Starting Lessons

When to start taking piano lessons is really based on developmental factors — motor skills both gross and fine, hand-eye coordination, memory, ability and discipline in maintaining a daily practice routine, focused attention and direction-taking through the length of a weekly lesson, ability to work in a group with fellow students in a shared lesson, etc. While these don’t always relate directly to age, on average, age 7-8 or later is a great time to start the standard Simply Music curriculum, since by then students can usually make satisfying progress in that program. The Play-a-Story program is an ideal entrance to piano lessons for students not yet ready for the standard curriculum, especially for ages 4-5 but up to 6 or more as well.

One of the great things about the Simply Music method is how it embraces the musicality that’s inside every single one of us. As long as those developmental factors are there, it doesn’t much matter how old you are when you start. For adults and even seniors, Simply Music makes it possible for practically anyone to successfully learn to play piano and become a true self-generating musician in a way that can profoundly contribute to someone for the rest of their life.

This is why it’s so important to be sensitive about when to start a younger child. Some people imagine that it’s best to start instrument lessons young, that some golden opportunity may be missed by waiting too long. That’s simply not the the case — at least not with Simply Music. There is truly nothing to lose and everything to gain by waiting for the right time, when the relevant developmental factors are in place.

On the other hand, it can definitely be too early to start. Beginning lessons before a child is genuinely ready makes it likely that the experience will be a poor one, hurting self-esteem and diminishing interest in music. Even for younger children who may be able to handle lessons, progress is almost certain to be significantly slower than for those kids who start a bit later, in effect dramatically increasing the cost of lessons.

If your child isn’t yet ready to handle either the standard Simply Music curriculum or the Play-a-Story program but you and your child are still interested in pursuing music education, I’d highly recommend you take a look at programs like Potluck Creative Arts’ own Singalong Workshops, or Kindermusik with Miss Beth or Catskill Mountain Music Together, which your child would probably find really enjoyable in itself while also being excellent preparation to later come to me for Play-a-Story and Simply Music.

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