What is the Suitable Age to Learn Piano

I started learning the piano since 8-years-old. Is it too late? Ethan Bortnick (the piano prodigy) can play pretty well at only age 6! Sorry that I don’t mean that I might be a genius. I know that I am not in this case. As a parent, what is the suitable age to send your kids to piano lessons? This is a question very frequently asked but yet to get a conclusive answer.

Some piano teachers don’t even want to teach children less than 5 year old. I used to teach a student who is only 4 years old at that time. He is not a bright student and I really feel that it is a waste of money and time. Practically, he learns nothing from me because he can’t even perform some simple tasks like counting beats. If his parents wait another few more years, he will be able to absorb some music teaching once he is able to count and communicate well. Probably I am the one to be blamed because I am really not a patient teacher after all.

In order to have your money well spent for your children’s piano lessons, here are some guideline to help you determine:

1. Is your child interested in music? Does he/she dance? If she has no interest in music, you shouldn’t send her to a music lessons at the first place. You are just wasting your money and her time. It is better spent on the area of her passion.

2. Can your child count? I mean the basic mathematics of counting 1,2,3… Music is a regular form of counting, that consists of tempo, rhythm, melody and harmony. If she can’t feel the basic “counting” rhythm, it is very hard for her to learn anything in a piano lesson.

Every kid is different. Some are more mature and brighter. So, there shouldn’t be a limit of age. And there shall be no such “suitable age” to start taking up piano lessons. It very much depends on the child’s talent and ability.

Reference:
Music Teacher’s Helper: Blog: How Young is Too Young?

5 Comments

  • lionel

    Reply Reply December 23, 2008

    well said. Nicely put.
    Totally agree ^_^

  • CLF

    Reply Reply December 23, 2008

    Finally another update on this blog….
    I think suitable age is around 6-8, but ultimately if the child doesn’t like it, do not force him/her to do it. Same goes for other lessons like swimming, drawing etc. Just let the kid to discover their hidden talent.

    • KCLau

      Reply Reply January 3, 2009

      @CLF,

      When my mom sent me to piano class at age 8, that’s the first time I saw the piano.
      I was thinking of quiting half way, about age 12 I think.
      But luckily my moms didn’t allow it to happen.
      I guess I am lucky that I found the interest at later age.

  • music teacher

    Reply Reply January 3, 2009

    Indeed, what you have mentioned are also my criteria before accepting new piano students. As a music teacher, I do not want to waste both our time and efforts in learning how to play the piano. It does not really depend on an individual’s age so parents must first check on their child’s talent and abilities before contacting a music teacher.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • KCLau

    Reply Reply January 4, 2009

    @Music Teacher

    Some parents just think that they should give their children a trial.
    How do you handle this situation? Do you first “audition” the kid before you sign them up?

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