The proper age to begin piano lessons can vary greatly from child to child. The child’s interest, hand eye coordination, and attention span must be taken into account. Many teachers require the child to recognize the numbers one through five and the letters A through G before beginning, in order to make reading music easier. They also want them to be able to practice playing the piano for at least five minutes at a tine.
The youngest age generally given for children to start piano lessons is age four, maybe three years old. When a preschooler takes formal lessons, they usually are held two or three times a week for just ten to fifteen minutes at a time and parents must be actively involved. Piano lessons are intended to be enjoyable, and most three year olds find it nearly impossible to pay attention for more than fifteen minutes.
When selecting a teacher for children’s piano lessons, it is very important to find a teacher who works well with the individual child. Some teachers are wonderful with young children, while others only deal well with teens and pre-teens. A piano teacher may be the best in the area with three to seven year olds, but a thirteen year old student may rebel against his or her techniques for young children.
Children’s piano lessons can be very active. While all students must spend some time counting rhythms and playing scales, activities such as clapping the rhythm, marching in time, singing the tune, and even dancing can all help the child understand music better. This type of kinesthetic learning is particularly helpful for the youngest students.
Some Piano Lessons for 4 Year Olds
There are some great piano courses out there that are specifically designed for 4 year olds. Here, is our round up of some of the best of them.
Piano Wizard Academy
One of the most popular and talked about programs to come along in the past few years for children is Piano Wizard Academy. This is a computer game that will teach your children how to play the piano. The software lets the user play actual songs and through game play and the musical logic, theory and notation are subconsciously learned. The notes on the computer screen are color-coded and disguised as dinosaur eggs or rocket ships, etc. traveling towards their destination, the colored piano key. The child then knows which key to hit on the keyboard or piano. How fun does that sound? At advanced levels the software flips the line that the notes travel on so they are horizontal, the way music is read. This program is a must for children who excel at video games.
Piano Bears Musical Storybooks
Does your child like to read story books? Does your child like stories about cute, cuddly teddy bears? Then Piano Bears Musical Storybooks is the only choice for your child. The illustrated story books are available as books, CD ROM, and kid’s piano DVD. There are story book activities available on CD which includes beginning piano lessons taught by a lovable teddy bear, games, and other activities. The lovable teddy bear teacher also has gifts available for your child like stickers and buttons. This will be a wonderful program for piano teachers who teach single students in their homes or multiple students at a time in a classroom setting as there are lots of valuable resources available and discounts for ordering in bulk!
Online piano lessons for toddlers and children
There are also courses out there that are designed specifically for toddlers. Our guess is that one day someone will one day put together a “teach your dog the piano” course. No seriously, stop laughing, it’s coming. There are already videos of dogs playing the piano on YouTube, so it is only a matter of time. Oddly, some of them are quite talented players, all be it with limited repertoires.
Age specific piano courses are often a good idea. They take account of how each age group learns, and what interests them. If you have children choosing an online course that is tailored specifically to their needs makes a lot of sense. The content will be designed to keep them engaged as well as ensure that they learn at the right pace.
However, it is important to choose a course that is kept up to date. You want your child to learn to play the tunes from the latest movies. They will be bored to tears if they have to learn to play the piano using songs from your childhood, instead of theirs.
The Bastien Piano Basics
This course is especially good for very young players. It takes them through five levels of learning. The content is a little dated, but it is still an effective way to learn, which is why so many online piano teachers incorporate this material into their classes.
The different methods used by online piano teachers to teach kids
The other way to choose which online piano course you buy is to look at the methods they use. There are several ways to learn to play the piano, many of which can significantly speed up the learning process.