The "right" age to begin piano lessons varies from child to child. A good first test is the age when your child can tie their shoes. Many four year olds can achieve great success with piano lessons. It's important for these early lessons to be based around fun, and plenty of off the piano activities and games. Below are the skills you can expect your 4-year-old to gain in their first few months of lessons.
1. Play Pre-Reading Songs - Begin teaching 4-year-olds with finger numbers. Books like WunderKeys, Faber Piano Adventures, and Alfred 1A Lesson Book, all have great pre-reading pieces. See more fun songs below.
Try These Resources: Hot Crossed Buns, Lizzy's Cat, Snail Snail, Wiggly Worm, Red Light, Green Light
2. Build Finger Dexterity - In the early days of piano lesson, 4-year-olds can gradually build finger strength with fun games and stories. Practicing separating each finger from the other will help build grace and confidence at the piano.
3. Identify Notes and Patterns - Start teaching notes by identifying the patterns of black keys on the piano (try using Seeing Black Key Patterns). Then slowly introduce one note at a time.
4. Learn Rhythmic Patterns - I love using the stick rhythm method to teach young students. This technique uses words for each rhythm instead of numbers. This is particularly helpful for children who haven't yet learned math.
Try These Resources: Blue Jello Cards, Rhythm Pizza, Miss Frog's First Rhythms, Rhythm Hunt
5. Improvise - I love to start the first lesson with young students by playing an Eb blues scale, and encouraging them to improvise by only playing black keys.
6. Compose - 4-year-olds can start composing at their first lesson. Encourage your student to start by using only two notes and write the pattern on one of the composing templates below.