Giving your children the gift of music education will enrich their lives in many ways. By studying music he develops discipline, eye-hand coordination, mental development and have a skill that can be life-changing and bring happiness to both the pianist and to those who listen. According to research, 6-year olds who study music have more brain development and better motor skills than those of their peers. This will certainly improve your child academic performance from piano learning. As parents, we always want the best for our child and must be wondering when to start them.
First, I must state that there is no specific age that is suitable to start piano lessons for all children. Every child has a different level of growth. You must have seen in YouTube some three years old are playing the piano like a professional but these are exceptions. Kids that start at ten or eleven are also able to become professional pianists. The drawback of starting later in their teens is that they may not be able to take piano as their major. But anyway it benefits them. Anybody who has the interest to learn and willing to put in hours of practice can be proficient to play the piano to a high level of skill.
Is There A Minimum Age To Learn The Piano
Not every three-year-old who likes to bang the piano keys be signed up for lessons. The three-year-old that you see playing Mozart are exceptional kids. Children who are under five who show interest in music should be encouraged but not pushed to learn music.
They may not be ready to learn or respond positively to adult orientated music lessons. Although the child may be interested but their attention span may be only three minutes. In this case, much of the time during piano lessons is spent on getting the child’s attention. You may find this a waste of time and money to send them to music lessons too early.
Parents should instead cultivate a general interest in music by doing singing, dancing and listening to music whenever possible.
Here they will learn and be aware of musical concepts for example rhythm, pitch and have a good foundation to learn a musical instrument.
The Factors For Readiness
Every child will be ready for music lessons at different ages. Most will be ready between the age of five years to eight years of age. Not all children will be ready at five years old. The question is how can we tell if the child is ready to learn music? Here is a checklist for you:
The Size Of Hand
Since playing the piano involved all ten fingers and the keyboard, we have to check if the hand is big enough to handle the keys. We can see that the fingers are not too stretch when placed on the keyboard. He must feel comfortable when playing the keys without too much stretching.
Individual Finger Movements
Ask your child to hold up his hand and wiggle, then ask him to wriggle individual fingers. If he can wriggle individual fingers he is ready for his music lesson.
Desire and Interest To Learn Music
It’s best the child has a desire and interest to learn music. If it’s his desire that he can learn and take challenges. If you are the one motivating him then sooner or later he will not be motivated to learn music.
I usually encourage parents to send their children to start piano at six years of age. At this age, they have already started a year or two in kindergarten and are used to follow instruction and adult-directed learning. At this age, they pick up languages and new skills at amazing speed. Now their hands are also very flexible and agile to start their piano lessons.
At seven and eight years old they continue to have the prime mental capacity to learn complex music notes with ease. According to some researchers children ability to learn language and music starts to close. Musically speaking, they will find it not as easy to learn music when they are nine or ten years old.
Another valid reason for young children to start piano lessons is that they have more time on their hands to practice. Older kids and teens may be occupied with other activities. A child that starts in first grade will eventually able to put in six years of solid piano lessons and most likely able to carry on with it as life becomes busier.
Will It Be Too Late?
No, it will never be too late! For some, starting after eight years can actually be better as they have a better understanding of what is needed from them and also their maturity level. He will be more willing to put in the hours of practice as opposed to a younger child. By putting in more time and dedication he will quickly catch up.
As children grow older, you may say their hands and brains become less flexible but this is overcome by their endurance, maturity and their ability to focus. There are older children who can accomplish much in a shorter time even though they started late.
Learning To Play The Piano As an Adult
If you are already in your teens or adult and never had any formal music training in your life, it shouldn’t stop you from learning to play the piano. Most people learn to play the piano for enjoyment and not to become a professional pianist. It does not matter when you start, but the important thing is to start and enjoy playing an instrument. It brings all the mental, physical and emotional benefits if you learn to play an instrument. There are people who started to learn the piano at 60, at 70, at 80, and some even later than that. Your brain can never grow old and will function as good at any age. You can learn new skills if you put your mind to it.
For older starters, they have to be more patient and put a little more effort into it.
As an adult beginner, do not get frustrated and give up if you struggle at first. You have to stick to it and soon find yourself mastering it. Don’t give up once you have started. Be patient and learn one note at a time. Set aside twenty minutes a day and enjoy the process of learning a new skill. Slowly built up to thirty or forty minutes a day and then you can really see your progress.
Now after reading the article, what is the best age do you think it’s best to begin your piano lessons. For a child, it should be hand size, finger independence, and start as soon as possible. Take advantage of the growing mind to master a skill easily. Even if the prime time is passed, it’s also never too late as an older child has more desire and stamina to learn. Studying or learning music is food for the body, spirit, and mind. What are you waiting for? Enroll for MyPianoMalaysia’s home piano lessons today!