The piano is an excellent beginner’s instrument. If your son or daughter has an innate musical talent and you believe that they would benefit from learning how to play, the piano is a great choice to start with. The keys make it easy to identify notes, and the piano also opens the door to learning music theory. Before getting your child started with the piano, there are some important decisions that should be made, and things that parents should know.
Buying a Piano First
Part of having your child learn the piano requires many hours of practice to master the instrument. It should be a no-brainer that buying a piano would be your best option to ensure that they have an instrument at home to practice on. But, for many parents, this is also not practical. Pianos take up a lot of room, are expensive to buy and maintain, and if later your child decides not to continue playing, it can be a hassle to get rid of.
If you’re thinking about getting your child started with the piano an easy fix to this would be to buy a keyboard. A keyboard is more compact and will still give your child the same benefits of having the ability to practice outside of the piano lessons. It is also a great option since it is portable and can be moved just about anywhere. Just be sure that when you purchase the keyboard, you get one that has an extension cord for a portable sustain pedal, since this is an important piece of learning piano.
Encourage Playing Prior To Lessons
Part of having the piano in the home is that you want to be sure you are encouraging your child’s love for music before the piano lessons begin. Looking at and playing with the keys as well as the pedals can give them a sense of what is to come, such as how striking the keys a certain way or holding on the pedal creates different sounds. Encourage your child to play around with it.
When getting your child started with the piano, he or she should get a sense of the different keys and understanding piano chords from the onset. Exposure to the instrument is the best way to help your child take advantage of their musical talents.
Be Sure Your Child Knows Their ABCs
Since all of the notes on a piano are lettered, this is important when determining the timeframe in relation to getting your child started with the piano. They don’t necessarily have to be able to read, but having a good working knowledge of their ABCs can help.
If you yourself have any musical talent and can identify the notes and keys, you can sit down at the piano with him or her and go over (and maybe even go as far as to letter the keys themselves) what note is which in preparation for learning.
Create a Routine Involving the Piano
Children don’t inherently practice on their own, so you’re going to have to be of assistance in this area. Creating a routine that includes giving your child specific time to practice each day will go a long way in developing their piano abilities.
For instance, after dinner, your child can plunk themself down at the piano before doing their bathtime, brushing, and storytime before bed. Even if you only give them 15 minutes of practice each day, it is better than not setting aside any time. Find what routine works best so you can be sure your son or daughter is getting that practice time in.
Go Shopping For The Right Teacher
Every parent wants their children to be successful in anything they do, so taking the time to find the right teacher for them is essential. When getting your child started with the piano, you want to be sure to find one that has the right personality that works well with your child as well as a good sense of the instrument to assist in their development.
It can be difficult to tell someone you’re just trying them out to see if they are a good fit. Some advice here would be to tell the teacher you’re having your child try the lessons, to see if it’s something they will want to continue with. Try at least a few before you settle on the right piano teacher.
A side note here: don’t rule out online piano lessons. If you don’t find a good fit in your area there are many places that offer lessons online. This also can be a win-win for you, since you won’t have to worry about driving your kids to and from lessons too!
Your child will want to and even need to be listened to. Since part of your encouragement is also providing support to their learning, you want to make sure you set aside some time to listen while he or she is practicing. Have them play what they are working on for you so you can help them along, and give them praise. Positive reinforcement will help in their achievements.
If you love music yourself, you can also join in taking some piano lessons too. This is a great way to create a pathway for getting your child started with the piano as well as make a sweet memory. You might even be able to learn to play a duet together and find opportunities to showcase your kid’s talent for friends and family, to help further along with their advancement.
Another way to be supportive is not to set expectations too high. Remember when your child is performing to prepare them with a viewpoint that even if they are making mistakes, this is a learning experience. He or she can build upon piano skills and recognize those mistakes to be sure not to repeat them in the future. Mastering an instrument takes time and patience.
Thinking about getting your child started with the piano? The piano has many benefits besides just learning and executing musical talent. Your son or daughter will learn how to be expressive, develop confidence, and even improve upon academics. Encouraging this creativity will reward your child in many ways that can be utilized throughout their life, and since there is no age limit, it is never too late to get them started with the piano.
Donna has had a love for music since elementary school when she took her first piano lesson. Having tried her hand at numerous instruments, she now spends her time writing about music, the music industry, and teaching lessons. She is a contributor on multiple music blogs and can often be found creating helpful articles for her fellow musicians and music lovers.