Piano lessons aren’t just about giving kids an opportunity for musical training. Recent research has shown that learning to play the piano has a profound impact on the brain, providing children with a wide range of benefits that last a lifetime.
Music education can actually give kids an increased chance at success in life. Here’s why enrolling your child in piano lessons is a smart decision.
Emotional Benefits of Piano Lessons
According to a study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine, kids who receive music education and training gain major emotional development advantages. Playing the piano is an outlet for kids to release emotions and express themselves, and any type of music, from classical to jazz and everything in between, lifts the spirits.
Learning to understand music and successfully being able to play a song on an instrument, whether performing alone or for other people, also builds confidence and self-esteem in kids.
A Michigan State University study agrees that music training is emotionally beneficial to kids, as findings suggest that children who take piano lessons have reduced levels of depression and anxiety.
Cognitive Benefits of Piano Lessons
The many hours spent practicing the motor control and coordination required to play the piano creates and enhances neural connections in the brain that last a lifetime. These physical changes in the brain provide significant gains that last well into adulthood, including defense against cognitive decline and memory loss. Piano lessons also have been shown to positively affect verbal working memory, hearing and communication.
Learning to play the piano also will benefit your child in school by instilling discipline and organizational skills. Kids who take lessons demonstrate improved abilities in math, reading comprehension, logic and puzzle-solving, according to separate research studies by the University of California and McGill University in Montreal.
Playing a musical instrument also will help to improve your child’s attention span and sharpen his or her concentration. Music training, some experts suggest, could even be a powerful tool for treating kids with cognitive disorders such as ADHD.
Stress Relief and Relaxation
Children get stressed just as often as adults, and music has been proven to help relieve tension and emotional strain.
Feelings of stress, anxiety and worry cause a physical response in the body, a fight-or-flight reaction in which the heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing gets faster, and muscles tighten. Playing the piano can shut down the body’s stress response, providing a sense of relaxation. Taking time out from a stressful situation to play a musical instrument can help to refocus thoughts and make a child better able to cope.
And the good news is that this advantage can be felt by kids immediately upon sitting at the piano and attempting to play, as the activity can reduce stress regardless of a person’s skill or ability. Music lessons, however, provide the greatest benefit, as studies have shown that playing an instrument for an hour per week for at least six weeks is most effective for lowering the body’s stress response.
With all the benefits of music training, it’s not surprising that more and more parents want their kids to learn to play an instrument. Interested in joining them? Contact a local arts academy in your area to enroll your child in piano lessons.