Although we may not realize it, music is all around us. It is on the radio, television, in the stores we shop, public spaces, sporting events, and the list goes on. However, not everyone is inclined to its impact on our lives. Music can lead us to feel whatever is being delivered in the song, and it can also soothe our emotions as it draws us from dark moments, making us feel uplifted and content.
Aside from its ability to shift our feelings, music has been recognized for its exceptional capabilities on our affecting our bodies. Playing an instrument, particularly the piano has significant influences on children and their brain development. Language development, memory, problem-solving, higher-order thinking, hand-eye coordination, and so much more are all impacted by playing the piano. Dr. Martin Kuuskne, a classically-trained pianist and Emergency Medicine Physician who studied at McMaster and McGill universities, outlines the benefits of children learning to play the piano.
Increases Brain Activity + Memory
According to scientific evidence, brain activity increases tremendously while playing the piano. Dr. Martin Kuuskne notes that it stirs notable changes in the brain, enabling it to grow and make important adaptations unlike any other stimulus. It awakens brain activity by creating and strengthening links in the brain; specifically, in both the right and left hemisphere of the brain. As a result, the frontal lobe becomes more proficient, and retaining information is enhanced as more significant connections are made.
Piano Players Can Process Multiple Tasks Easier
Playing the piano increases the ability to multitask. This is mainly due to the various tasks that have to be performed by the brain simultaneously while playing the piano. Using multiple hands at once, reading notes, forming chords, breathing, deciphering sounds, maintaining the correct posture, and performing numerous tasks coaxes piano players to utilize various parts of the brain at the same time. Hence, their ability to execute multiple tasks ripens their multi-sensory skills which often translates to other aspects of life.
Initiates Creative Thinking + Problem Solving
Higher-order thinking, problem-solving, and creative thinking are all aspects that children are expected to develop as they age. However, it has been identified that learning to play the piano helps to strengthen these abilities. Through heightened brain communication, pianists learn to address problems uniquely, providing them with the ability to solve them creatively.
Increases Confidence + Positive Social Behaviour
As children age and are introduced to the school system, they are integrated with other students. The expectation is that they will be socially inclined to make friends and seamlessly mesh with their peer groups. It has been shown that playing the piano can help with social behaviours and increase confidence. Dr. Martin Kuuskne also notes that piano performances at higher levels can also involve duets and other forms of group play that require children to work with others to succeed.
Performing in front of others helps to build self-esteem. Also, multi-sensory activities from playing the piano improve communication skills. These combined abilities improve how children approach others and communicate effectively.
Improves Coordination + Academic Skills
While learning to play the piano, children are coached to be quick and precise. They are to read notes, actively recognize patterns, and be accurate with where they place both of their hands and feet. Performing these tasks over time help to improve their reaction time, analytical skills, and develop a better understanding of abstract concepts.
Dr. Kuuskne hopes that if you can enroll your child in piano lessons you take the opportunity to. It could be the catalyst for teaching them valuable skills that will last for the rest of their lives.