Why did my child learn the piano?

I posted the piano pieces Grace* played for her class previously. The second piece was cut off, and the daddy requested I post the full-length version of the second piece that was cut off in the Instagram reel. “The first piece is good, but the second one is even better,” he said. He was the one who accompanied Grace* to the class when they performed. So he had his live #prouddad moment. So allow me to boast here to justify the time, effort, and money spent to learn piano. Lol.

Are the piano lessons worth it? Are you also thinking of piano lessons for your child?

I’m actually okay with Grace NOT learning piano because I gave up learning when I was younger and self-declared that I am not musically inclined. I also didn’t regret not learning piano. On the other hand, this is where hubby wants to see his unfulfilled dream comes to fruition in Grace. He said that piano is the foundation of music and it will give her a greater appreciation of music. He also said that it will be easier for her to learn other instruments.

Evidence to Learn Piano

I googled to find out other benefits of playing the piano. I didn’t want Grace to learn piano just because everyone was learning.

Already, then, pianists are able to make their brains into better-rounded machines. But it turns out the heavy tax of piano playing makes their minds efficient in every way. So pianists’ brains actually are different. They are masters of creative, purposeful and efficient communication because of the very instrument that they play. 

mic.com (How Piano Players’ Brains Are Actually Different From Everybody Elses’)

Reading music and playing a musical instrument is a complex activity that comprises motor and multisensory (auditory, visual, and somatosensory) integration in a unique way. Music has also a well-known impact on the emotional state, while it can be a motivating activity. For those reasons, musical training has become a useful framework to study brain plasticity. 

Our results suggest that playing piano and learning to read music can be a useful intervention in older adults to promote cognitive reserve (CR) and improve subjective well-being.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3814522/ (“Effects of music learning and piano practice on cognitive function, mood and quality of life in older adults”)

Our Experience with Piano

Grace playing in class

Learning alongside Grace, I think it’s really true that playing the piano is a good mental exercise.

Seven months ago, both Grace* and I didn’t know how to play the piano. I learned alongside her, and today I’m proud that both of us know how to play simple pieces. Funnily, hubby was the one who wanted to learn the piano with her, but I’m the one who ended up learning to play. 🤭

Then, I’m doubly proud Grace could perform with poise, calmness and confidence, albeit in front of a small crowd. I know it can be nerve-wracking to play for others. I would be. Before the performance, I told her, “You have practised a lot, now just enjoy the playing.”

I have since come to appreciate the skills of a pianist — it’s really not easy to play the piano (using so much of the left and right brain) and so much hard work and discipline are required!

She did need some pushing to practise the piano in the beginning. However, once she got the hang of the piano, she was self-motivated to practise. I know there’s the cycle of interest, and it might get hard again. So I am praying she would continue as long as possible and thus training her in discipline and expanding her brain in the process.

Piano Teacher: Reasons to Learn Piano

Recently I asked a friend who is also a piano teacher, and I quote her:

Children enjoy music, the same goes for adults! However, it’s hard to sustain learning piano purely based on interest. Nobody likes to practice and so interest may fizzle out. Hence, practising piano build perseverance and discipline. It’s also not easy to coordinate both hands with the footwork on the pedal. So piano improves overall coordination and multi-tasking skills.

Piano or classical music, in general, is a long-term thing. I think a minimum of 10 years is required to see legit fruit. I only really enjoyed piano in my twenties. It takes many years because it’s important to have a fuller understanding of the music, and not just the memories of four chords/numbers/shapes. But of course, the latter is the easier and faster route to learning piano when you just want to learn it for enjoyment. Piano playing is very enjoyable when you have the skills and ability to play the stuff you want to play (classical/worship/pop/play+sing along).

Hope my sharing is helpful to your decision process. Let me know other considerations or benefits in the comments below! 🙂

*Not her first name.

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