The Benefits of Taking Piano Lessons
Your little girl comes home one day after school and says, "Mommy - I want to take piano lessons like my friend Jane." You inwardly cringe. You know private piano lessons are a lot more expensive than soccer or even ballet. It means you must find space in your house for a piano! It'll mean more homework and practicing and....
Before you go and trash the idea, think again. There are lots of benefits to piano lessons you may not have thought of. Here are ten not so obvious reasons you should take into consideration!
1. Piano lessons teach kids how to sing.
Huh? You heard me right. I have taught oodles of children who could not hold a tune or pitch with their voice. But after several years of piano, something changed. When I asked them to sing along to their pieces, I could hear that they were on the pitch!
How could that be? I'm living proof. As a small child, I could not sing. 20 years of piano later, I sing in bands, at weddings, and can do a lower or higher harmony with the best of them.
If you think your child will want to someday be a singer, give them piano lessons. Start today. The constant training of intervals and notes will indirectly train their ear as well. Singing about the ear, not really the voice. Well okay, it's a little about the voice!
2. Piano is the gateway instrument.
Let's say Johnny wants to be a drummer, or a guitarist, or a flutist. Every single instrument uses the same notes, the same staffs, the same music theory. Learning on the piano first gives your child a leg up when it's time to go on to different instruments.
Think of it this way - if you just play the flute, it won't be as easy to pick up a bass. But if you play piano, any instrument will be a snap to learn. All you'll need is the particular technique.
3. Piano teaches a child how to multi-task.
Piano playing isn't easy. The right hand does one thing, the left hand does another, and the foot does another. This is the art of multi-tasking. If your child struggles with hand-eye coordination or the ability to do two things at once, piano lessons will help.
4. Piano strengthens fingers.
Think about one of the most important things you do with your fingers every day - for most people - it's typing. If you are a student, an office worker, a doctor, a lawyer, a writer - it makes no difference. People type...a lot. Piano lessons give fingers increased strength and flexibility.
5. Piano teaches discipline.
Kids who start with the piano quickly realize that it takes time and discipline to succeed. It's not a quick journey to piano mastery. The daily in and out of practice teaches a child how to enjoy the process of learning, how to stick to a schedule, and how to create long-lasting healthy habits.
6. Piano helps with math skills.
Music theory is quite mathematical. If your child struggles with fractions or geometry, music theory can help. Learning about rhythms and notes and distances in intervals all work together to help develop critical math skills.
7. Piano is a lifetime of enjoyment.
Unlike soccer, gymnastics, or football, piano can last through a lifetime. The older you get, the less your muscles work well to do rigorous sports and activities. But the piano is different. Do you see a lot of older people playing the piano? Yes you do. It's something that stays with you for life. It is a worthwhile investment.
8. Piano lessons can make you money.
I bet you're scratching your head on this one, but it's true. Kids who take piano lessons during childhood have a valuable skill they can give to others. By the time I was 16, I was giving piano lessons to other children making more money an hour than I could at any other high school job.
For the past ten years, piano lessons have been the bread and butter of my income. When I'm not teaching, I can perform and get paid gigs at Church, weddings, parties, etc.
9. Piano makes you more marketable as a performer.
If you sing, great. But if you sing AND play the piano? Even better. There are tons of great vocalists out there, but far fewer vocalists who can accompany themselves. If your child has an inkling of wanting to perform in show business, piano lessons should be mandatory.
10. Piano is the best way to learn music theory.
It's true. Music theory is a subject that they will get throughout their entire school career. I remember loving music theory topics because I always smoked my competition. If your child has any affinity for music, give him/her the edge in music class through piano lessons. There is no better instrument to learn music theory.
Those are just a few benefits you may not have thought of...
I'm sure there are plenty that you have. Music is therapy. Music is the foundation of culture. The satisfaction of playing and singing your own tune is immense. Children love to perform. It's the kind of thing you can do in any climate. It doesn't require all sorts of fancy equipment like horseback riding or ice hockey.
It is timeless.
Of course, don't take my word for it. You'll see. Yes, prepare for some hard work and a long term investment. But you'll never regret it.
About the author
Julie DeNeen is a full-time freelance writer and pianist. She's taken over 15 years of lessons and has taught both children and adults for the last decade. For other articles she's written on the art of piano playing, you can check out the links below.
- What is the Best Age to Start Piano Lessons?
Your child wants to learn the piano. Assess your child's readiness before making the investment.
- Piano Chords- A Comprehensive Overview for Beginners
An introduction to the world of piano chords. If you have always wanted to play the piano but have no interest in reading music, this article is for you!
- How to Teach Young Children Piano
If you have a child who shows an affinity to the piano but is not old enough for formal lessons, the following article will give parents ideas for teaching early piano skills.