The benefits of piano lessons make up a list that is rather generous in length. We’ll acknowledge just a few of them here. Parents who decide to not include music lessons in the agenda of their youngsters for the simple reason that they don’t feel music is not in the future of little “Johnny or Mary” is missing out on a lot.
“Between soccer and scouts, your school-age kid’s schedule is loaded with fun activities. If you’re on the fence about adding music classes to the list, take note of the benefits that come with signing your little one up for violin or piano lessons. Maybe she won’t be the next Beethoven, but she may have an easier time learning math, practicing good manners (including patience!), and becoming a team player.”
~ Parents Magazine
Engaging in piano lessons does not necessarily mean that a concert pianist is in the making (let’s not rule it out, however) but it does set the stage for lifetime of benefits that you might never have considered. Among them are enhanced physical skills, academic skills, self-esteem, and self confidence. It is amazing how all the these benefits seem to overlap or integrate with each other, contributing to an overall positive effect on the person who has the privilege of participating musically for a significant length of time.
When it comes to physical skills, specifically referring to coordination, perhaps there is no musical instrument that is more conducive to a person developing in this area than the piano. Consider what is really going on in the mind and body of the individual coordinating a right-hand melody with a left-hand accompaniment as the eyes are moving in both a vertical and horizontal fashion at a piece of sheet music that is smeared with combinations of chords, arpeggios, and eighth-note and sixteenth-note passages. Let’s not forget the pedal work that is going on during all of this. By the way, if this person is an improvising musician, then we are talking about a higher degree of mental and creative stimulus being an important part of the equation.
Is it any wonder how this degree of expertise in coordination has, as its by product, an aptitude for increased academic skills and self confidence? It almost goes without saying that, if a parent was truly aware of how excelling at a musical instrument to any degree would positively affect his or her daughter, piano lessons at an early age would be on the list of mandatory to-do’s. Weekly lessons that nurture and encourage the skills that go hand in hand with playing piano have a dramatically, amazing impact on individuals… and the effects last for a lifetime.
There’s a saying that goes like this: “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” Well, this does not necessarily mean that if a person has a special talent as an auto mechanic, he or she will enjoy the same level of accomplishment as a musician (that may not even be a choice). However, it does refer to how a person approaches life and one’s personal responsibilities to one’s self. Let’s face it. The establishment of goals, along with their pursuit and achievement, are a fact of life. That said, wouldn’t you agree that learning to become a great goal setter at an early age would be conducive to a more well-balanced and easier life?
Well, when it comes to setting goals and achieving them, a student of the keys gets the luxury of doing both on a daily and weekly basis. But there is an even more exciting ingredient to this recipe. With the guidance of the right piano teacher, that person learns to love setting goals, both short term and long term, and achieving them. It goes without saying that this person will enjoy levels of self esteem and self confidence often not experience by many people.
Now, let’s consider the student who has the privilege of having a teacher who, in addition to providing the motivation and encouragement for all the aspects of playing piano that go along with the traditional piano lesson, also promotes getting those creative juices flowing. We’re talking about learning improvisation and writing songs. A well-rounded musical education that includes learning and mastering chords, chord progressions, improvising, and song writing is irreplaceable. The mind of a student exposed to all this on a regular basis is in the minority. Imagine how this kind of a mind will apply itself to other aspects of life.
Would you say that a young person who has has established a routine of developing mental and coordination skills, setting and achieving goals, maintaining a high level of self esteem and confidence, and enjoys being creative has a chance of leading a stellar life? As a parent, would you want to cheat your youngster out of such possibility?
By the way, the adult piano student has a lot to look forward to as well. As an adult, if you have never allowed yourself the opportunity to get involved with piano lessons, chances are you’ve established some beliefs about the benefits as they apply to you. You can actually enjoy all the benefits that we’ve already mentioned. Once thing is for certain: you are in for a lot of “Aha!” moments because, with the right coach, you can really use the instrument as a vehicle to learn not only about music but a whole lot about yourself. It’s likely that you will wonder what took you so long to make the decision. Get the whole family involved to a degree and, wow, you’ve created a scenario that each and every member will gain value from. Again, the rewards will last a lifetime.