How young can children start piano lessons?

Yesterday, we talked about adults who want to take piano lessons.  What about the opposite end of the spectrum?  How young of a child can begin piano lessons?


The independent piano teacher usually sets their own policy for the age limit for beginning piano students.  When I started lessons with Elizabeth Cothern in Mississippi, I had to be in second grade.  Many teachers still hold to the rule that students need to be able to read and be semi-independent.  This is a great guideline for families where the parents of unable to assist in practice from an application stand point. 


However, if the parents or grandparents are willing to sit and help a student then really it is up to the teacher as to how young is too young.  There does need to be some maturity there.  I have had 4 year olds that have no problems sitting through a lesson and were quite dedicated in their practice.  With other 4 year olds, it was obvious immediately that the child was not ready to begin lessons.


Here is my list that I follow at Brunner Studios when evaluating a potential new student that is quite young.


1.  At least 4 years old.

2.  Recognizes the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-9.

3.  Rudimentary understanding of left and right

4.  Can the student focus and behave for a 30 minute lesson?

5.  Will the student have assistance at home with practice?

6.  Is the student interested in playing the piano?

7.  Does the family have access to a piano on a daily basis?


Every child is different.  If you are interested in piano lessons, contact a teacher and set up a trial lesson.  Summer is a great time to give piano lessons a try.