My newest favorite: Emily Bear, an amazing young pianist. Check out the YouTube video where she's playing two pianos at once! Click here! Look for more awesome music on her website: emilybear.com.

What Values Do Piano Lessons Teach?


The old cliché says that it is not the triumph that matters but the journey one takes.  The same goes for piano lessons.  Piano lessons may hold important life lessons. They foster creativity, discipline, and patience.  The development of these characteristics can go a long way in weathering the ups and downs of life.

• Piano lessons develop creativity

Those who play the piano may explore wider horizons like composing songs. In life, being creative helps in dealing with challenges and difficulties.  Resourcefulness helps in finding solutions to problems.   Ingenuity offers more meaningful and colorful answers to questions.

• Piano lessons increase learning abilities

These lessons increase mental activities.  Complicated notes, measures, phrases must synchronize to create music.  The student needs to study, practice and learn. In life, one needs to continue to learn.  Learning equips one with the necessary knowledge to deal with certain issues and concerns.

• Piano lessons help set goals

The student learns to stay focused.  It requires forming good habits and discipline to be able to achieve these goals.  In life, it is good to have a goal.  Goals motivate people to work hard to attain them.  Setting up goals inspires people to move forward.

• Piano lessons foster confidence

It takes confidence to be able to perform.  It requires confidence to be able to learn a difficult song.  In life, one needs confidence to be able to relate well.  It takes confidence to be able to carry oneself among friends, family and other people.   It takes confidence to stay graceful and calm in difficult situations.

• Piano lessons teach perseverance

Learning to play the piano teaches students to keep on trying no matter how difficult it can get.  In life, one needs to persevere in order to be successful.  Perseverance separates winners from losers.   Winners do not easily give up.

Performing and creating beautiful music are the results of private lessons.  Learning good values along these lessons makes an effective student.  Applying what one has learned may make a good artist or piano player.  Applying the good characteristics learned along the way makes a good person.  Piano lessons may not only create good musicians but better individuals.

Playing Music as a Child Leads to Better Listening as an Adult

Over the past few years, an inventive team of neuroscientists at Northwestern University has conducted a number of studies that show playing music confers a remarkable range of benefits on the brain—musicians show an increased ability to pick out a speaker’s words in a noisy environment, are better at detecting emotion in speech and stay sharper at processing sounds as they age. All this time, I assumed that I’d stopped far too quickly to experience any of these benefits.

New research, though, should give drop-outs like me hope. According to a study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience, the same researchers found that just one to five years of experience playing music as a child was associated with an improved cognitive ability in processing complex sounds as a young adult.

“We help address a question on every parent’s mind: ‘Will my child benefit if she plays music for a short while but then quits training?’” says Nina Kraus, the study’s co-author. “Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning.”

The results were striking. Although the signals detected from the most experienced musicians showed the most robust response to the sounds, the participants with just one to five years of experience still showed significantly greater cognitive ability in processing them as compared to the group with no experience. The researchers say that this mental response indicates the ability to pull out the lowest frequency in a complex sound, and their previous work has shown this ability is crucial for both speech and music perception, especially in noisy environments. Thus, playing music for just a few years as a child seems to be linked with better listening skills much later on.

Kraus says that the findings are relevant to public education policies, especially given that funding for music education nationwide is declining rapidly in the face of budget cuts (for example, in 2011, nearly half of California school districts cut or reduced art and music programs). “Our research captures a much larger section of the population, with implications for educational policy makers,” she says. “[Along with] earlier research, we infer that a few years of music lessons also confer advantages in how one perceives and attends to sounds in everyday communication situations, such as noisy restaurants.”

They results are also quite relevant, presumably, to parents. If your kids hate playing in the school band, it’s okay to let them quit. The benefits will still be there when they’re grown upas long as they’ve played for a year or two.

 

Posted By: Joseph Stromberg — Science,The Human Body

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/08/playing-music-as-a-child-leads-to-better-listening-as-an-adult/

 


Without practicing there's no quality music making, but this little boy in the video definitely demonstrates more than just a lot of practicing! There's some talent here!

An 8 year old boy (in Barcelona, Spain) is playing Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata beautifully. I don't understand. How can he reach the octaves? And look at his Teddy Bear sitting on the left side of the keyboard :-)
 
If not for watching a prodigy in action, watch it with your children for a beautiful performance of a great piece: http://youtu.be/aztbAnhl56g

 


Sorry, Kids, Piano Lessons

Make You Smarter

 

It’s sure to be music to parents’ ears: After nine months of weekly training in piano or voice, new research shows young students’ IQs rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers.

The Canadian study lends support to the idea that musical training may do more for kids than simply teach them their scales–it exercises parts of the brain useful in mathematics, spatial intelligence and other intellectual pursuits.

“With music lessons, because there are so many different facets involved–such as memorizing, expressing emotion, learning about musical interval and chords–the multidimensional nature of the experience may be motivating the [IQ] effect,” said study author E. Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

http://www.forbes.com/2004/07/15/cx_0715health.html

 

"I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart."
—Shin'ichi Suzuki