Is my child too young for piano lessons?

Many people contact us asking - Is my child too young for piano lessons? Research has shown that children of a very young age recognise and respond to music. When pre speech children listen to music they have been observed to smile when moving in time to it and when the children went out of time they stopped smiling. This shows an intriguing understanding and enjoyment of rhythm and timing.

Even from pre birth we are aware of our mother's heart beat and footsteps. People generally find 3/4 rhythms (like a waltz) more difficult to pick up because of this. People tend to put in a phantom fourth beat to represent the other foot so to speak.

Teaching a very young child is about keeping it fun and accessible at their level. There is no point in trying to get a 1 year old to read music straight away. You need to break up the  core elements of music and teach them separately.

These core elements are-

Rhythm, pitch and emotional expression

Every child develops at a different speed but in a very young child there are certain skills needed for music making that are yet to develop. We would develop these using fun activities and games, which would encourage a fast uptake of music. The lesson would be split up into maybe 6 different activities all aiming to work on these elements. The majority of it would be non-instrumental.

The activities would enhance areas such as-

  • Pattern recognition

  • Note recognition (on the piano)

  • Pitch awareness

  • Rhythm awareness

  • Musical expression

Kevin Matthews

www.pianolessonsuk.co.uk