How Long Should My Child Take Piano Lessons?

Monday February 17, 2020
Cheri Sykes

By enrolling your student, you are indicating a desire that your child be a PLAYER and not simply a LISTENER of music.  Great choice!  Piano brings a lifetime of enrichment.  Playing music is one of the great joys of being alive.

However, learning this skill is JOURNEY that takes years.  In this age of instant gratification, learning piano is rather counter-cultural.

My hope for every piano student is  to reach intermediate level skill.  This is where so much good sheet music of all styles are found.  It is the skill level that can bring a lifetime of satisfaction at the piano, where reading and technical execution are not so daunting. It’s a level where playing by ear is fun.  The student is equipped to play with others in a number of situations.

How long does it take to reach intermediate level?  Of course, this is highly dependent on the student, and consistency with home practice, but here are some generalities.  For a child beginning in the  primary grades 1-3, intermediate level is reached in the early  teen years.  It can be a process of about 6-9 years.

Starting in the primary grades 1-3, after three years of lessons, a young student typically will be a solid elementary player, able to play simpler music with both hands. The student will retain a knowledge of the rudiments of music, which can be a foundation later if the student starts another instrument, or sings in a choir.

Every instrument is easier to learn with a foundation in piano.  Of all the instruments, piano provides the best over-arching understanding of the elements of music.  In my opinion, all musicians need an understanding of the keyboard.

In my experience, very little is retained long-term with only one year of lessons.

So, learning piano is a long journey.  Like any journey, there will be ups and downs.  Expect that your child at times may want to quit.  It is my job, and yours, to motivate your student through these times.  Let’s work together on that.

Piano skills can bring lifelong satisfaction into the oldest of age.  What better investment is there?

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