How Can I Tell if My Young Child is Ready for Piano Study?

For success in piano study, a child must demonstrate mental, physical, and emotional readiness. In a general way, readiness is linked to chronological age, but there is a great deal of variation. A three-year-old may be ready, but a five-year-old may not be. I have found that most children aged three-and-a-half are ready for real piano lessons (as opposed to movement-to-music or music appreciation classes).

Here are the criteria I use to screen young children for readiness. You can use these as gidelines to evaluate your own child's readiness for music study. (These are questions I ask parents on the telephone before we discuss their coming for an in-studio interview.)

If your child doesn't measure up in at least half of the criteria, he isn't ready for lessons. It's better to wait than to start and have a bad experience.

Parental readiness is the other half of the equation!

Without your providing structure and support, piano study is doomed from the start. Best to wait until you can do it right!

copyright 1996, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
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