So, your child wants to start music lessons. Well, one of the very first steps is simply picking an instrument. While there’s no wrong choice when it comes to playing music, there are different advantages to playing various instruments, especially as a beginner. And if you aren’t quite sure where to start, the piano is a great first option.
Like most instruments, there is a LONG list of benefits that come from piano playing. From physical strength to developmental progress, there is no end to what the piano can do for your child. Here are just a few of the benefits that have been proven to come from learning to play:
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved test scores
- Enhanced concentration for school work and multitasking
- Increased hand strength and hand-eye coordination
- Increased confidence
- Community and socialization
We truly believe that music lessons can have lasting impacts on a child’s development, both in and out of the music studio. Students who take music lessons have been shown to perform better in school and even reach developmental milestones before other children.
But even though the facts and figures sound great, actually starting music lessons can still be tough. It can be intimidating, overwhelming, and a little frustrating at times to try something new, especially an instrument. The piano can help reduce some of these feelings and is a really great place to start learning music:
Simple, Linear Layout: The layout of the piano tends to be a little bit easier for children to understand. A piano is pretty straightforward: low notes are to the left, high notes are to the right. Of course there are flats and sharps and everything in between, but the layout tends to be clearer than other instruments, which can help lessons seem less overwhelming at first.
Instant Gratification: When properly tuned, making music on the piano sounds good, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. Unlike other instruments that require specific, complex hand positions or multiple movements at once, hitting the right note on a piano is as simple as pressing a key. And this immediate gratification is helpful to counter frustrations that often come when learning a new skill.
Ease of Playing: Because of the way a keyboard is laid out, it’s much easier for students to make the connection between the notes on the piano and the way they’re written on the staff. There is one key for each note. This, along with the ease of pressing a key to play the right note, allows students to more easily learn simple songs, which increases confidence and self-esteem to encourage students to continue playing.
Music Theory Development: The piano doesn’t require strict technique when first starting. Therefore, students are able to focus on tougher concepts in music theory, such as intervals, pitch, and reading music. Specifically, the piano, unlike a lot of instruments, allows you to easily play more than one note at a time, which makes understanding chords and other more difficult aspects of music theory a little easier.
Gateway Instrument: Just because you start with one instrument, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind down the road. With the large variety of instruments available, it’s tough to commit to just one, especially as a child. This is why the piano is such a great place to start. The simple layout and ease of playing boosts self-esteem and allows children to learn tough concepts early on. And with a solid foundation and a boost of confidence, kids can explore other instrument options with more success.
There’s no wrong choice when picking an instrument, and we’re here to help you thrive no matter what you chose. If you need a little help deciding or just want to start with a good foundational instrument, give the piano try. Our instructor, Kent Toalson, is ready to meet you where you’re at and help you discover the joy of both piano and music as a whole. Check out his page to learn more about his background, then sign-up for your first lesson and see how piano can benefit you!
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