The piano is one of the most popular instruments to play. And it’s a known fact that musical creativity helps to expand the mind. It encourages growth and development, fine-tunes motor skills – not to mention the positive effect it can have on confidence and mood. So the question is, when is the right time to start learning?
How young is too young?
Does your mini musical maestro make a beeline for any available keys and bash away with unbridled joy? Are you keen to progress the enthusiasm but worried it may be a little too soon?
Whilst there is no ‘wrong’ age to start learning the piano – Elton John famously taught himself to play at the tender age of four – between six and nine is largely regarded as the optimum time to start.
Before beginning lessons though, there are a few factors to keep in mind. These include:
- Hand size – to play properly a budding pianist needs to be able to place their fingers on five adjacent white keys, as this will mean they can play comfortably without overstretching.
- Dexterity – individual finger control is required to play the piano, so it is important that a child has reached this stage of development.
- Aptitude for reading – and by this, we don’t mean you should wait until they can fluently read text. Rather that demonstrating the ability to recognise and understand symbols, will allow them to develop the skill of playing and reading music.
- Interest – with the best will in the world, it can be hard to captivate – and hold – the interest of a young child. So, unless there is a very strong desire to learn, it can be worth waiting until they are a little older and will sit still for the duration of their lesson.
That said, the earlier you start learning to play the more practise – and enjoyment – can be reaped. So, whilst formal lessons before five are probably not advised, introducing a piano to increase familiarity and confidence around the keys, is a great idea.
Never say never
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Rubbish! Never say never, we say.
If playing the piano is a skill you wish you’d learnt, what’s stopping you? In the same manner that there is no real lower age limit, there are certainly no upper restrictions either – and it’s never too late to learn! What better time to start a new hobby or learn a new skill than later on in life when you can dedicate more time and energy to it?
If you’ve decided the time is right, then the first things you need to source are a reputable tutor and an instrument!
The right tutor largely comes down to personalities and your preferred learning style. Be sure to do your research, read reviews and ask around for recommendations. Don’t commit yourself to a block of lessons before you’ve even started. Any good piano tutor should be happy to offer one or two sessions before signing you up to anything more long-term.
Next, you’ll need a piano. And that’s where we come in. Here at Richard Lawson Pianos, we recognise that everyone’s piano needs are different and, as nationwide piano dealers, we offer a fantastic range of both new and pre-owned pianos to choose from and all at competitive prices.
A great place to start your search for a piano is by reading our blog, ‘What are the different types of pianos?’ to gain a better understanding of the choices out there and what might work best for you. You’re also welcome to get in touch with the team at any time, to find out more about what’s available and seek expert advice on which piano might be right for you.
Not sure you’re ready to commit?
Worried the kids might decide playing the piano isn’t for them, or that your new hobby won’t last? Then why not hire a piano instead?
We offer a popular piano hire service, allowing you to try out piano playing, and experiment with the different types of piano available – without the commitment and expense of purchasing outright.