At What Age Should Piano Education Begin?

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It is one of the frequently asked questions on the minds of many parents who want their child to play the piano, the answer to which should be approached cautiously…

Unfortunately I don't have a clear answer. I can't give a specific age or age range. If I do, I will be misguiding you. As a result of my experience as an academician who has been working with students of all age groups for years, I will try to explain how you can follow the process from my own perspective and give you the necessary tips to guide you correctly.

In order for your child to start piano education, besides having a musical and rhythm ear, strengthening of hand muscles and fingers are other important factors to be considered. For us, the space between the thumb and forefinger can be protected from collapsing, the little finger can be used with its own power, without the palm touching the piano or the hand is lying to the right, it can be controlled when any finger presses a key and the others rise uncontrollably, again when the force is applied to press the key, the knuckles can be turned inwards. It is the most basic physical requirements that can be corrected in case of breakage. The appropriateness of these conditions will differ in terms of age for each child and should be determined by experts in the field.

Let's say your child is 5 years old. All the physical conditions I have described above are suitable, but the concentration period is not at the desired level and he cannot sit at the piano for a long time. In this case, it may be faced with a lesson full of expectations by both the family and the teacher, and the situation of moving away from the instrument. If your child wants to continue the lessons, it would be best to limit the lesson time to concentration time, to direct the lesson with studies that will improve his musical perception and make him love the instrument, and to take a break if he does not want to continue the lessons. Do not see this as a waste of time or a shortcoming. On the contrary, if the lessons are continued, your child may get up from the piano, never to sit down again.

Years ago I had a student. She was 5 years old when we attempted to work. He knew every piece I played and asked him about, and he sang along with the composer and the name of the piece. He was well suited to work physically, but he certainly couldn't sit at the piano. It was very moving. The last time she was almost on the piano, I spoke to her parents and told them it wasn't the right time to work. Because if we had continued, after a certain period of time, the family would naturally expect, “When will we hear good songs?” they would begin to ask. The stress of this would be reflected in our lessons, and at the end of the day there would be a child who adored music, knew every piece of work, but was turned off by the piano simply because it didn't start at the right time. In such cases, I always say: What he learned between the ages of 5 and 7, he can learn between the ages of 6.5-7. Give your child time. Let him mature. Distances close very quickly at this age. The important thing is to sit by the instrument at the right time.

Again, with a 5-year-old student, we had very productive lessons with a process where the conditions were suitable in every sense, and we still continue our lessons.

Let's say your child is 4 years old and although the physical conditions I mentioned are not suitable, he can sit at the piano for a long time, and he never gets bored while taking lessons. In this case, the important thing is to take very small steps and pave the way for his physical development to catch up. You will say “What if he gets bored” and this will be a very justified concern. Children do not enjoy playing the same things over and over. In this case, our teachers have a lot of work to do. Until the conditions mature, they should continue to work with a lot of new exercises and small pieces, different from each other, where the student can technically maintain the correct position. If they increase the difficulty of the pieces quickly so that the student does not get bored and give pieces that will distort their position, or if they pave the way for them to learn a piece by ear, they may have to deal with technical and note reading problems that are difficult to recover in the future. In such cases, loss of time can be experienced not in the moment, but in the following years.

“My child is 8 years old. Have we lost too much time?”

Don't worry. As I mentioned above, these are the ages when distances will close quickly. The important thing is to walk on this path with principled and hard work, but if you have conservatory education among your goals, it is very important to be guided correctly. In this case, the institution must be contacted and the requirements must be learned.

As a result, piano can be started at any age, but the important thing is to walk on the right path in line with the determined goals. To be kneaded in the hands that will make the right analysis. To have the right expectations at the right time. No matter how old your child is, if you want to embark on this journey, remember that there is no standard, it will only be shaped by your child's conditions. Do not evaluate these conditions as positive or negative. If it is not suitable to start at the age of 5, this is a deficiency, if it starts at the age of 7, it is not too late. If she's going to start playing the piano at age 3, make sure she's with the right teacher, and most importantly, that she's willing, no matter what age.

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