The benefits of learning piano are many. Some of the many benefits include: cognitive and academic, emotional and psychological, physical and motor skills, music appreciation and ear training, discipline and goal setting, social and performance opportunities, as well as personal and creative expression. The piano is arguably the most popular instrument on the planet! Many students choose to learn the piano as their first instrument due to the piano's extreme versatility, popularity, and the overall enjoyment the piano often brings to students. The piano is simply really fun to play! You can spend a lifetime learning this wonderful instrument. Piano lessons offer students the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of music education.
Learning to play piano enhances cognitive abilities. According to one study published in the Psychology of Music, the findings were that children who received piano lessons showed improvement in their vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills compared to children who did not receive lessons (Bugos et al., 2007). This is because playing piano requires a great deal of cognitive processing, particularly in language-related areas. Musicians must read and interpret sheet music, recognize patterns and sequences, and coordinate their hands and fingers to play the correct notes. Additionally, playing the piano can improve the brain's ability to process and retain information. To learn more about the cognitive benefits of learning to play piano please read Piano Marvel's article entitled 'How Playing the Piano Can Improve Cognition'.
The academic benefits of learning to play piano are also many. Learning to play piano helps with the development of multitasking, memory, and problem-solving skills. The ability to play piano with two hands, feet for the pedals, and reading sheet music all at the same time is extremely difficult. With practice, piano students can learn to train their hands to play piano at the same time while working the different pedals with their feet. The ability to learn to read sheet music while playing is also a multitasking skill that can be developed. Memorizing music is also a key element to piano lessons. Memorization is encouraged for piano students taking piano performance exams. It should also be encouraged overall since piano students will not always have their sheet music with them when a piano is present. When music is memorized piano students will never miss an opportunity to play the piano when it presents itself. Memorization skills are enhanced and improved when piano students memorize the music they are performing. Problem-solving skills are also improved when learning to play piano. Students learn to tackle difficult passages in the music by planning ahead and choosing a fingering pattern that is logical and makes the most sense. Using a metronome is an excellent way to problem solve rhythm and timing. Many beginner piano students have difficulty playing at even pace. Tools such as a metronome provide piano students with a way to break down beats and play evenly.
The emotional benefits and psychological benefits of learning to play the piano are also numerous. Playing the piano promotes emotional expression. The piano allows students to create and explore a wide range of emotions including sadness, joy, and excitement depending on the music that is being played. Piano students can learn to channel their emotions while playing piano. The piano is a very expressive instrument and playing the piano encourages students to get emotional when they play. Playing piano is a great way for someone to express themselves emotionally. The ability to lose yourself in the music while playing the piano is incredibly rewarding. Playing piano can create a sense of elation in the brain making the pianist feel good. The most important psychological benefit of playing piano is the fact that it is therapeutic. Playing piano can reduce stress and anxiety. It can be extremely relaxing and rewarding. Studies have shown that piano lessons or simply playing piano can improve one's mental health and overall well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression, while boosting one's self-esteem. Playing piano can also help deal with trauma, grief, and loss. The benefits of learning piano are many. For these numerous reasons many students take piano lessons.
