Benefits to Learning Piano


Phone: (602)454-0416

Neurological Research February 28, 1997

Research shows that piano students are better equipped to comprehend mathematical and scientific concepts. A group of preschoolers received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received private computer lessons. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34% higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others — even those who received computer training. “Spatial-temporal” is basically proportional reasoning — ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. This concept has long been considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and science.


Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997.

A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also in reading proficiency exams. Source: Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997.

Piano Lessons Increase Coordination

Increased eye-hand coordination is almost a given for children that learn to play the piano, but there is more than that. Kids who play the piano have improved fine motor skills and, unlike other instruments, the piano requires both hands to work independently of each other, one moving fast while the other may be moving at a slower rate. All of these things help to increase a child's overall dexterity and complex thought processes.


Piano Lessons Help Children to Concentrate

Reading a piece of music takes a great deal of focus, causing a child to interpret a note and a rhythm, translate it into hand movements on the keyboard and then immediately go on to the next one. Reading and playing music allows them to think both critically and creatively, which is a skill that will assist them in anything they choose to undertake in the future.


It Teaches Discipline

Learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and it can be challenging at times. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline. You have to be disciplined in order to master playing your instrument. You have to set time each day to practice, practice and practice some more.

Sense of Achievement

If you're a beginner learning to play your first piece, it can be frustrating. But once you've mastered it, the satisfaction you'll feel is priceless. Never mind if it's just a simple piece, believe me you'll never forget the first piece you've mastered. You are one more step closer to achieving your goal and that is certainly something to be proud of.

Improved school performance.

In 2000, Francis Rauscher published research indicating that classroom keyboard lessons causes long-term enhancement of the spatial-temporal reasoning abilities of children (Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15, 215-228). In plain English, this means that learning to play the piano helped kids understand concepts behind science, math, and even engineering.

Confidence.

The self-esteem boost that comes from mastering any musical instrument is considerable. With the exception of percussion instruments, the piano is one of the easier beginner instruments for young kids. It still feels good to rise to the challenge. And learning that practice improves performance is a lesson that children can extrapolate to many aspects of their lives.



























E-mail: desertunes@gmail.com

“The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell

Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation.  Source: “The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell

Piano Lessons Help Children in School

The most talked about benefit children receive from piano lessons is that it also helps with their school lessons. Numerous studies available show children who play an instrument, score higher on both standard and spatial cognitive development tests alike. There are also findings that show kids who play piano, in particular, scored higher in math, especially on problems dealing with ratios and fractions.

In one particular study conducted by Dr. Frances Rauscher (a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh) and Gordon Shaw (a physicist at of the University of California) tested preschoolers who received piano instruction. They found that preschoolers who received piano lessons scored 34% higher than their nonmusical counterparts in tests measuring spatial-temporal reasoning, which is the brain function used to understand math, science and engineering.


Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.

High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.
Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.

Piano Lessons Help Children to be Well-Rounded

Regardless of whether a child plays the piano for a short time or for a lifetime, the long-term effects of their piano pursuance are many. Through playing the piano, children are exposed to classical music that they may otherwise have never heard. Kids may develop an appreciation for composers like Bach or Mozart that stay with them for life. In addition, the skills and knowledge they learn in piano may help them easily pick up another musical instrument later.


Playing A Musical Instrument is Fun

Sure it can be a lot of hard work but there is no denying playing an instrument is fun. Once you get better at it, opportunities will arise for you to share your newly learned skill with your family and friends. Who knows, you may also consider playing professionally in the future. Playing a musical instrument opens up a lot of good possibilities that will surely enrich your life.

Increased hand-eye coordination.

Piano lessons help children with their fine motor skills, coordination, and general dexterity. The importance of good hand-eye coordination in kids is clear; kindergardeners learning to write, and older children perfecting their writing skills, need to be able to have mastered this small motor skill.

Music appreciation.

It seems obvious, perhaps: Understanding the process of playing music, and thinking about individual notes that make up a whole musical composition, engages children in a deeper understanding of the complexity of music. This carries through to a lifetime of music appreciation, across musical genres.









 Maricopa, AZ

Nature May 23, 1996

Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school first grade classes. Half of the classes became “test arts” groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance. After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The “test arts” group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22%. In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also. Source: Nature May 23, 1996

Piano Lessons Raise Self Esteem

Learning to play the piano is hard work and takes dedication. Not only does each song mastered increase a child's self-esteem, but showcasing their newly learned talents at piano recitals can boost their self esteem as much as winning a game in a sports competition.

Lessons also help kids to learn how to keep a positive outlook when facing difficult tasks. The understanding that mastering a new skill is a process that requires patience helps children to approach tasks with confidence, and not become discouraged or frustrated.


Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts. A study conducted at the University of Texas looked at 362 students who were in their first semester of college. They were given three tests, measuring performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol related problems. In addition to having fewer battles with the bottle, researchers also noted that the college-aged music students seemed to have surer footing when facing tests.  Source: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

Playing A Musical Instrument Makes You Smarter

Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don't. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child's reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory.

Playing A Musical Instrument Relieves Stress

We all have days when we are so stressed out and we just want to take a break from it all. Have you ever noticed that when you hear soft, soothing music you feel more relaxed? Playing an instrument can do that and more, especially if you're the one playing. Music is one of life's simple joys; it helps calm the mind.

Improved concentration.

Learning to play the piano takes focus, as children need to think about each hand operating separately. Learning to read sheet music also takes concentration and focus, and translating the written notes into music with the correct tempo and rhythm does as well.

Being well-rounded.

Most children who learn to play the piano don't grow up to be concert pianists. However, having multiple interests and one or two hobbies add to the well-roundedness of developing personality.

Advantage