The Benefits of Playing Piano (Guest Post from Lori’s School of Music)

Happy Thursday, everyone! We hope that you’re enjoying your day and are excited for the upcoming weekend. We are thrilled to introduce today’s guest blogger, Lori St. Clair, from Lori’s School of Music. Based out of Independence, Lori offers both classes and private lessons for students who wish to learn how to play the piano. We’re lucky to have Lori here and willing to share her expertise with us today. Without further adieu, I present to you: The Benefits of  Playing Piano
We live in a day and age where there are many opportunities for children and teenagers to become involved in extracurricular activities. From sports to dance and theater, each of these activities offers valuable skills and life lessons stemming from the good intentions of coaches and teachers. As a piano teacher, I am passionate about music. It is my passion not only because it’s beautiful but also because I believe that music helps to develop the whole child. Among the many reasons that I love offering the gift of piano to children are that playing helps develop self esteem, promotes better grades, and prepares younger children for band.
Piano Develops Self-Esteem
I’ve taught several students throughout the years and have noticed a dramatic increase in the self-esteem of these children throughout the course of their music education. Many students, primarily younger children, tend to be shy and introverted during their first few lessons. As novice pianists, new students tend to lack confidence in the beginning but, even after just a few weeks, I start to notice a distinct change in each child.  They become excited about music and come to life. It’s truly magical to watch the transformation in each of these students and it’s an honor to witness their confidence grow through music. One of my favorite memories from teaching is a young student who enrolled in lessons. Within his first year learning how to tickle those ivory keys, he decided to play in his school’s talent show. It’s that kind of enthusiasm and drive that thrills me as a music educator.
Piano Helps Promote Education
One of the most incredible things about a child’s growing self esteem is the shift these students tend to have in their education. As students become more confident in their musical abilities, that same sense of self tends to translate into a better, more positive experience at school.  There seems to be a correlation between learning life skills, such as playing an instrument, and better performance in the classroom.  Encouraging our children to take on a new skill is an incredible gift that we can offer to them in their childhood.
Piano Prepares Students for School Band
Piano teaches some of the key concepts that students will need to know no matter what instrument they end up playing. I teach my students rhythm, how to read music, how to write music, ear training and theory. My piano students that try out for 6th Grade Band are winning in every district-Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, and Independence. This is an honor and great opportunity for them to progress with their musical abilities.
Learning to play the piano provides a great opportunity for a child’s growth and development. Students that start lessons at age 5 are better able to grasp concepts and tend to learn more quickly than older children. Every year, I take my students to compete at the Mid-American Music Association. I participated as a student and am honored to participate as an instructor with my students. It is because of this annual contest that my love for the art developed through the years and ultimately it’s what led me to teach piano as an adult. Give your child the opportunity to develop their musical talent.

Research shows that music helps build children’s self-confidence, enhances complex reasoning and focuses listening skills. Early music instruction produces cognitive benefits in the area of spatial-temporal reasoning.

Studies have shown that young children who have developed rhythm skills perform better academically in their early school years. Children who take music lessons have better verbal memory skills than others and may find it easier to learn in school.

Children seem to be naturally drawn to music right from the start. Fostering this inborn love of music can begin as early as infancy. Parental involvement is an important factor in early music training and can greatly improve the experience.

Early childhood music programs such as Kindermusik focus on fostering a love of music, rhythm, and self-expression. Early musical experiences can help children develop their singing voice, build steady beat competency, develop listening skills, and give expression to their feelings. These valuable skills will benefit children when they begin formal music lessons.

So when should children begin piano lessons?

Around the ages of 7 or 8 years children typically begin piano lessons. By this age children are more ready to sit still and concentrate and their hands are big enough to reach the keys. By age 8 children usually have developed the ability to do abstract reasoning which is needed for staff note reading.

Children will learn much more than just music in playing the piano. They will achieve valuable skills such as self-discipline, mental concentration, a sense of timing, the ability to hold up under stress, memory skills and many others that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Give your child the gift that lasts a lifetime…..Music!

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