Piano Lessons Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best age for children to start taking piano lessons?

In general, most school-aged children are ready to start formal piano lessons. Children younger than 5 years may benefit more from a group music class such as Music for Young Children. Parent and teacher can discuss the child’s readiness at the first meeting.

Do we need to have a piano at home?

Yes! Home practice is an essential element of learning any musical instrument. Having a access to a piano at a relative’s home or other location is not enough, as the student needs to fit piano practice into their daily schedule.

Is it necessary to purchase an acoustic piano, or will a digital keyboard be enough?

For best results, a student should be able to practice on an acoustic piano that is tuned regularly and in good working condition. However, a digital piano may be sufficient for the beginning student as long as it has: 88 keys (the standard number of keys on a piano); weighted keys capable of playing loudly or softly in response to the player’s touch; a damper pedal (this is the right pedal on an acoustic piano which sustains the sounds when depressed). A digital piano also needs a stand and a bench that can be adjusted for the player’s height.

How much does my child need to practice?

Students should practice 5-7 days a week. Other activities (such as sports or dance) may have multiple classes, giving students many opportunities to learn and improve their skills, but piano students traditionally meet with the teacher only once a week. Students must schedule their own individual practice sessions to continue the learning process. The actual duration of each practice session will depend of the age of the student and level of playing.

How can a parent without any musical knowledge assist their child in daily practice?

Support and encouragement can be the parent’s most important contribution to their child’s daily practice. Parents can: help establish a consistent practice routine; help a child read and understand the teacher’s instructions; listen to practice sessions; be a cheerleader during challenging times.

Does the parent need to be present during the lesson?

For young students, the parent should observe the lesson so that they can help the student practice at home. However, as students gain more experience, they usually benefit from a one-on-one situation with the teacher. Parents should feel free to drop in on lessons on occasion and should maintain communication with the teacher throughout the year.