Pianos in Music Therapy and Healing

Pianos in Music Therapy and Healing

Love creating music at the piano? Trying to figure out how to turn it into a career? 

Some are discovering the profound impact a piano can have on well-being. And they’re turning it into something they can do every day of the week. 

The Healing Power of Music

We all know that music has a unique ability to touch our souls and evoke emotions that words alone cannot express. It’s a universal language that transcends boundaries and connects us on a deeper level. 

Now, imagine harnessing this power for healing—enter music therapy.

Music therapy has been around for centuries, and it’s no surprise that the piano plays a starring role in this therapeutic symphony. The versatility of the piano, with its wide range of tones and expressive capabilities, makes it an ideal instrument for facilitating emotional and physical healing.

The Piano’s Therapeutic Versatility

One of the key aspects of the piano that sets it apart in the world of music therapy is its accessibility. Whether you’re a seasoned pianist or someone with no musical background, the piano welcomes all with open arms. Its user-friendly interface allows therapists to tailor sessions to individuals of varying skill levels and needs.

For those with physical challenges, the piano offers a unique opportunity for motor skill development. The act of playing the keys, combined with the coordination required, can be a powerful tool for enhancing fine and gross motor skills. 

It’s not just about making music; it’s about fostering a connection between mind and body.

Emotional Expression through the Keys

The piano’s dynamic range allows for a broad spectrum of emotional expression. Whether you’re conveying joy, sorrow, or anything in between, the piano is there to echo your sentiments. This makes it an invaluable instrument for individuals dealing with emotional challenges, providing an outlet for expression and release.

In a therapeutic setting, a skilled music therapist can guide individuals in creating music that reflects their emotions, helping them process and understand complex feelings. It’s a form of catharsis that goes beyond words, allowing for a profound connection between the individual and their emotions.

Choosing the Right Piano for Therapy

Whether you’re a music therapist looking to expand your toolkit or an individual seeking the healing embrace of music, choosing the right piano is crucial.

When considering a piano for therapy, factors like tone, touch, and overall condition become paramount. A well-maintained acoustic piano can offer a rich, authentic sound that resonates with the soul. A digital piano might be a more practical choice for those looking for versatility in terms of sound options and portability.

Buying a new or used piano requires careful consideration of your specific needs. A reputable piano dealer can guide you through the process, helping you find the perfect instrument that aligns with your therapeutic goals.

A Harmonious Journey to Wellness

In the world of music therapy, pianos are not just instruments; they are conduits of healing and self-discovery. The gentle touch of the keys can unlock emotions, foster connection, and lead to a harmonious journey towards wellness. 

Is a career in music therapy in your future? The perfect piano is waiting for you. 

How Your Background Music Makes You Better At Everything

How Your Background Music Makes You Better At Everything

What’s better for your concentration: quiet working space, or a little background music?

While that question is argued over continuously in homes and office space around the world, there are scientific studies that show music has power in many situations. It can improve your mood, help your memory, take away anxiety, and ease stress. 

Of course, it’s not as simple as turning the radio on to any station, or turning up your favorite tune. There’s a science to it. 

The human brain has two levels of attention. Conscious attention allows you to direct your concentration on things in front of you, focus, and get things done. Unconscious attention is the one that shifts your focus onto other things around you. This is where you start to daydream, or notice a particular smell, or see movement out of the corner of your eye. 

No matter how much focus you give something, your unconscious brain is always there, scanning, waiting for something to come along. The more you focus, the sharper your unconscious attention becomes. Think of it as a warning system standing by to keep you safe. 

That’s where music comes into play. Listening to music can be good for holding your attention span. It can increase your productivity and help you get things done. But not all music generates the same results. 

Music with lyrics significantly alters your concentration. That’s why you’re more likely to hear “elevator music” whenever you enter places of business. 

Surgeons listen to their favorite music for better performance. While there may be studies that show classical music is better for the general population, when it comes to working on individual tasks, your preferred music is better. Studies show that when a surgeon listens to their favorite music – whether hard rock or soft show tunes – their performance improves. 

There is consistent evidence that playing the piano helps in a variety of ways, from increased memory to better test scores. While playing increases skill sets, listening can also improve test scores. One study found that listening to classical music while taking a test can improve your scores by several percentage points. 

Even if you’re into sports, music is still your best option. Whether you’re running in nature or pumping iron, throw in your earbuds and synchronize it with a positive, upbeat tune. Evidence supports you’ll run faster and lift more just by energizing your music

How does background music impact your life? 

