Piano lessons for kids are one of the most popular extra-curricular activities around, with good reason. Parents instinctively want to encourage creativity and musicality in their children. That's a great thing!
Learning an instrument is a fun way to nurture your children's creativity and give them an outlet for self-expression. But it's hard to know where to start as a parent.
Let's talk about kids piano lessons:
- Finding the right teacher for your kids
- Choosing between different piano methods
- Finding great music your kids love
- Deciding what age is best to start lessons
- Choosing a quality instrument for your home
There's a lot to learn about piano lessons for children. I'm here to help!
Oh, and by the way, piano lessons aren't just for kids! If you're an adult and you've always wanted to play piano, click here!
Piano Lessons for KidsThe Basics
Involve your kids.
Finding the right teacher and the right piano method is a process.
A teacher with amazing credentials on paper may not "click" with you or your child; the method that your friend's children are successful with might not have music your child likes to play.
Of course, you can't let your kids choose everything, but do involve them in the decisions.
Children are very perceptive -- they may like the feel of one teacher's home and shy away from another. Since piano lessons are about a personal relationship between your child and his/her teacher, pay attention to the cues your children give you.
Kids also know what they like and what they don't. A teacher who builds in plenty of music your child loves, while building skills and musicianship, will have a happy student and happy parents.
If you're looking out for these nuances, and talk with your kids about them, you both will be happier with the lesson experience.
Also, know that the first teacher you choose might not be the best teacher. It's OK to acknowledge that a private lesson relationship isn't the right fit and look for another teacher.
Even young children can start to learn about the difference between being able to do something right away and learning over time.
Kids are natural goal-setters and have a remarkable amount of persistence when they are focused. They simply work at what they want to do.
Parents sometimes make the mistake of believing that motivation and focus will stay consistent over time. Or that a child's lack of motivation on a particular day ("I don't want to practice!") is signaling that piano isn't the right activity.
Sometimes, though, kids just need an imagination boost! Listening to great piano music, playing music games, and going to live music events can help inspire your kids (and you!) every day.
If you do a little advanced planning each week, you can plan some fun music learning into your child's every day practice time. I love fun things like this book of music games -- I use these in my studio.
So, pick a music game or two to do each week. Make the game with your child (craft project!) and play it together, and include the whole family!
I've had conversations with many parents who initially saw piano lessons for kids as:
- A weekly time slot to get things like grocery shopping done (I call this piano babysitting), and
- A activity with minimal parental involvement, even at home.
Neither is true.
If the goal is to build a love of music, the ability to play piano, and to reap the benefits of long-term music study, parental involvement is key!
Sitting down with your child at the piano every day for practice time is crucial.
I can't emphasize this enough.
You are your child's at-home coach. You don't have to put yourself in the role of teacher and correct every move, but be near and give your encouragement and approval for the work your child is doing.
Look for a teacher that will allow you to be with your child during the lesson, and it will allow you to understand the teacher's goals for your child and be the coach at home!
The whole family can help celebrate and acknowledge your child's work at the piano. Get everyone involved by having little "concerts" a couple of times per week so your budding pianist can share what he or she is learning.
As your kids get older, you can gradually let their piano studies and practice times become more self-directed, because you've helped them learn how those daily practice times add up to progress.
The foundation comes from you.
Not only will your kids learn piano, they will learn how to learn -- those critical skills of focus and daily, persistent practice and work that lead to personal accomplishment.
Success in piano lessons can be a success that builds confidence and self-esteem in your children that will last a lifetime.
Invest your time, as a parent, and have fun with your child as he or she grows and learns.