Piano lessons are unique in that multiple parts of the brain are working at the same time while playing. And, this can have great results in other areas of life.
Better at school?
Many parents have read or heard that their child will do better in school if they study a music instrument. And, there is research that somewhat supports this.
Children who study piano & other instruments have:
- Increased motor control. This includes finger dexterity, especially with their non-dominant hand. (“Musical Training Shapes Structural Brain Development” study)
- More sensitivity in hearing differences between melody & rhythm patterns (“Musical Training Shapes Structural Brain Development” study)
- Larger anterior corpus callosum, the nerve fibers that connect & allow both sides of the brain to communicate ( “Increased corpus callosum size in musicians” study)
- Positive changes in the hippocampus. This is area of the brain we educators are especially interested in! It controls how we learn, both in terms of memory & learning new information/skills, but the emotions & motivation needed to persevere during the early stages of learning something new.
But, this is where a lot of parents stop. The assumption is that if their child learns an instrument they will automatically get better at all of the above things.
And, your child will over time. But, it takes consistent effort & practice.
Life Lessons Through Music
When I look back on the decades that I have played piano & developed my craft, none of the above reasons make it to my list of reasons why to learn to play piano.
At Must Love Music, the focus in on students learning skills they can apply to the rest of their life. Both current & future.
The life lessons learnt through music include:
- We don’t have to be perfect at something the first time. Or, even the fifth.
- Learning a new skill takes time & effort.
- When practicing is always easy it means we are closing ourselves to new learning.
- Practicing a new skill can feel uncomfortable & frustrating.
- It’s okay to ask for help when we need it.
- There are many ways to express how we feel (both positive & negative) … even without words.
- When one way of doing something does not work, try another. Experiment!
- “There are no mistakes. Just happy accidents.” (Bob Ross quote)
These are the life lessons that my husband & I focus on with our children. They are the lessons that will help them in school, life & their future careers.
At Must Love Music, we use music as a way to express feelings, expand our abilities, & practice these important life lessons when the stakes are much lower.
Whether your child learns piano or another instrument, learning life lessons through music is a powerful way to prepare your child for the future.
To learn how you can support your child during the week as he or she practices, click below.