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preschool music

How Parents Can Support Their Preschoolers When They Take Piano Lessons

I am excited to share this Guest Blog Post with you! Thank you to Liz, from Modern Musical Parenting for writing this article for the Music Time Kid community. I know you will get so much help as you read her 5 tips for parents.

Piano Lessons for Preschoolers: 5 Tips for Parents to Help Their Child Succeed

Have you ever thought about enrolling your toddler or preschooler in piano lessons? Or any music lessons for that matter? Perhaps, voice, violin, or guitar?

Well, you definitely aren’t alone in wanting to introduce your young child to music through lessons! In fact, while only 34% of children aged 6-7 years old’s are taking lessons, that number increases to 50% for 8-10 year olds![1]

piano lessons for preschoolers

Now, that percentage of children enrolled in lessons will decrease as children get older, but  many of those children continue to play instruments. So, lessons can be a wonderful tool to help your child learn to read music, which can then be carried on in later years. By enrolling your preschooler in lessons, you are giving them a solid foundation to continue in music.

Maybe your preschooler is already enrolled in piano lessons. Most piano teachers see an increase of student interest right around the start of the school year. So, if your preschooler has been going to lessons now for a few weeks, you might be wondering just how you can support them!

So, before we take a look at how you as a parent can encourage, support, and help your child in their musical endeavors, let’s take a look at some of the important questions regarding piano lessons and your preschooler.

What kinds of piano lessons for preschoolers are there?

In short, lessons are a particularly wonderful way to introduce your child to music. And many parents are familiar with the traditional type of lessons where their child will work 1-to-1 with a teacher. But for younger children, especially preschoolers, 1-to-1 lessons might not be the best for your child.

That’s where the different types of lessons come into play!

Group Lessons

Many parents opt for group piano lessons, particularly with younger children. Group lessons offer the benefit of playing and learning with a small group of similarly aged children. This is particularly helpful to younger children because they can learn together as well as from each other.

Plus, in those group lessons, the parents are typically required (or sometimes just encouraged) to sit with their child. So, you are learning right along with them, and this is wonderful support – again, particularly for preschoolers.

And yet another advantage of the group piano lessons is that they usually occur with keyboards. Keyboards are a much more accessible instrument for younger children, especially consider the overwhelming size of even an upright piano. And many more households can access keyboards more readily than pianos. So, all around, these are quite a good option for young children.

Child & Parent Lessons

Another option for piano lessons is that you both take lessons from the same teacher at the same time! It’s a slight variation on the 1-to-1 lessons but your teacher will work with both of you at the same time. Perhaps, you would like to remember how to read music or would just like to know the basics. Either way, taking these types of 2-to-1 lessons with your teacher is another perfect example of the types of lessons available to your child (and you!).

One-on-One Lessons

If you do decide to start with 1-to-1 lessons for your child, the Music Teacher’s National Association has a few questions to ask your teacher before you start with music lessons. These kinds of questions can help you find a good teacher for your child.

Why are piano lessons so highly recommended over other instruments for preschoolers?

Now, I’ll be honest. I’m a bit biased because I am a pianist myself! I do think that learning piano holds some advantages over other instruments for beginners. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Just take a look at these advantages that the piano offers over other instruments!

However, the main reason I suggest piano (and with that, I also mean the keyboard as well) for preschoolers is that this particular instrument can produce tuned pitches with the push of a finger. All other instruments will require the learner to listen and tune a pitch – something most preschoolers cannot yet do without some practice.

And while listening is an important skill for anyone learning about music, it can be a challenge for such young learners. So, your preschooler can learn simple melodies, like “Hot Cross Buns” or “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” without having to learn about tuning. And, this can give them the confidence to continue in music.

How can I find piano lessons for preschoolers near me?

One of the easiest ways to find a recommended piano teacher near you, is to ask your local friends or family for any recommendations! Don’t be afraid to ask those in your local community, like at churches, community centers, and in the neighborhood. Those with a good reputation are generally always highly recommended by their students’ parents.

Another way is to search online for a music teacher through the Music Teacher’s National Association website. You can search for teachers of all instruments (from accordion to woodwinds!) and easily see how close they are to you, whether they are accredited teachers, and how best to contact them.

Don’t be afraid to reach out at any time of year. They will generally let you know quickly if their studio is full and whether you can be placed on a waiting list.

Now, with all of this information at hand, let’s take a look at the top 5 tips and suggestions for encouraging your child to continue in their piano lessons. These are easy for any parent to do, regardless of your own musical upbringing.

Tip #1: Find the right type of music lesson for your preschooler.

parent and preschooler

As outlined above, you can see that these days there are many types of music lessons for young children. You can consider if your child is a bit more social, or perhaps they are always shy with other children around.

Now, another benefit of group lessons is that the parents are asked to attend (at the very least) and sometimes even help their children. This gives you are particularly good opportunity to engage with them and learn right along with them!

Once you’ve found a music lesson for you child, make sure you talk to them about it! Ask them what they like about those lessons. Ask them what they dislike about those lessons! Once of the best ways is to find out from them what they think.

