At What Age Should Children Begin Piano Lessons?

I get asked this question A LOT.

It depends who you ask but most people begin to think about starting children in piano lessons between the age of 4-8 years of age. It is a good idea to consider the child, their level of interest and their fine motor development. Music lessons can help develop memory, creativity, self-discipline and self-confidence. Lessons can be beneficial for developing literacy, numeracy, and fine motor skills.

One of the benefits to starting early is children can learn quickly and will retain what they’ve learned later in life, especially if they start before the age of 10.

The key is to keep things fun and joyful. Your child must get satisfaction from playing. If getting the child to the instrument is a chore, it might be the wrong choice. Finding a teacher who is skilled in music but also understands child development is important.

Percussion instruments can be a great place to start for a young child.

If a child cannot yet move fingers independently, it could be too early to start. See if your child can place a hand on the table and tap one finger at a time. If this is a struggle, then wait a bit.

Generally, I accept children who are 6 years of age and up for piano lessons and I expect them to practice at home in between weekly lessons.

A music class with movement, games and singing could be more suitable for children who are 3-6 years. The social part of learning in a group reinforcing. And if children catch on to the joy of music at an early age, they will be more interested in learning instruments as they get older.

You can check out this post by Liberty Park Music for more information on learning other instruments and when to start.

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Sidney, B.C. Two Hundred Boxes!

About 5 years ago, when I first began working at Sidney Preschool, I introduced a new and special day to our program. I called it our Cardboard Box Extravaganza! We had our parents collect and bring in boxes and the children were give some simple materials to work with as well as an opportunity to use their creativity to go wherever their imaginations may take them with the collection of boxes. This was a huge hit! And each year proved to be a little different as new children and parents brought their own unique ideas to the event.

Small boxes can be great for creative minds as well.

And that is why it does my heart such good to see this event taking place in Sidney. Two Hundred Boxes is an event for the whole family and takes place February 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. I have no idea how this event came to be but what a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement. Castles, towers, tunnels, neighbourhoods, forts, planes or trains could all be part of your experience as you work with the boxes. This event is totally free of charge. Kudos to the Community Arts Council for organizing!

And because I am a huge supporter of children’s literature, let me add a couple of great picture books that encourage creativity with cardboard boxes. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen. Do you know some other great books on the same subject? Have you and your children created something amazing and wonderful with a cardboard box? Share in the comments.

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Fostering Creativity in Young Children

What is creativity? The ability to produce work that is both novel and useful.

Why is creativity important? Creativity will allow us to generate and execute innovative solutions. Creativity will influence how we approach a challenge.

How can we foster creativity? I want to share this awesome website with you. Harvard Graduate School of Education has Project Zero, an exploration of creativity. You can learn more by searching age categories or subject categories. There are book recommendations too. There are more resources and professional development too. If you value creativity and want to support that or learn more, check out all the Project Zero has to offer!

If you look under resources, for example, you can download family dinner conversation cards with age appropriate conversation starter ideas for you. And there is much, much more. How do you use your creativity? Are your children creative? Share in the comments! I’d love to see all your creative projects.

Lego Inspiration at the Sidney Museum

Here’s a wonderful event that we are so lucky to have here in Sidney! On now through March at the Sidney Museum, there is a popular Lego Exhibition. https://sidneybia.ca/calendar-event/lego-exhibition/

A gift from one of my piano students!

Have a look at all of the displays and be inspired to see what you can create. At our house, we have quite a lego collection and though some of it is sorted into actual sets, much of it is a jumble. That really is no matter, though because the random pieces allow for new projects to emerge; ones that don’t match the picture on the box. And for some of us, it is best to work without an end product in mind and just see what unfolds.

The endless possibilities of lego.

So take your family to the Sidney Museum and see what creative potential may emerge. Do you have a photo of your own lego creation or one done by your kids? I’d love it if you’d share! Let’s see your lego creations.