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Why learn piano? Is it beneficial for children?
It can never be said enough:
teaching piano to your child will bring many positive, and often unexpected, effects that will serve to help his or her social interactions.
Here are the
major benefits of learning piano for young students:
Since the 19
th century, well known sociologists such as Durkheim have argued that school allows children to explore another social world in addition to the more limiting one of the family circle. The same goes for music.
In beginner music classes, your little one will meet other children of the same age. Their classes will interweave musical and social skills early on. Growing up, your child will play with other kids in a music school, conservatory, or in an orchestra. By the same token, he or she will establish a relationship and bond with a music teacher. If your child learns music before starting school, the student-teacher relationship will be one of his or her first interactions with an adult outside of the family.
The piano also
stimulates children’s cognitive and scholastic capacities. A study led by F. Rausher and G. Shaw has shown that children who play piano develop spatial reasoning aptitudes faster than others. All this from banging on a piano keyboard! Piano playing stimulates cognitive and listening capacities in children.
The hearing and motor functions of musicians are more developed than those of non-musicians. Because listening shapes the musical ear and coordination, it also improves one’s movements in space. So there are more benefits to proper posture for the piano than you thought!
A trained pianist will have better scholastic results than the rest, as music class teaches children about relationships, discipline and effort. Learning solfège and playing on 88 keys also plays a role in brain development: the person becomes more skillful, more inclined to learn different languages and read piano notes, a scale and chords more rapidly. They’ll be playing like Mozart in no time!
This will make training on other instruments and overall music comprehension easier in the long run.
So now that you’re convinced about enrolling your child in beginner piano lessons, you must decide what age to do it at!
What age should one begin piano instruction?
It’s often said that there is no ideal age for learning to play the piano, that one can start at any point in life. However, those
under the age of 3 are too young to attentively follow a music class or piano course. Even tiny fingers can reach those keys!
Beginner’s music classes allow children to discover the world of music: rhythm, sounds, ear training, all while having fun. If children associate the piano to something enjoyable, they’ll be eager to learn those keys!
To encourage your children, it’s important to regularly give them positive reinforcement, and find a piano teacher who can adapt his or her method for very young beginners.
Although there’s no official age to learn the piano,
at 7 years of age, children are at their most malleable neurologically: their brains are like sponges and sop up new things more rapidly than adults. This is also around the time that they can truly understand solfège and begin to learn sight reading. So encourage them to take piano lessons as soon as they get to primary school.
Also, from adolescence, piano lessons might be abandoned in order to play guitar, which seems a bit cooler at that age! (Well, this is at least the case for rock guitar as opposed to flamenco or classical guitar.)
Try to explain to your son or daughter that, in addition to being “cool,”
the piano is a very good base instrument for playing a range of music styles and understanding music theory, which is necessary for playing other instruments including the guitar.
Remember that many composers and famous pianists began very young, while others encountered the piano later in life, as adults. Even you can play! Perhaps the common excuses we use – that our fingers become stiffer, we have less time for piano lessons and less capacity for learning – are simply to hide our lack of motivation?
Although adults are already developed mentally and muscle wise (in relation to children), they already possess a deep musical culture and more money to play for piano lessons!
Learning beginner piano, even for those over 40 or 50 years, can be a factor that reduces future cognitive patholological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease: the brain is a muscle, nothing is unalterable and even a senior citizen can learn to play if he or she wants to!
How unfair and sad would it be if private lessons were reserved for young people? In fact, studying the piano at the same time as your children could be a great way of motivating them!
How to get young kids interested in playing piano?
In order to encourage your young child to take a first piano class they must have fun with it.
Enrolling your child in piano lessons will bring more benefits than playing on the PlayStation!
The piano must be a fun endeavor, and not torture. If going to lessons seems to be a source of angst, tension, or stress, there’s little chance your child will want to continue studying those piano scales.
To make sure the piano lesson is a good experience, you must find a good piano instructor, with a fun and simple pedagogical method. How would you like having at-home lessons? Superprof has so many established pianists that are waiting to hear from you! But don’t just get in touch with anyone who is giving away free lessons: the teacher must be experienced and good at children’s education. Going with a conservatory graduate destined to become a renowned pianist, but who doesn’t know how to adapt his teaching to children, risks turning your child off music.
If you yourself are a musician – amateur or professional – it will be that much easier to motivate your children.
Do at home beginner music lessons and solfège instruction, letting them interact with your instruments.
The internet also offers excellent training methods for online piano – this will allow your child to learn to play piano without having to go anywhere!
Online piano classes and video lessons are a gold mine of efficient, fun, and motivating learning methods.
In the big American cities, private music schools, and municipal schools and associations welcome children of all ages.
Lastly, listening to music at home is very beneficial. This can be a means of motivating your children: playing jazz or classical music piano pieces from when they are very young, might make them want to learn the piano to play what they hear.
How you can help your child learn?
So a few months have gone by since your child started
private piano lessons but it seems that progress has been minor. If your child is stumbling over a piano tune, it’s actually a good sign! But how can you make sure that he or she is working well? How do you make the most of these lessons (that you are paying for)?
Instructors should be teaching all aspects of piano playing, including:
Posture work Solfège training Practicing songs Piano chord progressions and arpeggios Reading music
the piano instructor cannot always be on the student’s case.
The student is often alone with his or her keyboard. In order for a child to learn to play the piano, he or she must regularly practice. It’s better to do 20 minutes every day rather than cramming all the practice into the 2 hours before a lesson. This is because the brain needs time to ruminate, reassess, practice, and settle.
And parents have a role to play in encouraging this behavior – remember that piano lessons of high caliber are a true team effort!
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