Yes a 3 year can begin piano lessons. I have taught several little tykes including my own granddaughters. I feel that the earlier that they are exposed to listening to and then creating their own music, the more the music center develops in the brain. By the time they are 6 or 7, they catch on to new concepts much quicker, than my later starting students.

The best instrument for little fingers is probably a keyboard. The keys have less resistance than a piano. Make sure that the stool is set high enough that the childs arms are parallel to the floor when the child is playing the piano or keyboard. They should also have a stool for their feet, as dangly feet will soon start swinging to stop them from falling asleep.

At the first lesson we look at the black key groupings. We call the black keys groupings the two black cats and the group of three are the three teddy bears. It’s then very easy for them to find the C’s before the two black cats. Middle C is easy too, just look for the black cats near the middle of the piano.

Since the concept of right and left hand is not something that they will remember, I use a different approach. I place little toy frogs on the extreme left side of the piano and toy birds on the right side. I then explain that the frogs like to live at down by the low notes because they say (play low notes and say in a low voice) ribbit, ribbit; while the birdies live at the high end of the piano because they say (play high notes and say in a high voice) tweet, tweet. From then on the child always remembers which is birdie hand is and which is froggie hand.

After seeing several young students squinting at the music and yet their eye exams came back as 20/20 vision, I decided to try writing my own music with a much larger font.This worked like a charm, with no more squinting. I ended up writing 4 books and kept the song list short with only 12 to 14 songsper book. This allows them the satisfaction of finishing a book in a few weeks time which gives the child a real sense of accomplishment.

After each book was finished, they would receive a certificate and a prize. The reward system is a great incentive to keep practicing at home, and they leave with the biggest smiles on their faces. These little ones are a joy to teach and what an awesome privilege to introduce them to the joy of music.

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