Some parents might wonder if putting their child in piano lessons is worth the trouble. Sometimes parents have to persuade young children to practice, and often children resist lessons in favor of doing things they enjoy more. However, piano lessons offer a number of unique benefits for your child, and the lessons can be worth the investment of time and finances.
1. Piano lessons can improve intellectual ability.
One study showed that young children who take weekly voice or piano lessons have higher IQ scores than children that do not have musical training. Children who begin playing the piano at age six show significant brain development advantages over their peers in just a short period of time.
Learning music and improving in ability with practice can prepare your brain to learn other skills that require similar concentration, especially math and language. Playing the piano is about making connections and anticipating results, which helps with confidence in adding, subtracting, and counting. Part of music is math, especially for early learners. The number of beats in a measure, the timing value of notes, and the combination of chords all have a mathematical element.
Music itself is similar to learning a new language. The notes on the page and the terms and key signatures all have meaning to those who apply themselves to learning. Rests, whole notes, marks for louder and softer, repeat signs, and other music figures are unique to the language of music, and some (like pedal markings) are especially unique to piano.
2. Piano lessons improve motor skills.
If your child has trouble holding a pencil or managing eating utensils well, you might consider piano lessons as an indirect way or making those skills improve. Piano develops the muscles in the hands, and children have to concentrate on controlling their movements as they move from one key to the next. Over a few months of lessons, you might see improvements with skills like coloring in the lines, drawing more correct shapes, and handling tools more adeptly.
3. Piano lessons help to teach resilience and persistence.
"Try, try again," might be the mantra of the developing piano student. No child can perfect a piece on the first try, and making mistakes is part of learning to play the piano, especially at first. Children can learn how to deal with the stress of small failures by trying again until they succeed at learning a new note, a new sequence, or a new scale. Over time, they develop the resilience to keep trying, even if they might not be good at something right away.
4. Piano lessons can teach social cooperation.
Playing the piano may seem like a solo sport, but with practice, playing can teach social skills. Children who learn to play duets with their teacher or with other students must learn to listen and adjust their playing to match that of their peers. This is a subtle skill, but a very useful one in music and beyond. Adjusting behavior to create harmony might mean fewer fights with siblings and friends, for example.
5. Piano can raise self-esteem.
When taught well, student who learn piano can have an improved vision of their self-value. Mastering one skill to move on to the next can help children with low self-esteem or low levels of confidence to feel better about their ability to learn and improve. The value of mastery is tangible; students can see their progress and take pride in their work. But mastery is also an internal process where the student begins to feel more and more competent, driving the desire to learn and discover more.
For more information, contact a piano school in your area.