Should Your Child Compete In Piano Competitions … Or Not

Should Your Child Compete In Piano Competitions … Or Not

If your child has been playing the piano for a while, and they enjoy the process and want even more, you might be faced with the idea of piano competitions. Should they participate in piano competitions? 

This goes beyond casual practice. It’s not something you can work up to quickly. 

Should Your Child Compete In Piano Competitions … Or Not

Yet academics and teachers agree that a little healthy competition can have big impact on kids that participate. But is it for your child?

Knowing your child

The first question to ask is how well your child will handle it. Have they asked to compete? Do they enjoy competition? Do they enjoy playing for an audience? This is something only you and their teacher can assess. 

Increase their learning

Piano competitions can be incredibly beneficial to participants. It gives them a chance to play on some of the finest pianos in the world. It also gives them a chance to play in front of an audience, and receive feedback and advice from professionals in the field. If your child has dreams of making music a part of their lives, this can be the perfect opportunity to explore ore of what music has to offer. 

Become a better player

Not only will your child have to practice more, but they will also have more reason to practice. When they are introduced to pianists that play at a higher level, they will be motivated to increase their piano skills too. 

Develop stronger personal skills

Preparing for a competition means they will have to focus even more on practicing. They will have to master different skills to understand every aspect of a piece of music. They will have to learn to perform well under pressure. They will have to understand both failure and success. 


Nothing feels better and improves self-confidence more than knowing you’ve done a job well. Awards can accomplish that like nothing else. Sitting in front of an audience and knowing you placed well in a competition has a long lasting impression. And the more recognition you receive, the more it can lead to other things, including scholarships or even careers. 

Is your child ready for piano competitions? 

What Music Teaches You About Life

What Music Teaches You About Life

How many times a day does a song play in your mind? 

We teach kids the alphabet with a song. We recall the best times we had in school with music. No matter what memories you recollect as you move through life, chances are there’s a tune that goes along with it. 

Music is an important part of our lives. From age 1 to 100, life wouldn’t be the same without music. It provides entertainment and helps us get through the toughest time of our lives. We face it all a little easier knowing a familiar tune shows us the way. 

But what happens when you create music instead of just listen to it? What Music Teaches You About Life

Studies show it impacts you in many ways. 

When you create music, your creativity increases. Creating music gives you a chance to express your creative side. No matter if you’re performing a popular piece of music, or have authored your own, your personality can shine through. 

Whether it’s for yourself, or you’re on stage performing in front of an audience, creating music lets you:

  • Connect with your audience and build stronger relationships
  • Helps you conquer your fears and perform to please those around you
  • Soothes your anxieties by giving you a chance to face them head on
  • Develop a can-do attitude
  • Appreciate acceptance from those around you
  • Feel inspired to pursue your dreams and push yourself to achieve even more
  • Build self-confidence

Have a budding musician in your household? Want to let your kids be more creative, build more self-confidence, and give them a can-do attitude? Why not let them play the piano?

Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

Having a child today comes with a lot of responsibility. What will you teach her? What activities will you guide her into? What will fill her time?

Parenting used to be a hands-off approach. With lots of kids around, kids simply did what kids do. They played together and went to school. Parents provided a firm hand as necessary. 

But with fewer children per family, many have become integral parts of their children’s lives. They drive here and there. They sign up for lessons. They set up playdates and events. They keep busy morning, noon, and night. Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

That means there are more choice than ever for a child’s attention. And peer pressure may also have a guiding hand. Join the soccer team? Yes. Practice the piano? No. 

It’s easier to provide group instruction. It’s also more lucrative. Why teach one child when you can teach multiple at the same time? 

And besides, teams give kids important skills about communication and being together with others in your peer group. That’s the best way to go, right?


There are two sides to the coin. Of course, kids can learn a lot when joining a team. There’s nothing wrong with physical activity. Whether it’s soccer, or swimming, or gymnastics, it offers many different characterizations for a growing child. 

However, it’s important to remember your child needs work from the inside out too. 

That’s where many parents are overlooking one of the most successful ways of helping to develop a young brain – learning an instrument. 

A piano specifically is one of the best instruments to learn on, offering the player the chance to play both the melody and the accompaniment. 

And it’s more than learning how to play an instrument or making music. It’s also about improving your brain. 

Studies show musically inclined individuals are better students, do better on tests, and perform better at learning multiple languages. You’ll find some of the most successful students in med school majored in music. 

And those characteristics last a lifetime. Playing the piano improves cognitive abilities. It’s been shown to lessen the effects of memory-related diseases.  