Tip #2: Build connections between music and other topics.

Now, perhaps I’m a bit partial with this particular tip. But, I do feel that as soon as we can show our children that music is not it’s own unique bubble, they start seeing and hearing it everywhere! They can hear the rhythmic patterns in words. They can be reminded of a song when a bird sings or they see pumpkins. Or perhaps they can even remember how to count backwards from 5 with the help of a song!

preschooler playing

Most often, you’ll see how music can help your young children with math and language skills. Counting songs help your child learn number sequences, while the rhymes, alliterations, and rhythmic texts of nursery rhymes and children’s songs help them learn the basics of language.

Just take a look at the 30 ways you can engage your child with a single song! These activities include other musical activities, math activities, language activities, and others. You can also use these activities with any children’s song. And chance are, one of the first melodies your child will learn on the piano is a well-known children’s song, like “Hot Cross Buns” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Tip #3: Engage your child with music outside and beyond their lessons!

Despite what style of music lesson your preschooler is taking, learning more about music outside their lesson will be incredibly beneficial. And for this particular tip, there are two simple ways to do this.

First, consider playing simple games that reinforce the concepts they are learning. Music Match and Memory Games are an excellent choice for reinforcing musical concepts your child might be learning! There are even a few different ways to play musical memory depending on your child’s age. 

Second, play a wide variety of music for your preschooler! It doesn’t have to be just classical music or just children’s songs.  A mixture of all kinds of music will work well. Throw in some of your own favorite tunes and tell them why you like that song. Try to fully experience the music you are listening to by talking about it, dancing to it, or even just sitting and listening together!

Think of listening to music like reading to your child. You wouldn’t only read them Shakespeare! You’ll read many different types of books, like picture books, story books, short poems and nursery rhymes, and even a snippet of what you are reading sometimes! Mixing it up makes it interesting for them, as well.

Tip #4: Help to make their practice part of their daily (or almost daily) routine.

One of the most important things to remember with practicing, especially for preschoolers, is that short, regular practice sessions are best. Even 5-10 minutes once a day will work well. You really can’t expect a young child to sit focused for more than that. And, you (and the teacher) are likely to see more progress with these short, daily practice sessions when compared to 30 minutes once a week outside lessons!

Also remember that practicing does not have to occur at the piano! And it also doesn’t mean simply playing a song they are learning from beginning to end. Practice can also be done away from the piano.

Try having them “play” their piece they are learning while sitting at the table and playing an imaginary piano. Or have them sing the song to you. Or even tell you the note names that they play. There are many ways to get them to think about their music even when they are not sitting at the piano. If you want other ideas, just ask your child’s teacher for other ideas.

You could also take a few minutes time to sit with them while they practice, especially when they practice at the piano. This will help them realize that you are there for support and enjoy hearing them practice and play. Have them show you or play for you what they learned in their last lesson. Your support and interest will be amazing for them.

Tip #5: Ask yourself why you are enrolling your preschooler in lessons and be sure to communicate that to your child’s teacher.

There are a multitude of reasons why you might want to enroll your child in piano lessons. And, without a doubt, piano lessons can help your child in a multitude of ways!

preschool piano lessons

But you do have to be honest with yourself about why you are enrolling them in music lessons. You’ll want your child to show interest in music. Otherwise, it will seem like a constant battle to engage them with their music and to even have fun at lessons! So, if music isn’t part of your regular routine, then your preschooler might not be that interested.

Your child will generally show interest in music by singing songs they have learned, creating rhythmic patterns by hitting objects together, or dancing to a song they particularly enjoy. By engaging with them when they are making, listening to, and dancing to music, you are showing them that music is also a source of enjoyment for you, too!

Also important to remember: if one of the main motivators is because you wish you had lessons when you were younger or that you regret that you stopped your lessons, then consider one of the other lesson formats mentioned above (like, the group lessons or the parent-child lessons). In any case, ask your teacher! Maybe they’d be willing to try a 2-on-1 lesson.

Communication with your child’s piano teacher is key. You’ll want them to know your child’s likes and dislikes, as well. This can certainly help shape the lessons for your child.

And with that, my readers, you now have 5 tips that you – the parents – can use to help your preschooler enjoy, progress, and succeed in their piano lessons. Don’t forget that you play a crucial role in the development – particularly in these first few years.

Happy music making,


Liz Hepach

Liz Hepach is the creator over at Modern Musical Parenting, where she creates all kinds of printables and games, specifically designed for parents who want to engage their children with music. She believes that all parents – regardless of their musical background – can have a profound impact on their own child musically. For more information of the multitude of ways you can engage your child musically, make sure to check out her blog or signup for the MMP newsletter and get access to all the free printables in the Resource Library.

Create a Joyful Home Using Children’s Music

Children’s Music


The world is a loud, noisy, and frenzied place, so it’s important to have a place where we can escape. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our homes were the refuge we desire? Unfortunately, many homes today are as loud and demanding as the outside world… demanding our energy in ways that just drain us to the breaking point: children insist on having their own way, or enjoy poking at their siblings, the water heater breaks, flooding your utility room, a package you were waiting for disappears from your doorstep, you know… real life happens. How can we change the atmosphere in our home if it’s not joyful? How can we create a more nurturing, restful sanctuary full of love, laughter and joy? Children’s music is one key to achieving this, and every parent should learn how to use children’s songs to create a joyful home.

