The best age to start learning the piano

July 28th, 2009 by Emily

Those of us who teach piano will often be asked by parents at what age their children should start taking lessons. I tend to think that age seven is about right - partly because younger children's hands are very tiny and a child could struggle to reach all the notes! However, it's undeniable that many of the world's great pianists started honing their craft at an even earlier age. Mozart was famously composing piano concertos at the age of six, for example, and a lot of the Young Musician of the Year crop tend to have been playing the piano since the ages of four or five.

Personally, I don't tend to recommend that a child under the age of six attempt to learn piano. Quite aside from the physical issue of the child's size, there is the maturity level to consider too. A four or five year old will only just be beginning to learn the alphabet, yet they will need to be able to translate letters into musical notes. Furthermore, they will have to learn to read all the notes together and to play the music at the correct rhythm and pace. Some small children are advanced enough to be able to cope with these demands, but others may not be ready until they are older. Are you a piano tutor? What is the age of the youngest child you have ever taught, and have you ever advised a parent to delay putting their child forward for piano lessons? Perhaps you have experience of the issue from the other side, and have taught a child prodigy who has excelled at a young age? As usual, your views are very welcome ...

Tags: Piano
Categories: Instruments, Piano