have in their hands etc. Children that do start from as young as 4 years old are normally big for their age, advanced for their years, especially with a very good basic knowledge of maths which is key.
I started piano lessons at the age of 7 years old. There is no rush. If they are musical they will progress quickly. If you do start too early there is a risk that your child will get disinterested because they will soon start learning to play hands together which can prove frustrating for them which means they can loose their confidence.
If you wait until they are at least 6 years old they are much more likely to enjoy their lessons, progress quickly and their confidence and enjoyment will soar.
Learning the piano or any instrument should be fun. If it isn't fun, they won't learn or progress.
When your child does start having lessons they will need to have a piano or electric keyboard at home. Practicing is vital for progress, even if it's starting with 5 minutes a day.
With regards to buying/hiring a piano, of course nothing beats a real piano however if you don't have enough room for a piano you could always think about an electric keyboard.
Of course electric keyboards are not as attractive as pianos and certainly there's nothing like playing a real piano however if you are pushed for space electric keyboard obviously take up a little less room. My only advice is that if you decide to get an electric keyboard it is really really important that you get a good one - i.e. that the 'touch' is similar to a piano's 'touch'. Basically the 'touch' is the feeling/resistance you get from the keys which allow you to play softly, loudly, to crescendo, to play staccato or legato notes. If the keyboard doesn't have this, your child won't be able to progress very far, not even to Grade one. Playing the piano is a wonderful way to express yourself so if your child can't do this they won't be inspired to practice and are likely to loose interest and give up.
Playing the piano is a joy and a gift that I hope your children will be inspired to have and hopefully take with them into adulthood.