Years ago I had a parent ask me this question. I will admit I was a little confused. So I said, “Play what? I can teach her Mary Had a Little Lamb in about 5 minutes but if you are looking for her to play a Billy Joel piece or a Beethoven Sonata, it could be a while”. It is really a question about the level of proficiency.
Maybe first you have to ask yourself, why do I want my child to take piano lessons at all? It is a fair question.
Here are 2 good reasons to start piano lessons:
- Talent – Your child seems to have talent. She hums, dances, and generally is attracted to music on an emotional level. You will see it.
- Appreciation – that is a little different thing. She likes music a lot, but the attraction is more of an intellectual nature.
Maybe your child has both of those elements. If you are both up for it, give it a shot. Pick an environment that is fun and comfortable and be sure to get them to practice.
So you have decided to give piano lessons a shot. How long will it take to be proficient? I hate to dance around this, but proficiency can sometimes be a state of mind. Set your goals along the way. It is like when your child was a baby and he took his first steps, and then you kept increasing the distance until he could walk the entire length of the room. Remember how you all laughed and clapped. And maybe now he is the star on the track team. And it all took so much work, but it went by in an instant. I suggest you celebrate each new goal as it is achieved. When she plays Mary Had a Little Lamb proficiently, enjoy that. When you get to the next step, enjoy that just as much. Your child has learned to play the piano. The best thing is, she can keep on learning. It will never end. There are truly millions of pieces of music from all different genres. My great Aunt Golden played the piano when she was a child, played professionally for the silent movies, and when I visited her when she was 96 years old, she showed me a duet she had played with her sister when they were young girls. I was 22, she was 74 years older than I was, and we played that duet together.
So in short, I will have to answer the “how long will it take…” question with a question. How proficient do you want to be? Like I keep saying, “Music Lasts a Lifetime’.