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Piano lessons for 4 year old

(23 Posts)
Goldchilled7up Wed 18-Dec-13 19:58:43

My 4.5 year old son loves music, and is interested in learning piano. He has a toy piano and plays with it often. I'm thinking that he might enjoy having lessons. But is he too young?

Does anyone know of a good piano teacher in north London who's experienced with young children?

Goldchilled7up Wed 18-Dec-13 22:41:56


Bonsoir Wed 18-Dec-13 22:46:53

They make painfully slow progress when they start so young. My advice would be to wait until he is 7 or 8.

CocktailQueen Wed 18-Dec-13 22:46:54

I think he is too young at the mo - his fingers will be too little to spread out and reach the keys. What about learning a percussion instrument?

Goldchilled7up Thu 19-Dec-13 09:42:19

Thank you for the replies. We'll follow your advice and wait.

A percussion instrument would not work for us because we live in a flat (we're in London). It would not be fair on the neighbours grin

He has singing lessons at school and he loves it. Maybe I'll look for an extra singing class outside school for now.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 19-Dec-13 12:07:17

my girls started at 5 and 6 - with the understanding it was just for fun for a few years first... we did not even start to think of exams til they were 8 and 9... worked really well for us..

chauffeurmummy Thu 19-Dec-13 12:40:27

My daughter started at this age. Yes the progress is slower than if she had been older but she still got a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of it so I think it was worth it.

boogiewoogie Thu 19-Dec-13 14:30:41

My DH taught the DCs when they were 4 and they did not enjoy the lessons. They don't mind however having a bash on the keyboard and composing their own thing every now and then. The eldest was 7 when he had proper lessons with a tutor and he is better focussed now than he was.

Goldchilled7up Thu 19-Dec-13 18:02:27

It's good to see examples of children who managed it young.

I've just read about the Suzuki method, apparently it works better for young ones. As anyone heard of it or tried it?

I'm not particularly concerned about exams, I just want him to do it for enjoyment and to have a new skill. What's the point if exams anyway?

ShellingPeas Thu 19-Dec-13 19:13:11

You need to find a teacher experienced with younger beginners. As well as playing piano they need to be involved in lots of general musicianship, such as clapping games, singing, using movement, listening games, playing by ear and improvisation so it's not focussed on learning to read to music at this stage.

I have a couple of 4-5 year olds learning with me and yes, progress is slow with regards to actual piano playing, but they are very musical, can understand pulse (beat) and rhythm, and pitch and make up their own compositions. We improvise and make up musical stories, sing, and do quite a bit of leaping about to music. But there are issues with co-ordination (piano playing can be a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head) and concentration (lessons for littlies need to be broken up into bite-sized chunks and the same concept reinforced through lots of different methods).

If you play and fancy having a go at starting him off then you could look for My First Piano Adventures which is a great book for younger beginners. There's a website associated with Piano Adventures series with tips on how to use the book. (all free access)

Goldchilled7up Thu 19-Dec-13 21:26:46

That's excellent shellingpeas, it sound perfect for my son. He loves that type of thing.

I'll check the website and look for the book on amazon.

Are you in London?

FastLoris Thu 19-Dec-13 23:46:51

For additional singing experience you could try the Finchley Childrens Music Group:

Or you could try something Kodaly-based such as colourstrings kindergarten:

I'd say lots of fun, group singing activities like these would be the best way to prepare him for the 1:1 instrumental learning at an appropriate age.

Sam100 Fri 20-Dec-13 00:08:04

Have a look at dogs and birds. A piano course for age 4 to 7. They may have details of a teacher in your area.

intheland Fri 20-Dec-13 05:42:31

Suzuki is awesome, the British Suzuki Institute has a list of teachers by location on their website.

ShellingPeas Fri 20-Dec-13 13:35:09

Gold sorry, not London but Sussex, so a bit far I expect! Another avenue for teachers could be the European Piano Teachers's Association (EPTA). I think you'd need to quiz whoever you approach quite thoroughly though to make sure they aren't too centred on "follow the dots on the page".

I've taught early years music classes for years and unless the child is particularly keen on playing piano (as in the case of your son, he seems to be driving the need to learn) I steer parents more in the direction of something singing based, like Kodaly or Colourstrings courses. Generally children who start later (7-8 years) will make up ground quickly and by 10-11 are at the same stage at children who have started earlier. However there are always exceptions!

Goldchilled7up Fri 20-Dec-13 19:20:58

Thank you for all the suggestions, I will check them out.

Goldchilled7up Fri 20-Dec-13 19:23:07

That's a shame shellingpeas. Yes, definitely too far. Thank you for the suggestions.

makemelaugh Fri 27-Dec-13 19:25:41

DS started at 4. We had a taster lesson and the teacher said he was ready. His first books were really fun and designed for that age. He didn't sit exams till he was 7. By then he could play lots of melodies and had developed a kind of innate discipline for practice, as it had been a part of his life since reception. So basically, IMO there is nothing wrong with it if the child is ready. DS likes things to be structured and feel "important", so for him it was good to make it formal. It really depends on the child. It sounds as if your DS is really attracted to the instrument and that's already a big step.

Christelle2207 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:59:05

I started at 5 and made quite good progress I think! Definitely lay off the exams until he wants to do them, not before 9ish imho

dammika73 Thu 16-Jan-14 19:58:24

Can you please recommend a good piano teacher for my daughter in the Harrow area?


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