While school will teach children structure and academics, it all starts with imagination, and developing a musical skill at a young age channels a child’s imagination and lays a foundation that will benefit them throughout their lives.
When we think of playing the piano, or taking piano lessons, perhaps what comes to mind is a concert pianist playing a fantastically complicated piece of music on a stage in front of a large audience, or a child slowly learning to play “Row Row Row Your Boat” while a teacher sits to one side keeping time. But did you know that while the child sits there learning to plunk away at the black and white keys, she is flexing and strengthening her mathematical and problem solving ability?
Albert Einstein said that “imagination is more important than knowledge”, and was himself an accomplished violinist and pianist. He is known to have said that, had he not been a physicist, he would have been a musician, and he produced his famous Theory of Relativity by playing the piano and taking notes, because playing the piano helped propel his thoughts.
The teachers at Upbeat Piano Studio, whose motto is “enriching lives through music”, embrace the idea that music is an important cornerstone in a developing child, and that playing piano, or any musical instrument, teaches just as many important life skills as sport or academia.
Learning to play the piano passes down a long enduring tradition and allows children to join and learn about the historical and cultural heritage of this wonderful instrument, bringing joy to both the teacher and the student, and ultimately the audience. But it’s more than just playing songs and learning the instrument’s history.
18 amazing benefits of learning to play the piano:
- Instills confidence and increases self esteem (reducing stage fright and learning performance skills diminish shyness and improve proactivity);
- Teaches listening skills (learning to play music inherently involves listening carefully);
- Reduces stress, and is a widely used therapy for Attention Deficit Disorder
- Strengthens fine motor skills (reading notes on a page requires the brain to translate them into finger and hand motions, while breathing and keeping rhythm at the same time);
- Helps develop hand-eye coordination and ambidexterity (a student has to read as they play, not to mention train their hands to develop independent coordination);
- Strengthens neural pathways between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, leading to the skill of split concentration, or divergent thinking. This is not only a form of multitasking (because each hand is doing something different simultaneously), but can for instance lead to better ability to think outside the box and translates into an aptitude for creative problem solving;
- Hones reaction time and reflexes;
- Fortifies productivity and drive (seeing how quickly regular home practice will improve skills reinforces the importance and value of homework and effort);
- Exercises cognition and intellect (a strong foundation in piano is known to activate areas of the brain used in math and spatial reasoning – A study at McGill University showed that students who did at least 3 yrs of piano lessons tested higher in general and spatial areas than their peers);
- Expands memory – piano students have been shown to have increased ability for information retention, have a broadened vocabulary, and are better able to learn other languages;
- Expands proficiency in reading and comprehension;
- Improves organizational and time-management skills;
- Cultivates social and team skills (there is a lot of teamwork involved in playing duets, ensembles and as part of a band or orchestra, both in working together as a unit, as well as paying careful attention to what each other is doing);
- Develops concentration, focus, and perseverance in a fun and creative way that will translate into academic and physical skills;
- Boosts pattern recognition;
- Refines patience, diligence, responsibility and discipline;
- Exposes student to cultural history ;
- It expands the mind and adds a new dimension to the experience of life. Musical skill gives an outlet of expression for feelings that aren’t easily put into words, not just in the young and developing mind, but for people of all ages.
It is easy to see how all of these benefits can prepare children for a wide range of skills and activities, such as sports, keyboard typing, dance, engineering, yoga, swimming, balancing, and as we’ve mentioned earlier, even theoretical physics!
Upbeat Piano Studio provides a friendly and caring environment in which young students can begin to experience all the above benefits. They utilize a popular repertoire that students help choose themselves (such as popular Christmas songs or Disney songs, for example), in addition to the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) curriculum. Indeed, many of their students have returned to the RCM studies later in life. The persistence and diligence instilled by learning an instrument like piano are built into the lessons themselves, and reflected in the teachers’ methods.
Courses are broken down into five key areas:
- Compositions, including students’ improvised and original works
- Ear training
- Sight reading
Students will have the chance to showcase what they learn through seasonal concerts and recitals. The gentle, age-tailored lessons that support and encourage students in their endeavor are warmly praised by those who have sent their children there, and can be read in the enthusiastic testimonials on the studio’s homepage.
Playing the piano is more than just a fun pastime playing songs for friends and family. At Upbeat Piano Studio , students will thrive in a warm and welcoming atmosphere while they refine skills that will improve all areas of their education, and continue to benefit them their entire lives. So whether you’re a parent looking for a fun way for your child to hone social skills and self esteem, or an adult seeking a new and fun way to reduce stress in your life, you’ll find a friendly and upbeat path to complete musicianship at Upbeat Piano Studio.