Is My Child Ready for Piano Lessons?

Here are the criteria could be used to screen young children for readiness for the Piano Lessons.

Mental Readiness

  • Can the child sit still and concentrate for at least 10 minutes at a time?
  • Can the child say the first 7 letters of the alphabet?
  • Can the child count to 10?
  • Does he/she know his/her left from his/her right most of the time?
  • Physical Readiness

    • When the child sits on the bench, are his forearms fairly parallel to the floor?
    • Does the child's hand measure at least two inches across the width of the large knuckles?
    • Does the child color fairly well "within the lines"?
    • Emotional Readiness

      • Has the child asked for lessons? For how long has he/she been asking?
      • If he/she has not specifically asked for lessons, does he/she (1) go to the piano or keyboard to experiment (or is he/she drawn to one like a magnet elsewhere if there is no piano/keyboard in the home)? (2) pretend to play (such as on the arm of a sofa)? (3)exited when the parent suggested lessons?
      • Does he/she respond to music he hears by dancing, singing or moving to it? Have teachers at school or church remarked on his interest in music?

      Parental readiness is the other criteria which is on the list .
      I pose these questions to the parents at the telephone stage. A yes answer to "all" of these questions is crucial to success for a young child, and if the parents cannot commit in this manner, it would be advisable to wait until the parents are also "ready"! Teaching a little one is a delicate business as it is; without full parental/family support for the enterprise, it is extremely difficult for the child and for the teacher. It's best to wait to begin until the parents can provide the structure and support system.

      Here are the very candid questions to the parents.

      • Are you ready to sit on the bench for 10-15 minutes at least a few times a week to help your child practice if your child requires? If your child doesn't need your active help, will you keep him/her company in the piano room if he/she desires?
      • Are you willing to ensure quiet time for practice and to make sure that other siblings do not interfere with the practice time. Can you generally count on other family members for support and cooperation?
      • Are you willing to commit to the on-going dollar and time costs?
      • Are you willing to purchase a keyboard or piano (if you don't have one)?