Why should anyone take piano lessons? Here’s why:
1. Piano lessons develop life skills. Piano students learn listening skills, concentration, goal setting skills, self discipline – these are skills that are applicable to life outside the piano studio, whether it be in daily life, at school, or at the workplace.
2. Piano lessons develop both physical and mental skills. Piano students learn how to coordinate their bodies and to refine fine motor movements. To do that, they learn how to link their minds to their bodies: learning how to think and play at the same time.
3. Piano lessons build character. Piano students will learn the value of hard work and patience. Through these virtues, they develop the passion for playing music and gain more self confidence.
4. Piano lessons help express creativity. Music is a creative art form to begin with. In their piano lessons, students will be guided through different creative activities at the keyboard and be encouraged to explore. Students will learn how to play efficiently or how to use basic keyboard skills such as reading music. These skills will help students be free to express themselves without being tied down by the technicalities of music making.
5. Piano lessons allow students to explore a world of music. During the course of their studies, piano students will be exposed to different genres of music, music of different cultures and eras. Piano lessons will cultivate students’ knowledge and broaden their musical palettes.
6. The piano is a good starter instrument. Piano lessons will teach students to read at least two lines of music -one for each hand that plays- and help them develop aural abilities. These skills will help students to pick up another instrument easily, particularly if the second or third instrument is one that reads single lines of music such as the violin, cello, guitar, clarinet, or saxophone. For students who enjoy singing, piano lessons will also help build their accompaniment skills so that they might sing and play.
7. Piano lessons build community. Practically every country in the world will have a piano somewhere on their land or have inhabitants who have heard and loved piano music. There are many people out there who have also taken piano lessons or aspired to take piano lessons at some point. In other words, piano students will join a large community of people who are passionate about piano music and therefore have a commonality. This often manifests itself in social events: when a student sits down at the old piano in the corner of the room, plays a tune and is pleasantly surprised when others listen or gather around to chat about their own piano lessons.
8. Piano skills are valued by educational and hiring institutions. In today’s competitive world, schools that accept top students and companies that hire new staff look for people who are well-rounded. A candidate who has the ability to play the piano is often considered an asset. In fact, in Ontario, Canada, where I teach – there is real recognition of the value of taking piano lessons: If students continue long enough in their piano lessons to take Grade 8 and Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music exams, the marks from these assessments are considered transferable as high school credits. In other words, if one scores high enough on the exams, these credits could be useful for applying to universities or colleges.
9. Piano lessons can be FUN! With the right teacher, piano lessons can be incredibly enjoyable for students. In some cases, piano lessons may relieve stress or provide a temporary escape from hectic events happening outside the piano studio.
10. Finally, and most importantly, what a student gets out of piano lessons will be gifts that last a lifetime. A student who has taken lessons for at least a year will never completely “forget” how to play the piano – much like riding a bike or learning to drive. It will come in handy at some point and may even bring joy for the rest of a student’s life, until they’re old, gray and grizzled! In my career as a piano teacher, I have never heard anyone tell me, “I wish I hadn’t taken piano lessons.” Because the truth is, playing the piano can be wonderfully fulfilling. And taking piano lessons to reach for that fulfillment is an incredible journey!