Piano LessonsWe started our learners on piano lessons at age 3 and 4 respectively. We decided this as a reaction to a recent study that found higher language abilities among teenagers who had studied piano for several years, versus those who had no lessons.
See this WebMD Article. Also, it gave them a structured environment to have to follow directions and instructions from someone in a 1:1 setting that was not mom. My spectrum boys, who are now 7 and nearly 10 as of this writing, have on occasion fought and cried over piano like any neurotypical child would. And they were not musical prodigies, although both exhibit perfect pitch. In fact, Evy was quite delayed and struggled for several years--until recently. Now he loves piano, grasps songs VERY quickly and is quickly motoring through the end of John Thompson's Grade 1 book. He is almost ready to begin Grade 2. He REALLY struggled for a long time with memorizing the names of the notes, the staffs--the more rote, the harder. He would go on vacation and forget months worth of skills. But not anymore. It finally seems to have come together and he is taking off like a rocket. One thing it has helped with has been his sense of his own ability to conquer something difficult. It has given us a ready reference for when he thinks something is too hard for him. We are able to say, "Yeah, you said that about your last piano song, but look how well you are doing now!" We see it as an investment in teaching him the value of persistence in a concrete way. It helps him understand that he can't always be good at something right away. It sometimes takes work.