Whether you’re just starting music lessons yourself or are looking into signing your child up to learn how to play, you’re probably wondering what instrument is best to start out with (check out our recent blog post on how to pick the right instrument for your child!) And while there are tons of instruments to choose from, the piano is always a pretty popular choice. But is it really the best to begin with? Keep reading to learn more!
Is Piano the Best Starter Instrument?
While every musician and music lover may have different opinions on many topics, one thing they can all agree on is that the piano is a great instrument to learn for beginner musicians.
1. It’s easy to make a sound
Compared to almost every other instrument out there, the piano is relatively easy to play. Now, don’t mistake that as it’s easy to be a good piano player. What we mean is that unlike other instruments such as the violin or guitar for example, you simply have to press a key to make a sound on the piano. Because pianos are simple to play, this makes it the perfect instrument for both children and adults alike to start with.
2. You can learn to read music
If you’re just learning how to read music, the piano is an excellent instrument to learn on. This is for two main reasons: 1. Since the piano doesn’t require a difficult technique to play, you can focus on reading music instead of fussing with a challenging instrument. 2. Compared to other instruments, it’s easier to visualize the relationship between pitches. This is because of how the piano is laid out.
3. It requires low maintenance
Some instruments require constant maintenance and tuning which can make them a hassle to play–particularly for newbies. Some instruments even need to be tuned every single time they’re played! The piano on the other hand typically requires a lot less. Most pianos will only need to be tuned 1-2 times per year and they can go years without needing repairs or replacement parts.
That said, a piano or keyboard can be quite large so make sure you have ample space in your home before committing to the instrument!
4. It’s great to learn music theory
The layout of a keyboard makes it easy to visualize how notes are going to sound when you press a key. To the left of the piano are the low notes and to the right, the notes are higher. Both the white and black keys make it easier to understand flats, sharps, and key signatures. If you’re a visual learner, you will most definitely appreciate learning music theory on the piano.
5. It sets the best foundation
At the end of the day, the piano sets an amazing groundwork to play any other instrument out there. That is why so many great musicians over the years started off learning how to play the piano and then branched out to other instruments such as the guitar or even drums. Learning how to play the piano will allow you to understand the basics of music theory, timing, reading music, sense of pitch, and so much more. Whether you plan to perfect your piano skills or want to try your hand at another instrument, the piano is always a great place to start.
Best Age to Start Piano Lessons in Toronto
If your child is interested in learning how to play music, they may gravitate towards the piano. The piano is fun to play and is the backbone to a lot of different music genres. While it’s never a bad idea to introduce your child of any age to the piano, they need to meet certain requirements before they start with lessons. To cut to the chase, the best age to start piano lessons in Toronto is between 6-9 years old.
To ensure they’re getting the most out of their lessons, your child should meet these factors:
They can tell left from right
Because the piano requires you to use both hands, your child will need to understand left from right to be able to play songs.
They have enough patience and motivation to focus for at least half an hour
Focus and patience is a huge skill that is needed in all music lessons regardless of the instrument. If your child is too young to focus for 30 minutes, it may be best to wait a little longer to sign them up.
They can count to 10
Knowing how to count to ten is needed to understand basic timing when playing songs on the piano.
They’re physically ready
Unlike some other instruments, the piano doesn’t require any sort of physical strength to play. That said, hand size, coordination, and motor skills are required. If your child is struggling with motor skills, they may find it challenging to play the piano. However, consistent lessons and practice will improve coordination, dexterity, and motor skills tenfold. This will help them not only on the piano but in sports, school, and so much more!
They have enough time to practice the piano daily
Regardless of the instrument they choose to play, time commitment and management is a huge skill that goes into it. First, they need to be able to attend their weekly lessons. Second, they need to be able to practice each day for at least 30 minutes. Without consistent practice, taking lessons can become a waste of time and money. Before signing them up for piano lessons, ensure they have enough time to truly learn how to play and a place in your home for them to practice.
Piano Lessons in Toronto
Now that you have a better understanding of why the piano is such a great instrument to begin music lessons on, it’s time to get started! At Greater Toronto Music School, we offer piano lessons with top-notch, qualified instructors. Our instructors are able to personalize lesson plans based on age, skill level, and music preference. You’ll be able to explore the world of both classical and contemporary piano while learning music theory, technique, and much more. We offer all music lessons in Toronto as virtual classes or private, in-person classes from the comfort of your own home. Give us a call today to learn how you or your child can get started!