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Music for Kids: When to Start Piano Lessons Review by Rebecca Ray

Deborah Johnson, M.A.
(909) 949-0326
P.O. Box 284
Upland, CA 91785

My nine year old is very interested in singing, strumming on a guitar and listening to music, but has not been very receptive to the idea of piano lessons. So, when I received the opportunity to review Deborah Johnson’s book, Music for Kids: When to Start Piano Lessons, I was excited to get the opportunity to read it because I was looking for some guidance with how to proceed with music learning for her and what I should look for as I begin to navigate the worlds of music and piano lessons.

Music for Kids is a twelve chapter book that examines the idea of whether or not your child should take lessons, when they should start them, what to look for in a piano teacher, what kind of keyboard or piano to buy and what a child should be learning in music class. The book is published in trade paperback and e-book forms from and retails for $12.99.

Johnson takes a novel approach to writing this kind of informational book by creating the book as a series of conversations about music and piano lessons between two friends over the course of several months. Then, at the end of the chapter, she creates a checklist of the most important take-away principles for the reader to have learned through the chapter. At first, I didn’t think that I would like the conversational manner of this book. However, I found that the information that Johnson had to impart was often easier to absorb through the light conversations of the two women than it would have been had the author chosen to use dense, informational text.

As a parent, I also found this book to be very informative. For example, my daughter would like to have voice lessons. I learned from this book that she will not develop her full lung capacity for a year, making it difficult to begin voice lessons at this time. I also learned that, even though her primary instrumental interest is currently the guitar, piano lessons would provide a better foundation for learning the music theory and note reading that she would be able to carry from instrument to instrument.

So, whether you are looking for an idea of the best piano to buy, what to look for in a teacher or whether online classes or private instruction is more beneficial for your child, you will be able to find the answers to most of the basic questions about beginning piano instruction here. As a parent, this gave me a lot of ponder with my daughter’s musical interests and what would be the best course of action to help that interest blossom.

-Product review by Rebecca Ray, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2016