Compare that to my daughter who also loved to noodle at the piano but never asked for piano lessons. She was drawn to the clarinet and repeatedly check in with the clarinet professor as to whether her hands were large enough for her to play. Once they were, she started lessons.
Lessons are part of learning to play an instrument. While research shows benefits to music lessons, it is important to know when lessons are appropriate for a child. Here are 4 signs your preschooler or kindergartner may be ready.
Sign 1: They can focus on a book or task for 5 to 10 minutes.
Being able to focus on the lesson is important. Most preschool piano teachers will include a variety of songs and activities during the lesson, but there are periods when focus is needed.
Sign 2: They accept guidance and instruction.
Being open to learning is key. For example, they allow you to guide them when they assist with cooking or other household tasks. Being able to recognize most if not all letters and count to 10 or higher are signs your child is ready for instruction.
Sign 3: The child enjoys sitting and playing an acoustic piano or electronic keyboard on their own.
Being excited to sit and play is key. You may see your child explores the sounds they can make or pretending to play.
Have conversations about lessons. I was begging for them. My daughter wasn’t interested. The interest needs to be from the child. That said…
Sign 4: YOU are committed to setting aside time and energy.
Parental knowledge of music is not required. Rather, parents need to be available to listen to their child practice, to pay for the lessons, and to block-out lessons times on the schedule (i.e. – this is not the time to schedule doctor or dental appointments) for the lessons.
Children rarely practice on their own. They need reminders and encouragement to do so. Your support is needed.
For children ages 3-5, it is important for lessons to focus on developing music concepts (high and low, loud and soft), recognition of patterns, building confidence and developing finger independence. Programs including Wunderkeys are designed to do just that. If you live in the Hays area and have a preschooler showing signs piano lessons are appropriate, sign-up here to receive further information.