What Age Should You Start Keyboard Lessons?

What Age Should You Start Keyboard Lessons
What Age Should You Start Keyboard Lessons

Keyboard lessons are a great way for kids to become familiar with music and learn good study and discipline skills. However, at what age should children start taking keyboard lessons?

The best age for children to start keyboard lessons is about 7 years old. The reading and study skills they learn in school make keyboard lessons more fun and effective for the teacher and the student. However, children can learn how to play the keyboard at any age.

I talked to multiple music teachers across the country to find out when they think kids should start keyboard lessons. Learn what prerequisites are important and what skills teachers are looking for below.

Why is this the Best Age to Start Keyboard Lessons?

Many music teachers agree that 7 years old is a great age for children to start learning how to play the keyboard. It is great to start learning how to play the keyboard early so that you have plenty of time to learn and practice playing the instrument throughout your life. However, starting earlier can be problematic for a few reasons.

While some kids can learn how to play the keyboard at an earlier age, most children will master basic reading skills by the time they are 7 years old. These reading skills are extremely important for learning to play the keyboard.

One of these necessary skills is reading left to right. Just like the words in a book, music is also read left to right, top to bottom. Kids will likely be able to identify words before they are 7, but first or second grade is when they really understand the order that words, and therefore music, should go in.

Another important reading skill is letter identification. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G are part of the keyboard note scale. A child must be able to understand and identify these letters before they can identify the notes on the keyboard. In school, a 7-year-old will be doing a lot of alphabet practice, and overlapping this practice with keyboard skills can help them solidify the information.

By the time a child is in second grade, they will have had some experience with homework. It can be difficult to help a child understand how to do independent work, which is why they gradually introduce it in school. Music teachers also want their students to work independently at home, but it can be difficult to teach these skills without the support of school because they don’t attend keyboard lessons every day.

A 7-year-old should be able to successfully follow instructions to practice playing the keyboard at home, although they may need some parental support. Successful practice will help them progress quickly and enjoy the learning process.

Some skills that are important when learning how to play the keyboard come with age rather than from specific school experiences. A child’s attention span naturally increases over time and is long enough for keyboard lessons at age 6 or 7. Younger children may find it difficult to sit through 20 or 30-minute-long lessons and will struggle with practicing for any significant amount of time.

It is completely appropriate to hold shorter lessons for younger students. However, if keyboard lessons are held for less than 20 minutes, it may be hard for the child to make progress.

Making well-paced progress is extremely important for students. When students start keyboard lessons too young, they lack the skills to progress quickly and often become frustrated with the process. Frustrated students are less likely to enjoy playing the keyboard and stick with it long-term.

Students that can read, be self-guided in their studies and have developed long attention spans will make good progress and be confident in their skills. Early confidence will set them up for later success during later lessons and performances.

My preference for keyboards for starting to learn on is the Roland Digital Keyboards & Pianos: Check out our article: Which Roland Digital Piano Is Best For Beginners to find a comprehensive list of the top Roland Digital Pianos for those who are learning.

How to Determine if Your Child is Ready to Learn to Play the Keyboard

Child playing at Piano

7 years old is when many children are ready to take keyboard lessons, but every child is different. The skills a child has is much more important than their age when deciding if they should start learning how to play the keyboard.

To determine if your child is ready to start keyboard lessons, evaluate your child’s reading skills. They do not need to know how to pronounce unfamiliar words or understand sentence structure, but other reading skills transfer over to reading music. Most kids understand how to read left to right and top to bottom early on, which is crucial for reading music.

It is also helpful for your child to be able to identify and name the letters in the alphabet. They at least need to identify A through G. These transferrable reading skills are often mastered within the first few years of life.

An attention span of at least 20-30 minutes is necessary to take traditional keyboard lessons. If your child is able to sit still and concentrate on an activity for 30 minutes or more, they are likely ready for keyboard lessons.

Some prefer to learn the piano over the keyboard. This article: Which Is Harder To Learn and Play, Piano Or Keyboard? will help you select the right instruement to start with.

What to Do if Your Child is Not Ready for Keyboard Lessons

Child playing on a Keyboard

If your child isn’t ready to start keyboard lessons, they can participate in activities to prepare for keyboard lessons.

There are many types of music classes. Rhythm classes are perfect for younger children. Early music classes designed for young minds can help them develop a love of music and make future keyboard lessons easier.

You can also work on music at home together, without any formal class. Instruments like a tambourine or maracas can help your child learn rhythm, beat, and volume management. These skills will all be important during later keyboard lessons.

Just because they are not ready to learn how to play the keyboard does not mean that they can’t or shouldn’t play on a keyboard. Young children can practice pressing keys and experiment with different notes on a real keyboard or a simplified toy version. This will help them get excited about the lessons they will take in the future.

Raquel Richardson

I am a guitar player and singer and my husband is a piano and keyboard player. I love to play and write music and have put together MyGuitarPiano.com to provide helpful information on guitars and pianos. To find out more about me please visit my About Us page.

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