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Doniell Cushman loves to use her teaching experiences to inspire ways to improve music, teaching, and learning.
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Many people ask me this question, and inevitably, the answer is almost always no. It's usually the people that DON'T ask this question that aren't ready for their kiddo to be in a music lesson.
Many of my students begin or began lessons between the ages of 6 and 16. A few students have started later as adults, and only 1 of my students is under the age of 4.
The reason to not give a child a standard piano lesson and workload should seem obvious, but it often isn't to a parent, guardian, or well meaning benefactor.
Truthfully, I usually answer 5-6 years old. This is the point in life when kids are learning classroom habits and manners, and it is perfect timing to incorporate music. They are at their most fresh in learning skills.
Does that mean your student is ready? NO!
Does that mean every student is the same? NO!
I've had a few 5 year old students who are better than my teenagers/adults. In fact, I find that the WORST time to pick up an instrument is between the ages of 16 and 30. There is good intention, but zero commitment from about 85% of people walking into my studio at this age. The best times appear to be when kids are in elementary school, before they hit middle school and are asked to either join choir, band, or orchestra. Or conversely, when an adult has grown/growing children and are looking for an outlet, hobby, or stress reliever.
If you read this list above and don't see something you question with your student, great! I applaud your kidd-o for their desire to learn and love something.
If you read this list above and see some red flags, DON'T IGNORE THEM! Your kid might not be ready.... YET! Just give it some time, and soon they may have improved their skill set. Just, please PLEASE don't inflict the suffering through an unproductive lesson on any teacher knowingly.