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Piano Lessons - Seattle,WA

What is a good age to start kids with piano lessons? My kids will be 3 in January and currently love to play the drums, harmonica, recorder and like most kids their age, they love to watch any musical show. I'm wondering if 3 is too young to start lessons.

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For Suzuki method, 3/4 is actually the preferred age to start, since music is taught using the same kind of learning that language is taught in (spoken language). Lessons are super short (10-20 minutes) and there's practice every day... but it's not the same kind of practice one would usually think of.

Here are the basics about suzuki from suzukiassociation.org
http://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/twinkler/

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I have always heard 5 BUT if I thought that my child was old enough to sit and listen and follow instructions and she/he had the ambition..... a music teacher would probably work with them at 3.

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For Suzuki method, 3/4 is actually the preferred age to start, since music is taught using the same kind of learning that language is taught in (spoken language). Lessons are super short (10-20 minutes) and there's practice every day... but it's not the same kind of practice one would usually think of.

Here are the basics about suzuki from suzukiassociation.org
http://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/twinkler/

1 mom found this helpful

If you're in Seattle, consider Jay Hamilton at Sound & Silence ###-###-####). He has special group classes for preschoolers where he introduces them to the basics of music and rhythm/notation. They are fun and low-key. His approach is to introduce a variety of instruments to the pre-schoolers in hopes that they will select an instrument to pursue as they get older.
My 14-year-old started with him at age four, and quickly progressed to one-on-one piano lessons by age 6. She now plays both piano and guitar and is writing her own music.
NOTE: He does NOT do recitals, etc., preferring to keep it all about loving music and wanting to play, rather than have the pressure of performing and the monotony of practicing one piece over and over for perfection. He wants them to enjoy their lessons and practice sessions so they are not compelled to "quit" as they get older. It certainly worked well for us.

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We tried piano lessons with our 4 year old. Not ready to sit still and didnt appreciate it one bit. After a month we decided to wait. We had a great teacher refferal and he seemed wonderful - she just wasnt ready. I suggest trying it, but keep your expectations low and try to make it just for fun - then see if they are ready.

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Our choir teacher who teaches piano lessons on the side told me not to start until they are 8 or 9. I have a 4 1/2 yo and am planning on starting in the next year or so.

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Hi M.-
You've gotten a lot of good advice. I teach music lessons (piano and guitar), so I thought I'd chime in. I'd say that those who said that it depends on the child, teacher and method (Suzuki or otherwise), are totally correct. I've seen some students start at 5-6 and do great, and other who would have benefited from waiting until they were 8-10. And one of my best students didn't start until he was about 11-12, and was playing Chopin Nocturnes in 3 years. (fyi - I started learning piano at age 6.)

Age, reading ability (if not doing Suzuki), motivation, and concentration are all factors. So is the general musicality within the household. And parental participation/encouragement is critical at younger ages. The problem I've found with starting kids too early is that they don't have the discipline to practice well (and end up just going through their songs once a day or something, and not really progressing in a way that makes music study satisfying to them). Another problem is that the coordination and multitasking involved in learning piano (2 hands, 1 foot, notes, rhythm, dynamics, etc.) is often overwhelming for little ones.

Something that I suggest to friends with kids (and am doing myself with my 2 year old boy) is encouraging kids to just play with instruments, and to sing. Singing is wonderful because it can be done anywhere, requires no reading or purchase/rental of instruments, and is a great foundation for learning rhythm and melody.

Best of luck!

I have always heard 5 BUT if I thought that my child was old enough to sit and listen and follow instructions and she/he had the ambition..... a music teacher would probably work with them at 3.

I looked online a few months back for myself and saw some private teachers offering for as young as two. I'm sure they are short simple lessons but I would google piano/musical teachers in your area and you will get multiple online profiles of people who teach different instruments and their age ranges. If your children can hold their attention span for long enough I say go for it. You can always try to do a couple trial lessons and then decide from there. Their profiles are pretty detailed and you can learn a lot about the teacher their available days/times and see their picture. Hope this helps.

I personally started taking piano lessons when I was 4-1/2 years old. It was great, and I think I was the right age to start learning. The only issue that prevented me from starting a little earlier was that I was a little small for my age, so my hands weren't quite big enough. My sister on the other hand was able to start at age 4. I think 3 may be a little young, but it is great to expose your kids to music now. That will help when they do start. You should start asking around to see if you can find any piano teachers who will start around 4 or 5. Typically, if you look for teachers who teach with the Suzuki method, you'll have a lot of luck. The Suzuki method is best started a little earlier -- as early as 3. I'll say as an adult that I am so glad I learned how to play the piano so young. I was able to pick up the violin at age 7 and learn how to play it really well within a few weeks because of my early training. Now I find playing music to be such a great joy, especially when I am stressed out or a little down. You will be doing a wonderful thing for your children.

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