How do I know if my musical child is ready for piano lessons?
If your child is begging for piano lessons, that in itself is a good sign of readiness. Many times children who express a love of music are showing indications of natural talent that should be encouraged and fostered as early as possible. Keep in mind that there may be a variety of lesson options offered in your area that can suit kids of all ages. They can range from the traditional private lessons (one-on-one with a private teacher) to small group and class lessons where your child learns side-by-side with similar-aged peers. Some music schools offer Kindermusik programs that can start working with children as young as 6 months old, introducing them to basic concepts of rhythm and sound.
Here are three possible indicators that may signal an exciting, lifelong love of music:
A love of singing: A child will express musical inclinations most instinctively through singing. If your child is spontaneously singing back songs from school or even from favorite TV shows and CDs, then she is exhibiting some of the most powerful foundational music abilities.
Recognizing ABCs and 123s: Your child doesn't have to be able to read full words yet, but if she can recognize most of her letters and numbers then she is most likely ready to pick up the fundamentals of music notation.
Recognizing shapes and patterns: Pattern recognition is fundamental to music education, from recognizing notes to hearing the way music is put together.
Keep in mind that music is a language, and like any language, the best way to master it is to have it heard constantly around the house. Exposing your child to a wide variety of styles will help her to develop a critical listening skills and a broad appreciation for music.