Finding Great Kids Piano Lessons

Kids piano lessons are a great thing to give your child. I can't say how many times I've had people say to me, "I wish I'd learned to play the piano when I was young." It's shocking! 

If your child wants to learn the piano or if you would like them to learn it's necessary to find great piano lessons.

Benefits of Piano Lessons For Children

Kids piano lessons have a really beneficial outcome - possibly for the rest of the child's life. For example:

  • dramatic increase of spatial reasoning skills (34% above other children)*
  • increase in complex reasoning skills* 
  • increase in abstract reasoning skills necessary for math and science* 
  • ability in math, science and engineering higher than average students* 
  • stress relief and healthy outlet for emotions 
  • increased creativity 
  • they can play the piano (of course!)

* Based on the studies of psychologists Dr. Gordon Shaw and Dr. Frances Rauscher from UC Irvine

How to Find Great Kids Piano Lessons

The first route I would go to find great kids lessons is to ask around. Talk to parents who have kids in piano lessons. Get a referral.

Second, look online for teachers in your area. Chances are if a teacher is online, they are successful and have quite a number of student's coming to them. You want this.

Third, keep your eyes open for flyers and posters at the beginning of the school year. That is the time when most teachers advertise - because usually that's when everyone starts lessons again.

Questions to ask a potential piano teacher

Once you find someone, here are some questions to ask:

1. How long have you been teaching?

You may run into a high school student who is just starting. This is not bad though. I started with my teacher when she was 17 and never changed teachers. She was great!

2. What is your schedule like?

You need to find out how easy it will be for you and this teacher to coordinate a time that suites you both.

3. What is your level or grade in piano? How long have you been playing?

(In Canada, the teacher needs to have a minimum of grade 8 piano in order to teach.)

4. What books or materials do you teach from?

(I recommend Piano Adventures for kids.)

5. Do you have a specialty?

If they do, chances are you've found a real professional player. This doesn't mean that they are a good teacher but it does mean that they know their stuff.

The Role of Parents in Kids Piano Lessons

The one thing kids really need to do in the beginning is practice! It's amazing the difference it makes. 

If a child practices, they may get through 2-4 beginner books in a year as opposed to 1. To help make practicing easier, knowing what notes they are playing is critical. (Read: How Long Should A 7 Year Old Pracitce Daily for more on practicing.)

I have found in my teaching experience that kids who are left to practice when they want to, just don't. It is really helpful to create a structure around learning that kids follow and parents gently enforce. (You don't want it to become a negative experience but it does require some discipline.)

I can't tell you the number of times I've gone over the same material with students for weeks in a row. It is such a waste of time and money. Not for me, but for them.

What About An Online Piano Course or App For Kids?

For kids, I wouldn't recommend learning online. Kids lessons and piano books are structured differently than adult books. Kids need more time to learn certain concepts.

Every online course I have found that focuses on kids has gone out of business. For that reason alone, I no longer recommend any. 

For me, piano lessons was one of the greatest and long-lasting parts of childhood. I'd recommend them to anyone!

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