If you’re thinking about piano lessons for preschoolers in Sydney, but you’re not sure if they are ready to learn, here’s some great information to help you decide!
Sometimes we underestimate the preschooler. We think that they can do little more than play with toys, learn some rudimentary spelling and maths, and perhaps engage in a few simple musical activities. But that’s actually far from the truth!
Preschoolers are ideal candidates for piano lessons! Surprised? Many people are when they call and I proceed to tell them that their 4-year-old, for example, is at the ideal age for beginning instruction on this magnificent instrument!
The Suzuki Method of teaching piano is especially ideal for the young child as it taps into the language development part of their brain through the listening exercises we do daily, so it’s perfectly suited to how children learn at 3 and 4 years old. But more about that later!
So how can you tell if your preschooler is ready for or interested in piano lessons?
That’s a good question! Some children will actually tell you they have an interest. That’s not as unusual as you might suspect. Many children show a keen interest in the piano at a young age, especially if there is one in your home, in their classroom, or in another place that they visit frequently.
With other children, you might begin to recognize the fact that they sing often, pick up melodies easily, tap their fingers or hands as if drumming, or just simply enjoy listening to music. Those are all signs that piano lessons might be a good next step.
Since my child is starting piano lessons early, how long will it take to reach proficiency?
That’s another million-dollar question! Every preschooler will begin piano lessons at a different level and will probably progress differently as well.
So, when you ask when you’re child will be “good” at playing, I say that “good” is rather a subjective word. “Good” to you and your child might mean playing simple tunes well or making it through the first instruction book. To someone else, it might be the ability to choose whatever piece of sheet music they’d like to play and be able to read through it with ease. Others might judge good as the ability to perform well in recital.
So, overall, that’s a difficult question to answer. However, I can tell you that 3 and 4-year-olds learning piano can progress consistently when they do all the things it takes to become a pianist – like practicing and listening – and with hard work and dedication, they will indeed become “good” pianists. And, remember, you’re an important part of the equation as well!
What you’ll need to get started
Once you decide to enrol your preschooler for piano lessons, you’ll want to make sure that everything is in place to insure success. These include:
A good instrument
Your child deserves a good piano on which to practice. Many parents, of course, will be hesitant to make an investment in an acoustic piano at the start and may opt to purchase a keyboard, which is less expensive. That’s fine but be sure it’s of good quality. A keyboard purchased at a toy store is not suitable. You want to make sure that the instrument sounds pleasing to both you and your child so that he/she develops an ear for a quality tone. Be prepared, however, to eventually upgrade to an acoustic piano, which is better suited to developing finger strength.
A good teaching method
I’m a Suzuki specialist. I choose to teach this method because I find it most in line with my philosophies for music education and believe it’s the best method available for teaching piano lessons for 3 or 4 year olds as well as older students. Why? Suzuki is based on the “mother tongue” method of learning – which is essentially the same way children learn their native language from their parents and others around them. Indeed, prompted and encouraged by a loving family environment, the child learns what truly is a difficult skill – intelligible speech. Learning to play piano the Suzuki way is the same. Musical skills are developed through:
- Parental involvement
Parents must commit to weekly lessons, even when the child is young. Missing a lot of lessons hinders the preschooler’s progress. Think about the “Mother Tongue” method. What would happen if everyone in your household stopped speaking around your young child? They would probably digress. The same is true with piano lessons, so regular attendance is essential.
A quality piano teacher
What I bring to you and your child is a lifelong love of music as well as a love for children and a commitment to the philosophy of the Suzuki Method. I understand that one child is not like the next and my experience allows me to tailor each lesson to fit the skills and personality of the student. Overall, I present each student – including the littlest ones – with the skills to become the best pianist they can be. It’s that simple.
Dr. Suzuki believed that parental involvement in music learning is essential and that’s why we make you an important part of this process. When your child begins piano lessons, I will speak to you about the responsibilities you’ll assume in your child’s musical education and you can be assured that if you are dedicated to their learning, they will progress at a rate that might even surprise you!
So, if you’re thinking about piano lessons for your preschooler in Sydney, I can recommend 3 and 4 years old as a wonderful age to learn piano, as long as you are willing to support them with love and the right environment to give them the best chance at success!
You can learn more about Piano Lessons For Preschoolers here