Piano for Pre-School Children
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about piano lessons for preschool children. I have taught children as young as four years old. I love teaching any age and certainly preschool children are a wonderful age, but it’s important to think about what it is that the child will get from lessons at that age. In most cases, preschool children are going to be able to enjoy activities at the piano, they’re going to be able to enjoy a relationship with the teacher, and enjoy learning about the piano and music. The way that we do that is through story and song, and imitative activities where the teacher does something and then the child tries to do it as well.
For preschoolers, their neuromuscular development and cognitive development are not going to allow for a lot with respect to reading music. Certainly understanding concepts is possible, but the limited reading ability, and also the limited neuromuscular control is not going to allow the coordination for really technically learning the piano very well. The child’s hands are very small, the amount of control and the way that they use their hands is something that you have to work with carefully.
Children are great at that age, they love music and particularly if they are the younger siblings of an older student, they often want to take piano. I encourage parents if they have the wherewithal to have a young child taking piano lessons, to go ahead and do that. For a young child, the piano lesson length would not be more than 15 or 20 minutes. Because of the attention span and their ability to actually work with the material, they don’t need a half-hour lesson at that age. You certainly want them to be able to enjoy the lesson, to have a good time, and to anticipate coming and learning about music and doing stories and songs with music at the piano. So I would say if you have a preschooler, consider piano lessons. It’s great for them to be exposed to lessons at an early age, and build a positive, active relationship with music.