Benefits of Playing the Piano
Playing the piano has a lot of great benefits for children and adults. Here, we explore some of the benefits for children beginning lessons.
Increased Fine Motor Skills
Its obvious that accomplished pianists have fine motor skills. But did you know that children who begin lessons show increased control over both hands and fingers and better hand-eye coordination? Recent studies show that pianists’ brains change to increase finger speeds leading to better coordination and dexterity.
Reduced Screen Time
We don’t need to tell you that multiple studies have shown that keeping kids away from screens is a good idea. Learning and playing piano is a fun, at home-activity that children can do without screens or technology.
Improved Memory and Learning
Scientists have seen that sight reading music and playing piano uses both lobes of the brain – its truly a whole brain work out! – and uses the same parts of the brain as learning a language. Studies have shown that early language development and spatial-temporal intelligence was boosted by keyboard lessons for preschoolers. Learning and memorizing music also exercises the parts of your brain responsible for reading comprehension and recall.
Children who play piano have increased levels of somatotropin which is released by the brain when they’re playing. Somatotropin is the human growth hormone associated with cognitive functions and memory – so more somatotropin means better memory and ability to learn! In fact, a study by Brown University showed that second graders who had musical training had math skills significantly above their peers. And according to the academic journal, Psychology of Music, children who took music lessons had superior reading skills to their non-musically trained peers. Similarly, studies in Georgia and Texas showed that increased musical instruction was correlated with increased academic achievement in math, science and language arts.
In fact, the effects of taking piano lessons can last well beyond the lessons themselves. Children who take lessons for only a few years can remember 20% more vocabulary words than their peers later in life. Piano playing is also associated with an increased ability to retain information heard in lectures and speeches. Studies have even shown that taking just 2-3 years of piano lessons as a child reduces your chances of getting dementia in old age!
Music can even improve your SAT scores. A study by the College Board showed that students with experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on verbal and 41 points higher on math than students without similar experience. Moreover, A ten-year study by a UCLA professor, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students got higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement.
The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also reading proficiency exams.
Improved Self Esteem
In 2014, a study of fourth-grade students in Canada showed that students who received individual piano lessons for three years had higher self-esteem. Makes sense – when practice pays off, we all feel good!
Teaches Values and Time Management
Learning and playing piano can help children learn the values of hard work, perseverance, patience, dedication and discipline. When playing music, multiple areas of the brain light up. Studies have shown that playing music gives you a full brain workout which enhances our ability to focus not just on music but on other tasks as well. Music students will see increased concentration and discipline in every aspect of life. Moreover, anyone who dedicates the time to learn and practice can play the piano and practicing a new song shows children that when they work at something, it pays off!
Playing piano requires almost daily practice and finding the time to fit in that practice every day requires time management skills. By practicing daily, children learn the importance of time management and prioritization.
At PianoPiano, our mission is to bring music into your life without the hassle. If you’re considering beginning piano, try renting one from us – we can even help you find a teacher! For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 212-586-9057.