Many parents hope that their child will learn to play the piano. The piano is a very popular musical instrument, but what are the actual benefits of piano classes for a child? What can piano lessons bring him or her? This article aims to show you all the positive factors in beginner piano course for children!

Piano courses improve scholastic results

Generally speaking, children who take piano courses in a music school or with a private piano teacher have the best results in school. This is because the piano isn’t just a hobby, a bit of fun, or a practical activity. Piano classes have an element of fun, which is necessary to attract children’s attention, while also testing their intellectual faculties and contributing to their development.

Primary school children in class, in Harar, Ethiopia.
Playing piano improves our scholastic performance!

Dr. Frances Rauscher, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. Gordon Shaw, a physician at the University of California, have shown in a study that young children who play the piano or sing obtain the highest grades in school. The study looked at the behavior of about 50 children aged 3 and 4 during 8 months. They were divided into 3 groups: those who took singing or piano lessons, those who took IT classes, and those who didn’t take any class. At the end of the testing period all children were asked to take spatial recognition tests, and those in the first group scored 31% higher than the other two groups.

Spatial recognition abilities are thus more developed in kids who take piano classes (or who sing). The more this skill is developed, the better chance the child has at obtaining the best mathematic or science results in school. Who knew that learning scales, how to read sheet music and piano posture could reap such far-reaching benefits?

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Piano lessons reinforce our self-confidence

Playing an instrument, especially the piano, is very enriching for children. By learning the piano, your child will be able to play songs, an ability that will fill him or her with pride in front of others. This is why it’s essential to encourage your child throughout their piano training, to congratulate them once a challenge has been achieved, such as a new piano song learned, or a chord progression played to perfection. These encouragements will spur them to keep at piano practice and piano courses, become more advanced pianists and continually improve their self-confidence.

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Piano classes, listening and team work

A child that takes a piano course with a piano teacher will acquire a better listening faculty than other children. To advance at the piano, one has to work and listen closely to the instructions given by a teacher. Even if the piano is an enjoyable activity, a piano lesson constitutes a form of work that takes a lot of effort. Even Mozart got to where he was by practicing!

A child who takes piano lessons before starting school will be more disciplined, and more attentive to a teacher, having already had an education experience and a knowledge of the teacher-pupil relationship in music classes.

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The piano is a team effort!

But how can you get your child to want to learn to play the piano?

Why not get your child past the unsavory aspects of learning the piano, such as memorizing scales and keys, having perfect piano posture, and reading sheet music by giving him or her the option to play with friends. Or show them a video of a jazz pianist doing a bit of improvisation to temp them to play piano! As you know, music can be played by several people together. It’s not just a solitary activity, contrary to the popular conception. Learning to play the piano will help your child integrate in music groups or orchestras later on.

These enriching experiences will serve to improve your child’s development of cooperation and teamwork skills, which, as we know, are life long professional skills!

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Piano courses help to develop our “project spirit”

One of the keys to an individual’s success, or at least his or her fulfillment, whether it be personal or professional, is the ability to create projects and set objectives. This is how we give our lives meaning. Well, beginner piano lessons promote and instill this concept and trait in children. Taking a piano course means setting a challenge and goal to learn to play a relatively difficult instrument, learn a song, etc.

Setting goals also means that one is capable of imposing a work ethic, self-discipline and a sense of perseverance. Piano classes contribute to forging this capacity for motivation and effort that will serve your child throughout his or her life. Piano instruction is a life-long training, in that sense.

Piano lessons can relieve your child’s stress

Music is good for the soul, as the saying goes. Piano instruction will help your child let go of stress, for several reasons. First, music is calming, and that’s especially true for piano songs, and brings positive, soothing emotions. What’s more, the concentration required by piano lessons will make your child think about things other than school.

So be sure that you, as parents, have found your child the right piano teacher. Don’t hesitate to replace the instructor if it isn’t the right fit with your little one. A piano teacher who is very strict will definitely not add to the positive effects and calming results of piano instruction. In fact, the opposite will occur, possibly turning your child off piano for good!

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Advantages of solfège on children

Even kids can play the piano!
Piano playing stimulates cognitive and listening capacities in children.

Learning to be a piano player means having to study solfège, or reading notes. Although it seems like a boring task, solfège is very beneficial for the intellectual development of kids.

Once you know solfège you’ll be able to read sheet music. For young children, it means learning to read early, as well as understanding rhythm, time and the intensity of notes (piano, forte, etc.). What’s more, throughout training the child with learn to read notes while correctly positioning his or her hands on the keyboard.

This synchronization, necessary to reading sheet music, will have a very positive impact on children’s intellectual development. Specifically, working on solfège helps kids learn how to read faster in primary school. Once more, learning to play piano at home or in school will bring huge scholastic benefits!

The piano, king of all musical instruments

Some may remark that what we’ve just written about the piano can be applied to all music instruments. So what are the specific advantages to learning piano in relation to the other instruments?

There’s at least one: the piano can be considered the king of all instruments, in a sense. The piano has 88 keys (black keys and white keys), which puts this instrument in its own class. This makes it possible to play almost any piece or genre of music (jazz, rock, pop, tango, classical, you name it) on the piano. And it’s a big reason why the great classical music composers were pianists first.

This relative “superiority” of the piano over other instruments has an advantage: it’s easier to learn other instruments after one has mastered the piano. It’s a huge time savor, notably for the fact that piano students acquire an expert knowledge of solfège (the key of A, the Middle C, etc.) that can be later applied to other instruments. There are numerous methods for learning to play the piano.

Make sure piano classes mix work with fun

For the piano to be a true benefit to your child, for his or he personal development and intellectual education, it’s necessary to mix the practical, boring side of training with its more enjoyable aspects! (i.e. find a way to make reading sheet music seem fun!)

You child must take pleasure from playing the piano. A child who is bored in front of his or her piano keyboard, who doesn’t like his or her piano teacher, will end up hating music and quit playing. They will obviously get much less out of the piano than those children who have fun and become more advanced players.

Some advice for getting your kids to love the piano: encourage them throughout piano training, and find a personalized talented piano teacher who they gets along with.

A music teacher should be teaching all aspects of piano playing, including:

  • Posture work
  • Solfège training
  • Practicing songs
  • Piano scales, chord progressions, octaves and arpeggios
  • Reading music and music theory

To make sure that these aspects don’t scare away your child, try to inject fun in their practicing. Choose a beginning piano method adapted to young children, that is, one that’s easy, fun, colourful, with drawings, stories, and musical games, etc. You can even choose the method with your children to learn piano, by taking them to a music store.

The internet also offers excellent training methods for online piano – this will allow your child to learn to play piano without having to go anywhere! Online piano classes and video lessons are a gold mine of efficient, fun, and motivating learning methods. Why not start right here at Superprof? Your child will be an advanced musician sooner than you think!

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If we still haven’t answered your question, “How can piano lessons benefit my child?”, read the many other fact-filled articles Superprof has provided on its blog to learn more!

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.