The physical benefits of playing piano improves fine motor skills, develops hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity, and even helps individuals with motor skill challenges. For these reasons piano lessons are a great way to strengthen your hands and fingers. Over time consistent practice of scales and arpeggios (solid and broken) will increase with hand and finger strength. The repetitive motions of these piano exercises will definitely make your hands and fingers stronger and more dexterous. Ultimately, you will be able to play the piano at faster speeds if you are consistent with your piano technique practice. Developing hand-eye coordination is yet another skill that piano students can gain from piano lessons. The ability to read sheet music while playing the piano keys with your fingers and the pedals with your feet is invaluable. Piano students learn to use their eyes, ears, fingers and feet all at the same time. Individuals with motor skill challenges will find that piano lessons can be quite helpful. One study on hand motor control in musicians suggests that the benefits of learning piano includes the ability to change the actual cortical mapping to increase finger speeds. This means that individuals with reduced motor skills can actually challenge brain connections to motor movement and strengthen physical coordination. To learn more about cortical mapping and brain connections to motor movement please read the article by Alan HD Watson here:
Music education usually involves music appreciation courses and ear training exercises. Learning to play piano enhances music appreciation. Playing piano allows individuals to understand music on a deeper level than non-musicians. Piano students get a chance to study music compositions by way of analysis. Analyzing music gives piano students the opportunity to see how a piece of music was composed by looking at the overall structure of the composition. Here, piano students can learn the form of the music composition, examine the melody, harmonies, phrasing and dynamics of the piece of music they are learning to play on piano. All of this analysis can lead to a greater appreciation of music in general. Ear training can also lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of music. Developing aural skills is essential if you want to have an excellent music education. Music is a hearing art. Knowing the sound of certain intervals or scales can be extremely helpful when learning to play piano. For instance, if you familiar with a certain scale that is being played in a music composition the music itself will be easier to learn since you have already committed the scale in question to body memory. Familiarizing yourself with common intervals is also extremely helpful. If you are familiar with sounds of intervals they will be easier to play since you already know what they should sound like.
The benefits of learning piano also include discipline and goal setting. Discipline is extremely important and required for successful regular practice routines. All piano students should create a practice schedule that is realistic and time effective. Allotting a set number of minutes to certain piano exercises and repertoire is extremely helpful. It allows piano students to chart out how they are going to learn all of their technical exercises and repertoire on a daily basis. Ultimately, the development of perseverance and commitment is extremely important. Perseverance and commitment are life skills that usually lead to success. It's all about working hard and committing yourself to a specific task. Practice makes progress as the saying goes. Learning to play the piano fosters goal setting and achievement. For this reason, piano lessons should be goal oriented or goal driven. It's always good to start with the end in mind. Having a goal will keep piano students motivated and focused. Performing for an exam or music recital is a great goal to have.
We have already discussed the cognitive benefits, emotional benefits, and physical benefits of piano lessons. Now let's look at the social aspect of playing piano. Playing piano in an ensemble or band, as well as accompanying a singer or soloist on piano can be a very social experience. Not only are you interacting with other musicians you are learning to work together. Team work and accountability play a major factor when performing in a group. Music ensembles can be both large (such as playing in an orchestra) or small (such as playing in a string quartet or band). Recitals and band gigs present piano students with an excellent opportunity to socialize with not only the audience but also with band members or ensemble members. Sharing music while performing often brings people together. Performing in front of an audience builds confidence and self esteem. The more a piano student performs the better and more experienced they become. Performing music in front of a live audience creates a sense of elation in the performers brain making it an incredibly positive experience.
Playing the piano allows for personal and creative expression. This is yet another benefit of learning piano. Expression and interpretation are of utmost importance for piano players. Piano lessons help guide students for expression and interpretation of the music they are playing. Piano students can learn how to make music come to life as they tell a story through the music that is being played on the piano. Important elements of musical expression include: dynamics, phrasing, articulation, tempo, and tone all of which can be taught during piano lessons and this creates a solid foundation of music education. Learning how to interpret piano music can be challenging. For this reason, it is important that piano students study the historical context of the music, the composer's background, and the style of the music composition. This will give piano students much needed information on how the piano composition can be played. Piano lessons can also be an outlet for creativity and self-discovery. Students can learn how to compose their own music as well as create original arrangements of their favourite compositions.
We have learned about the many benefits of learning piano such as: cognitive and academic, emotional and psychological, physical and motor skills, music appreciation and ear training, discipline and goal setting, social and performance opportunities, as well as personal and creative expression. Learning piano has so many benefits. No wonder the piano is such a popular instrument. We hope we have encouraged you to embark on your own piano learning journey!