In another article, I have penned down my thoughts and reasons on why is now the best time for you to learn the piano. But does that apply to your children as well? Or rather, to what extent is it true when it comes to children?
Well, let’s touch on 3 main factors that will let you gain a better understanding and therefore make an informed decision.
1. Kids have grown but not big enough.
Proper classical pianos come in rather standard sizes and makers don’t customize them to cater to different people. Although the specific measurements of various components can vary slightly, you won’t see a proper piano that is scaled down to suit a 3 year old kid.
This basically means that the person playing must match the size of the piano.
The most important physical factor that you should seriously think about is whether your children’s hands are big enough to rest 5 fingers on 5 consecutive white keys. It’s the most fundamental requirement because to learn the piano, you must be able to use it in the first place.
In Singapore, the average age of children to satisfy this requirement is generally 6 to 7 years old.
2. Can they read?
If you hand them a book and they throw it around instead, no they can’t.
Unless they are being taught using an ear-based method (without books), they need to interact with the content in a book. A safe age for this would be around 4 to 5 years old when they enter kindergarten.
To be extra safe, you can let them start at 7 years old, when they are enrolled into primary school. At that age, they should already be very comfortable with words.
3. Conscious control of muscles.
Playing piano requires all 10 fingers to be independent of each other. They need that. Music is only made when selected fingers press on selected notes at selected times.
Also, the kids need to have spatial awareness whereby they can differentiate left from right. This is not so much about whether they know which their left or right hand is, but to be able to consciously control which side they want to move.
These motor skills are usually developed after the age of 6.
As we can see, the ideal age for children to learn piano would be 6 to 7 years old. Of course, that is when you want to spend your money efficiently because that is when the kids are fundamentally ready.
That’s the verdict that won’t go wrong.
But don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that’s the only way to go because there won’t ever be a most right decision. Ultimately, every child is different. Each of them develop at different rates and have different learning abilities.
For slightly over-zealous parents out there who want to possibly groom and nurture little Mozarts, it’s always good to expose them to music appreciation lessons at the age of 2. They can start with simple singing and clapping to musical rhythms.
Children learn best when they are young. Although they might be playing with a toy keyboard without knowing what it actually is, they are learning.
Every play-time is learn-time for kids.
Have you decided to get a piano teacher? Let us find a suitable piano teacher for you.