On Piano Study
By inquiring into piano lessons for your child, you show that you obviously care very much about the role that music can play in his or her life. The benefits of piano study are of immense value to the growth and development of any child.
Consider for a moment, if you will, that your child will have the chance to full coordinate both sides of the brain. Combining the practical and physical with the creative aspects of the art, the whole brain is nurtured. Frank Wilson, M.D., a California neurologist, showed through his research that “when music meets the brain, there’s a two-way transaction that somehow benefits both motor skills and mental facilities.” Hands, ears, eyes, brain — all are involved at the same time that emotions are stimulated.
The study of piano requires discipline, concentration, persistence, attention to detail, goal setting, and goal achievement. The long-term benefits are many when a child learns these attributes early in life. A sense of accomplishment through achieving goals means better self-esteem. Better self-esteem blossoms into a “can do” attitude. And this attitude means that this child is willing to try new skills, and reaching for better grades in school just may be one of them. Indeed, it is a fact that 12 out of 20 U.S.A. top academic high school students play musical instruments (USA Today, Monday, May 21, 1990). It isn’t just coincidence that listening to Mozart before taking IQ tests, college students scored 8 to 9 points high than the groups who listened to a relaxing tape or silence (Nature, 1993).
The National Piano Project of 1992 which studied teacher, parent, and student perceptions of the benefits of piano study, found that across all music ability levels, all of the children in the study performed well in school, receiving As and Bs (American Music Teacher, June/July, 1993). All children expressed very positive attitudes about piano study. All participants consider piano study to be a positive aspect of children’s development, citing mostly personal skills and positive self-perception. MOST IMPORTANTLY, all the groups identified most frequently the development of discipline, concentration, self-esteem and happiness as benefits they attributed to studying piano.