Every person is different. Some 5 year-olds are ready to start private lessons, but others of us needed to wait until age 50. There is no wrong age to start piano lessons.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re wondering if your child is at a good age to start piano lessons:
1. Homework and the Ability to Work Independently:
Piano lessons are fun and exciting. Practicing at home (like homework in school!) is a little less exciting. It can feel a little like running laps in soccer practice as opposed to playing in a real game. Most children need a little encouragement when it comes to practicing. Some just need a nudge toward the piano; others function better with closer supervision (especially at the start).
You probably know where your child falls on that spectrum. If your child would benefit with more hands-on help, consider if you’re ready and able to offer the right type of support to your child.
2. Expressed Interest
If your child is expressing interest in playing the piano, it’s probably a good time to start! It’s that simple. Your child may be able to articulate his or her interest or you may just notice that they spend a lot of time making music at the piano. Both of these are good signs that they might benefit from lessons. It is better to start private lessons when the interest is there than at some generalized “good age”. Pushing the idea too early might have the opposite result you’re looking for.
3. Reading Level
The notes on the piano are based on the English alphabet, A-B-C-D-E-F-G. At a minimum, your child should be able to identify these letters. Being able to write them is even better. And, if your child can read, it will be even easier on you. I find that reading level influences your child’s ability to practice independently (see point 1!).
4. Extra Curricular Activities
Piano lessons fall into the category of extra-curricular activities. If the other factors on this list seem to be in place, starting earlier is better than later.
When piano lessons and practicing are an established and enjoyable part of your child’s routine, it will be more natural to keep them in place when other opportunities arise.
There is no wrong age to start piano lessons. But, careful consideration of the factors above can help set your child up for success. If you play the piano, when did you start taking lessons? Share your own thoughts on a good age to start piano lessons in the comments below!