“When is the best age to start piano?”
I get this question a LOT from parents and prospective customers. Then my answer is usually “it depends”.
Obviously, you don’t want to start your 1 year old on piano. However, here are some prerequisites that my studio has:
* Child can read numbers 1 to 10
* Child can read alphabets A to Z
* Child can sit still for at least 15-20 minutes
* Child’s fingers can bend and handle the weight to push the keyboard all the way down
If a potential client can meet these criteria above, I will take him/her.
Think about it. No matter how musically genius a child is, if he/she cannot physically handle piano keyboard, it will defeat the purpose of teaching it. Seriously, piano playing is much more physical activity than you may think.
For kids who cannot meet these criteria above, I recommend doing a lot of musical activities first.
*Listening to a variety of music at home (classical, jazz, pop, wrap, you name it)
*Go to live concert
*Dance with famous tunes on video / TV / movies, etc.
*Clap rhythm with famous tunes as well
*Sing! Singing doesn’t require finger muscle! It’ll be fun activity!
Ideal age to start piano would be somewhere between 5 to 8 years old. I myself started when I was 5 years old.
Occasionally, I have students who start a bit later, say 9 years old. They are actually not too old! Since physically equipped, established mature thinking, already had experience in social activities, these kids usually surpass younger one with a good care and attention. So, please don’t discourage if your kids want to learn piano at 9, 10, 11, even older! Let them try it out and see if it is a good fit!
Let me share my story how I started piano. As a little girl growing up in Japan, I was extremely shy and not socially active. My kindergarten teacher told my mother that I should be doing some activities aside from school. One day, my mother asked me (actually I don’t remember this) that “Would you like to start ballet lesson or piano lesson? Either way, it will be fun for you.” Well, If I said “ballet” at that time, I wouldn’t be teaching piano now!
Takeaway is that you’ll never know how / when / why you’ll meet piano. Hope you will have (or did already) a wonderful encounter with piano and have fun with it the rest of your life!