How Old do Kids Have to be to Start Piano Lessons?

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Occasionally I get asked, “How old does my child have to be to start piano?”  The answer: I don’t know.  But here are five things that should help you figure it out.

Your child must...

1. Be able to sit still and focus for at least 30 minutes

The shortest lessons most teachers offer is 30 minutes. Its a good amount time to offer new students who might be strapped for cash or who just want to “give piano a try.”  Its also (not really!) enough time to introduce and teach concepts. Eventually 30-minute lesson times get bumped to 45 or 60 minutes.

2.  Have a working instrument

A “no duh” item.  But surprisingly many beginners don’t have a proper instrument.  So what do you need to start?  A keyboard or piano that works and that’s in tuneClick here for more on this topic. 

3. Know the alphabet

Musical notes are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet.  Enough said!

4. Do what you say

If your child won’t do what you say, there’s no chance he/she will do what a piano teacher says.

5.  Be willing to practice daily

Learning an instrument is fun, but it also takes good old-fashioned work sometimes.  Kids don’t always feel like doing what’s good for them.  Mine don’t like brushing their teeth, taking baths, doing school work, eating vegetables, working hard at sports, cleaning up after themselves, etc.  But they do having like clean teeth and clean bodies, knowing stuff, feeling good, playing sports, and having a clean room.  And students who put in the work love playing the piano!

Is there anything you think might also be necessary for starting piano lessons?  Please share! 

~Adam Bendorf

Adam Bendorf and his wife, Anna, are private piano teachers in Santa Clarita, CA.  They also are the founders of Alberti Publishing, a digital sheet music company for piano teachers.