The piano is an amazing instrument for kids to learn! The piano might just be the best instrument for kids to start out with and in my opinion, starting piano lessons is one of the best things we can do for our kids.
The piano is an extremely versatile instrument that fits into lots of popular musical styles. If your child is interested in learning to play the piano and you’re considering piano lessons, there are a few things you should know before starting.
My name is Elias Berlinger and I’ve been teaching music to kids for many years. I’m the founder of the children’s music program My Music Workshop and I’ve dedicated my life and career to making learning music an amazing experience for kids.
In this blog, we will cover what to consider when starting piano lessons for your kids, including finding the right way to learn, choosing the right equipment, and more. So, let's dive in!
1. Choosing the best way for kids to learn to play the piano:
This is the best time in history to learn to play the piano. With the internet there are so many resources including online piano lessons, instant access to nearly unlimited amounts of streaming songs and music, and virtual access to professionals who can help your child along the way.
When searching for the right way for your child to learn there are three main ways that they can learn.
1. Private, one-on-one piano lessons (either online or in-person)
2. On-demand, online piano lessons
3. Teach themselves
First off, I recommend doing one of the first two. It’s much better to learn from a quality teacher or program than for a child to try to learn on their own.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both private piano lessons and online piano lessons. Let’s briefly break those down.
The good thing is that your child gets individual attention and a learning plan that meets them where they are. The not so good is that private piano lessons are expensive (usually about $30 per half hour or $50 per hour), they can be inconvenient, it can be tricky finding a good teacher depending on where you live and your child only gets lessons for 30 or 60 mins per week. The rest of the time they are on their own.
-On-demand, online piano lessons
The good is that these lessons are much more affordable (Our program, My Music Workshop is either $9.99/mo for a yearly membership or $15.99/mo for a monthly membership), they are super convenient, they can be watched over and over, and they have practice built into them.
The not so good is that you don’t have a teacher who directly works with your child and parents do have to make sure to remind their kids to start and do their lessons consistently.
*If you want a deeper breakdown of the two types of piano lessons for kids you can check out our other blog post “Are Online Piano Lessons Right for Your Kids?” here.
You can also check out our Piano Lessons at My Music Workshop for free for a week by clicking below.
If you decide to go with a local teacher. Do some research to find a teacher who has good ratings and recommendations. You’ll also want to make sure the teacher has experience with kids, especially kids around the same age as your child. With younger kids one of the main goals is to keep them engaged and interested in learning to play the piano. So, the teacher has to have a lively personality and know the tools and tricks that keep kids wanting to learn.
2. Choosing the Right Equipment:
You’ll want to make sure that your child has a good piano or keyboard to play before they begin their lessons. You don’t have to break the bank but there are a few important considerations when shopping for a piano set.
The first thing to know is the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano, and which you should choose.
Keyboards and pianos are not the same. A few differences are that keyboards are meant to play a variety of different sounds, not just the sound of a piano and they do not generally have weighted keys. If you’ve ever played a grand piano or digital keyboard, you’ve probably noticed that the keys feel like they have weight to them. This is certainly by design and weighted keys are an important feature to have on the instrument your child will learn on. For this reason, I don’t usually recommend kids start learning to play using keyboards.
-Pianos and Digital Pianos
Pianos are amazing, acoustic instruments. They don’t have to be plugged in and they make a sound by hammers hitting strings inside the piano when the keys are pressed. They come in grand, baby grand and upright and are generally pretty large, heavy and relatively expensive and the volume of a piano cannot be turned up or down.
If you have a piano at home, great! If you don’t, I would recommend getting a digital piano instead. Digital pianos, usually have weighted keys, they are smaller and more cost effective than acoustic pianos, their volume can be turned up or down and they can be played using headphones, to keep distractions to a minimum and not disturb others.
Digital pianos are the best instrument to purchase for your child when they start learning to play the piano. I would recommend finding a digital piano that is highly rated, in your price range, and from a reputable brand.
We have some digital piano recommendations on our website, here:
3. Setting Realistic Expectations:
It's important to set realistic expectations for your child when starting piano lessons. Learning to play the piano takes time and practice, so don't expect your child to become a professional piano player overnight. Fun and enjoyment are the first goals when starting out.
Helping your child stay interested in playing is also important. We don’t want them to become overwhelmed too soon and give up. Kids generally aren’t too critical of themselves when they start playing. This is great! Tell them they sound great and they are doing an amazing job of playing and practicing.
Encourage your child to practice regularly, learning to play the piano, or any instrument, is a team effort, but don't put too much pressure on them to perform at a certain level. Instead, focus on the progress they are making and celebrate small achievements along the way.
We have another blog post that will give you some tips to help your child as they start practicing an instrument. You can read it here.
One of my favorite tips is to encourage your child to play (or jam!) along with music. Just put on their favorite songs and let them rock out. There is no right or wrong when they do this, fun is the key!
A few other tips basic tips are to create a regular practice schedule. Doing this is important for your child's success when learning the piano. Work with your child to create a schedule that works for your family.
Also, make sure your child has a designated practice space where they can practice without distractions. Encourage them to practice for short periods of time each day, rather than trying to cram all of their practice into one long session. I recommend striving for 15-minute practice sessions, 4 times per week and then building from there. Consistency is key.
Starting piano lessons for your kids can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you choose in-person lessons or online piano lessons for kids, finding the right program or teacher, choosing the right equipment, and supporting your child along the way can help them succeed on their piano playing journey.
The journey is absolutely worth it! The joy of playing the piano is one that lasts a lifetime. Knowing how to play an instrument is something we get to take with us our whole lives and no matter what your child chooses to do with their skill, the time spent learning will be well worth it.
Be sure to check us out at My Music Workshop, where we do offer an online piano lesson program for kids, that you can try out for free. Click below to learn more about us and start a free trial. See you there!