Busy families wake up early, prep for the day ahead, rush out the door, and return home to cook, clean, do schoolwork, and more. Children seldom have a dull moment during the day. Then we rinse and repeat all week long. With such busy lives, how can we minimize the stress and nurture a more joyful atmosphere inside our homes? Is it even possible? I assure you there are ways to nurture a more joyful atmosphere in the home without adding more to your do-to list. Children’s music can simply be added as you go through the day. This blog post gives more detail about 5 Things I Want Parents to Know About This Blog.

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What is a Joyful Home?

A home is the place where one lives. Joyful is an adjective which we desire to describe the home: feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness. A joyful home is a home where the family living inside finds great happiness enjoying one another. Laughter, giggles, happy moments, hugs, compassion and care are all a part of joyful family life. Of course there are other non-joyful moments, but overall the mood of the home is one of delight.

How does music bring joy?

This article that talks about how music is a pleasure seeking activity that most people engage in. It cites a study that claims listening to the music you love releases more dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. Because neurotransmitters are important for cognitive development, emotions and behavior, one can link music directly to brain development and happiness.

However, you don’t have to be a scientist to actually see how music brings joy to people. Here are a couple examples:

  • I teach an online toddler music class and work with children ages infant-preschool and adults. For 30 minutes, there is an enjoyable experience: singing, bouncing stuffed animals, moving to the beat, dancing, hopping, twirling scarfs, and playing instruments. I see this happiness first hand in my in-person classes.
  • Concerts are filled with listeners who are enjoying the music, friends, and family. Smiles are everywhere.
  • When I am taking care of my grandkids, I use music to gain cooperation. We sing songs to pick up toys, clear the table and even brush teeth. Music gets the job done with enthusiasm and smiles.

Why Use Children’s Music?

Not only does listening to or creating music bring joy to a child or adult. Music encourages brain, emotional, and behavioral development. Parents learn how to use children’s music to help with everyday life situations. They become equipped to can change whatever kind of moment they happen to be dealing into a more pleasant and joyful experience. Even when parents are tired, upset, or frenzied, listening to music can be a way to decompress. Music is often used in spas? Soothing, tranquil music, can really change how you feel.

How to get started creating a more joyful atmosphere

Here are just a couple ideas of how children’s music can be added to the day to make it more joyful. A parent can sing a “time to get dressed” song or offer a child a choice in something by singing “you get to choose” when they are helping their children. It adds no more time to the day, but the day can be more joyful by simply singing a song. There is wide abundance of children’s music to encourage cooperation, give choices, prepare for bedtime, learn skills, and so much more.

When taking my third child to the doctor for her 6 month old well baby visit, the doctor asked her older brother if he ever got tired of hearing his baby sister cry. He calmly said, “No, she never cries.” The doctor looked doubtingly at my son and I quickly reaffirmed his story. You see, the doctor didn’t know what I knew... music can change your inner spirit and make a home more joyful. My youngest three children rarely ever cried. We spent our days singing when we woke up, singing to get dressed, we sang a song before we ate at the table (you get the idea). My kids still remember many of the songs we sang each day.

Easy Ways to Use Children’s Music

  • Pick one time of day where you can incorporate a new song into your routine like using a song for clean up time, or getting dressed in the morning.
  • Use music as a distraction. Often when a child is focused on a negative behavior, music will instantly distract the child from the situation and turn the situation around.
  • Use music to offer choices. Children like to be offered choices. Singing a little tune to words like “would you like this one? Or would you like that one?” helps eliminate power struggles because the child has a choice and the choice is presented in a delightful way.
  • Use music to encourage cooperation. Children want to participate in being helpful and cooperative when it is presented in a fun way. It is much easier to get children to cooperate when they are joyful.
  • Use children’s music to build community and reinforce kindness. Sharing toys, caring about feelings, being gentle are examples of interacting with others. Songs that reflect care and concern for others help instill this value in children.

Tips for Success in creating musical routines

  • Print the lyrics to songs and hang them up in places that will remind you to add music to your day. For instance, place a song you’d like to sing at diaper time on the wall of your diaper changing station.
  • Teach your child some of the easy songs. For example, when it is time to clean up toys, encourage your child to sing with you until the toys are all picked up.
  • Use your phone, Google, Alexa, etc. to play a song when you need cooperation. Even if you don’t know the lyrics to a song, having a song playing that you and your child can learn together is helpful.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Children’s Music

Life isn’t perfect. Life can be difficult. Raising children can be tiring. But maintaining joy in the home helps brings out the best in each person each day. Learning how to use children’s music can be an effective parenting tool to turn difficult situations into an instantly silly or fun experiences. Children are not picky connoisseurs of music. They delight in any kind of music that is shared with them. Don’t be self-conscious, but rather sing, move and be playful! You will see a new kind of joy emerging from your children.

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