Are you or your child ready to begin piano lessons? In order for the venture to survive, there will be several vital ingredients regarding your attitudes and life circumstances. This checklist should serve as a helpful guide to evaluate your readiness to take lessons.

  1. Must have a piano. May be an acoustic instrument in good playing condition and serviceable with all keys and pedals functional, or a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys and pedals, that can replicate the capabilities of an acoustic piano.
  2. A positive mindset. A positive attitude on the part of both parent and student will be critical to the continuance of the lessons. The mindset drives many decisions regarding the lessons, as well as perception of the fundamentals. This includes accepting criticism, making requests in a rational and nonthreatening way, and resolving conflict without terminating. The student must be emotionally ready to accept the responsibilities of taking lessons (i.e. daily practice). Discontinuing lessons should be a last resort, not a first.
  3. Physical readiness. Sufficient manual dexterity will be needed. A child should be able to hold a fork properly, draw a simple pattern, and print some letters.
  4. Intellectual readiness. Student should be able to count to ten and recite the alphabet to G, and preferably backwards. Basic reasoning skills are required.
  5. Time availability. A half-hour daily minimum practice will be expected. More time than that should be available to ensure your practice time is not your last leisure time to be taken. This teacher is very uncharitable towards over-scheduling. One simple question to ask yourself: Are you home very much? If not, you’re not ready for lessons.
  6. Must be free of chronic health problem(s), physical or emotional, that would frequently disrupt the lessons.
  7. Principal breadwinner must be gainfully employed. Lessons must not depend on “extra” income, such as bonuses or overtime pay.
  8. Should intend to stay in the local area for at least the next 3 years, and not be currently seeking work or due for a transfer out of town. If your house is up for sale, this is not the time to start lessons. Wait until you’re settled in the new place to look for a teacher.

Sound like a lot of requirements? Actually, I regret the study of a musical instrument depends on so many factors in one’s life to be favorable, in order to continue. However, it is the reality. Before you inquire, visualize trying to take lessons with even one only of the above missing. For example, can you learn without an instrument? How about if you don’t have time to practice? Can I be of help to you if you’re about to move out of town? Go down the list, omit one requirement, and ask yourself if lessons would still be doable. The answer should be obvious. Good luck!

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