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Why the piano is the ideal first instrument

Edinburgh-based piano teacher, Alla Norrie, explains why the piano is the ideal first instrument. She also provides her top musical tracks to ignite a love of the piano.

Why is the piano a good first instrument for a child?

The playing position comes naturally, like sitting at a table. That’s why many children gravitate to the piano, if they have one.

Producing a sound is not difficult. This is important because young children are motivated by a quick reward. It is encouraging to be able to produce a simple melody relatively quickly, without having to battle with tuning.

Gradually, children learn to coordinate their hands; and they build up strength in their fingers and arms.

What other benefits are there to playing?

We paint a picture when playing a piece; this engages the imagination.

Music also helps children develop greater sensitivity to others. For there are subtle nuances in any piece of music, as in people’s feelings: music is not static; the mood changes constantly.

Playing an instrument means you develop greater sensitivity to sound. You become more alive to the world.

We paint a picture when playing a piece; this engages the imagination.

Stamina, concentration and self-discipline are all developed over time since practice involves repetition. A fixed practice routine adds structure to a child’s day and keeps them grounded.

Gradually, a child takes responsibility for their practice and how they organise it. They may divide it up into small chunks, for example, choosing what to practise when. I like to encourage independence in my pupils.

piano teacher Alla Norrie
Piano Teacher Alla Norrie

Alla is a very encouraging teacher, who focuses on the positives. As a parent I am pleased that she strives to inspire broader musicianship and the development of technical excellence over and above the limited exam requirements." Parent

Listening Recommendations


Thumbelina by Yvonne Adair

The Bear by Vladimir Rebikov


For Children by Bella Bartok

Children’s Corner by Debussy

Children’s Album (Op. 98) by Alexander Gretchaninoff

Children’s Pieces (Op. 27 and Op. 39) by Dimitri Kabalevsky

Album for My Little Friends by Gabriel Pierne

Album for the Young by Tchaikovsky

To enquire about lessons:

Telephone: 07810 100489



When can my child start piano lessons?

Around age 7. Every child is different, but a desire to learn and an ability to concentrate are essential.

Where do lessons take place?

In my home in central Edinburgh.

How long are your lessons?

30 mins for a 7/8-year-old or a complete beginner.

45 mins - 1 hour if the child is older or preparing for an exam, with a break.

Do you have PVG disclosure?

Of course!


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