Are you considering piano lessons for your kids? If yes, expect to see many significant changes in your children as they move ahead on their musical journey!
Research shows that children involved in musical activities do well at school and other extracurricular activities. They become more social, disciplined, and confident. There are, indeed, several great benefits to learning the piano; but you must know the ropes to get your child started with their piano lessons.
While choosing the best keyboard for kids is the first important step, this article will serve as the perfect guide for kids beginning to learn piano. So, let’s get started!
When to Start Piano Lessons for Toddlers
The right age to start piano lessons varies with each child. There is no perfect age when it comes to teaching children how to play the piano. Kids as young as four years can show an interest in the piano; and instead of waiting for “the right time,” it is advised to allow them to explore and learn on their own. Of course, they won’t respond to the learning procedure in the same way that adults do, and you mustn’t expect them to, either. Instead, you must encourage them to play the piano in their own unique way.
The best time to get your children enrolled in music lessons is between the ages of five to eight years old. If you put your children in music lessons before this age, it will be futile. Kids below the age of five tend to have short attention spans, so the lessons may not be as effective as you may hope.
What are the Benefits of Teaching a Toddler to Play the Piano?
As hinted above, teaching piano to a toddler has numerous advantages. Being a wonderful instrument, pianos can offer a soothing experience to your kids. If your kids are going through some sort of emotional turmoil, pianos can serve as an amazing outlet.
Playing the piano requires a high level of concentration as children are supposed to stay focused to interpret a note and translate it through their hands/fingers. This kind of practice improves the creative and critical thinking of kids. These skills can also come in handy in the latter part of a child’s development phase.
Research shows that children who have learned to play piano find picking up other instruments easy in comparison. The reason for this is that to be able to play the piano well, a child needs to understand what notes are, how they blend with each other, what notes make up specific chords, and how to use their hands separately to play the notes and chords of a piece of music.
As a comparison, learning the guitar is not as complicated. One only needs to learn the chords, different strumming patterns, and how to switch between chords to play the guitar in the most basic way.
The most apparent benefit of learning how to play the piano is an improvement in the personality of your children. They grow up to be more polite, refined, and sophisticated. This gives kids an overall great persona and temperament. Since learning the piano is not easy, others will see young pianists as smart and confident children.
Playing the piano demands good hand-eye coordination. Daily piano practice helps children develop improved coordination among different body parts (especially between the eyes and the hands) – a skill in its own right.
When learning to play the piano, kids are instilled with the ability to face their problems heads on. They develop patience and problem-solving skills – two traits that help them tackle further challenges in life with ease and confidence.
How to Get a Toddler Interested in the Piano?
The first step to getting your kids interested in the piano is having a piano in your home. Having access to the piano will give your toddler a chance to play or practice it on a daily basis. Your children may fumble, but you must support them even when they make mistakes.
Praise them when they do a good job as this will keep them motivated to play more. You can also give your kids a treat like a chocolate bar or ice cream after every lesson to keep them committed to this exciting journey.
A creative way to get your children to start liking the piano is by making them listen to piano music. Buy CDs by professional artists that will motivate your child to develop this skill. Being a parent, you should also listen to piano music, as what you do will inspire your children to do the same.
If your kids don’t listen to you, you can consider getting a teacher that is skilled in working with young children. Make sure that the teacher you hire is warm and friendly. They must not expect your kid to patiently sit through the entire piano lesson. This mentality might harm any interest that your toddler may have in playing the piano. The piano lessons for your younger one should be as simple as piano games, physical activities, and teaching keyboard timing.
How Long Should Piano Lessons Be?
The daily piano sessions depend on the kid’s age. Generally, three to four-year-olds should practice the piano for at least 10 minutes daily. Children of ages 5 or 6 should extend their sessions to 15 minutes. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your toddler’s hands must be on the keys six days a week.
If the child is tired of the regular piano curriculum, jazz it up to keep your child’s interest intact. It is also important to give your kid a break so that they come back with renewed interest and enthusiasm.
Tips for Teaching Piano to a Toddler
Research shows that music lessons in early childhood pave the way for brain growth and development. It also gives a head start to creativity and self-expression. To ensure that your child successfully takes piano lessons and grows and advances as a pianist, follow a set of teaching tactics like the ones mentioned below.
- Take Piano Lessons with Your Child
Practice what you preach. Your children will engage in piano lessons more so if you practice along with them. Play duets or nursery rhymes with your kids so that piano lessons don’t seem a chore to them.
Children may feel hesitant to play the piano out of fear of making mistakes. Play duets with them and show them that making errors is a normal aspect of learning the piano.
- Choose Practice Time Carefully
Toddlers tend to be moody, and making them take lessons during the time they are hungry or cranky may hinder them from learning this new skill. Playing piano requires immense focus, and if your kids are not in the best mood, then encouraging them to practice will not work in your favor. In scenarios like these, it is better to try schedule piano practice at some other time of the day.
- Make it Fun and Exciting
Playing the piano can be arduous for children as it can easily become repetitive. In times like these, it is crucial to make the piano lessons interesting. Try playing games like “Higher or lower?” or “same or different?” on the piano.
You can also ask your children to create their own melody and play it on the piano to the best of their ability. This will give them a chance to be creative. And they will also enjoy their lessons more than ever before.
- Respond to Your Child’s Cue
Never force your kids to play the piano as this might serve to dampen their love and enthusiasm for it. Regardless of age, your motive should be to boost your kid’s morale. This can be done by asking them to play their favorite nursery rhymes or other songs. Once they start liking the idea of practicing, you can push the boundaries a little more into unknown territory.
- Listen to Music in Your Car and Home
Surround your kids with music so that they develop an ear for music. Make sure that you play the songs that your kids love. If you think that a certain genre of music will help your child grow as a pianist, introduce it to them early on.
Tutorial Videos for Teaching Piano to Kids
Free Online Piano Lessons with Videos
The Piano Podcast with Mario Ajero
Tutorial how to use Piano Games Books by Natasha Mikhaylova
As you can see, parents play a crucial role when it comes to teaching piano to toddlers. However, as the kids grow, they may need a reliable and qualified piano teacher. And as far as kids are concerned, they may need a teacher that keeps them engaged and interested in their lessons. Most young children have a low attention span, and they may lose interest in the blink of an eye. In this regard, finding a piano teacher that has prior working experience with smaller kids is important.