6 Ways Learning the Piano Helps Your Child's Development
Date Posted:28 June 2017
Learning a musical instrument has far greater benefits for children beyond simply being able to master that instrument. In fact, you’d be surprised just how far the benefits go. The piano, in particular, is one of the best instruments you can get your child involved in from an early age. Not only does learning to play the piano have long-term positive impacts on the brain, including helping the development of mathematical skills and spatial intelligence, it can improve your child’s overall mental health, social skills and hand eye coordination. Read on to discover all the reasons why you should enrol your child into piano lessons.
1. Improve intellect and creative abilities
The most obvious benefit of having your child learn to play the piano is that it will help nurture any creative abilities your child naturally has. Through learning to play the piano, your child can develop a sense of pitch and learn to recognise tones, intervals and chords. However, even if your child is not naturally gifted at music, that does not mean you shouldn’t get them involved. Learning to persevere and master something that doesn’t come easily can have an even greater impact on a child in boosting their confidence and drive for success.
There is also a strong link between musical study and school performance. Piano study is known to increase cognitive abilities and improve memory. A study undertaken by a psychologist from the University of Wisconsin found that preschool aged children who had piano lessons scored 34% higher than students who had not had any musical training in tests that required the use of math, science and spatial reasoning. This is because learning an instrument requires the development of the same skills needed to learn language, reading and critical thinking.
2. Develop concentration
When first starting out, learning to play the piano can be very challenging for children, but if they’re determined to practice, they’re sure to improve. This encourages them to set goals to work towards and stay focused on achieving them. In particular, they will learn split concentration. Playing the piano requires coordinating both hands and reading music sheets and interpreting notes into hand movements, while listening to your own playing. Learning to do all these things at once can help your child develop multitasking skills that will benefit them throughout their life.
3. Emotional benefits
Not only will learning to play the piano improve your child’s cognitive ability, it can have profound benefits for their emotional health too. Children get stressed just as much as adults do and can use the piano as an outlet for stress and anxiety relief and even boosts self-esteem. Studies have revealed that time spent playing the piano allows the body to relax and reduces feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety. In fact, playing the piano is a commonly used form of therapy. Achieving goals as they get better and better is also an extremely rewarding benefit for both you and your child and will bring positive feelings of pride and accomplishment to your household.
4. Learn to respond to criticism
Learning how to respond to criticism is an important part of life. As your child grows, they will need to learn how to deal with setbacks, and persevere through with patience and without becoming discouraged. As with most things, being able to play the piano is not something that can be mastered overnight. It’s important to get your child a qualified piano teacher as they will be able to provide constructive criticism and your child will learn how to respond to advice and feedback, while keeping a positive attitude. In the end, the hardwork and dedication will pay off, boosting their confidence, and as a result your child will learn the importance of perseverance.
5. Increased social skills
Getting your child involved in the school band is a great way for them to learn social skills and work with other children. Discussing their piano playing and development with other children will help them learn from each other, and being involved in a group class will help them learn to work in a team, as they will need to do in many aspects of their life in the future. Having a skill like playing the piano is also an excuse to get family and friends together to hear your child play. Performing in front of others can help them overcome stage fright and build confidence.
6. Improve physical capabilities
Playing the piano helps develop stronger hand muscles, improves coordination and overall physical health. Getting children started early will ensure they are able to develop dexterity in their hand muscles that will improve the strength of their hands into adulthood. Regularly playing will also sharpen your child’s fine motor skills. Learning to move one hand slowly while the other hand is moving fast is why the piano is great for learning hand-eye coordination and dexterity. The benefits that piano playing has on reducing stress levels can also lead to improved physical health such as lowering blood pressure.
Start piano lessons today
Learning to play the piano offers so many amazing benefits to your children that will last them a lifetime. Not only will their creative skills develop and they will learn a new instrument, they will also benefit from decreased stress and overall emotional and physical health, as well as learn valuable life skills like learning how to respond to criticism. A healthy balance between school, socialising, sport and musical tutoring in your child’s routine can really get them a good head start in life.