When you need to destress and decompress, nothing can satisfy like sitting down at the piano.

So why aren’t we pressing more for piano lessons for young kids? Maybe it’s time to make it a priority. 

Should You Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

Should You Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

If you took lessons as a child, you probably remember getting new books of music every few weeks. Your teacher would present you with new music, and you’d carry it back and forth as you learned to play. The music would stack up on the side of your piano or in your piano bench as you worked your way through different music. 

Things have changed since then. In many cases, people no longer carry along a file folder of music, but instead tuck away all of their music on an iPad. It’s easier to carry your entire library conveniently in one place. Should You Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

Today’s iPad comes in four sizes: 12.9, 10.5, 9.7, and 7.9 inch retina displays. Each size comes with its own benefits and upgrades. While the smaller version is less expensive and is easier to tuck away into your bag, it’s also the most difficult to see, especially if you place your music several feet away. The larger size makes reading music more convenient. It also comes with a higher price tag. 

It also extends beyond the screen. There are many apps and attachments that can help you get even more out of your digital experience. 

Start with a Bluetooth foot pedal. With the PedPro, you can quickly and silently turn the pages all with a tap of your foot. And it comes ready to work right out of the box – no setup. 

You can place your iPad on a traditional music stand. However, there are many digital stands available that give you more flexibility when moving your music around. iPad’s are heavy; putting them on a traditional stand can be risky. iPad mounted stands keep your iPad secure and make it easy to move and turn your music, depending on your needs. 

Another tool to consider is the Apple Pencil. As you progress with your music, you’re more likely to write notes on the scores. Apple Pencil is easy to carry around and gives you the ability to mark up your music whenever you desire. 

Finally, there’s the music. iPads make it easy to carry your entire library in one convenient place. If you have traditional music, snap a photo or upload a screenshot and keep it safe in one place. Plus you’ll never need a music light to see your music; it comes already in place. 

A quick search will give you ample suggestions for places to find piano music. Consider using a variety of apps to help organize your sheet music, help your practice routine, and help you become a better player. Try:

forScore – the music reader for iPad. It gives you the power to organize all of your music into one convenient app. 

Notion – allows you to compose, edit, and play scores anywhere your iPad can go. 

Tenuto – a music theory app that requires no internet access – great for playing on the go. 

Genius Scan – lets you scan any document, any time. Perfect for digitizing all of your music into readable documents. 

GoodNotes – this allows you to take down notes, store them, and have them fully searchable forever. Try creating your own music using the music template. 

How do you use iPad to help you play piano better?

What It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

What It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

What’s easier: learning to play the piano by ear or focusing in on learning to read music?

That, of course, depends on the person. 

In most cases, parents today take the path of teaching their kids to read music. They start young by putting their kids in piano lessons. And most teachers prefer to teach visual skills and music comprehension rather than focusing in on playing by ear. 

To play by ear, you have to work on developing two major skill sets: listening comprehension and aural skills. What It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

Can you recognize the chords and notes that you hear in a song?

Can you reproduce it quickly and without error?

Developing the ear doesn’t mean sitting down at the piano and tinkering around with the keys until you have the music correct. Instead, true aural skills involve understanding music well enough that you can sit down and play, knowing exactly which keys to press to play the song. 

And that takes skill. 

It takes extensive knowledge of music theory. You have to understand scales, chords, and how music is created to be able to put it together quickly in your mind, and transfer it to your fingers on the keyboard. 

If you want to be able to play by ear, that means increasing your knowledge of music theory. It also means learning that the keys are not the notes. A-sharp is B-flat on the piano keys. But that doesn’t make them the same note. They may sound the same, but they have different meaning in music. And if you don’t have an understanding of how they fit together, you’ll never be able to transfer that to the keyboard. 

It takes training. It takes studying. It takes practice. 

Have you trained yourself to play by ear?

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Have a child you’re trying to motivate to stick with playing the piano? There’s an app for that. 

For as long as the piano has been around, parents have worked hard to keep their kids motivated for practice. Today the problem is only amplified with our technological advances. Smartphones, tablets, computer games and even television are far more exciting than the average practice book. It can be tedious at best, especially when so many other things are vying for attention. 

Instead of fighting it, why not give into it instead? New digital tools can liven up your child’s practice routines in new and exciting ways. After all, smartphones have made almost everything in our lives better, why not practicing the piano? Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

It only takes a few clicks to open up a world of opportunity. Piano apps can help motivate a child through games or let them become the next maestro by conducting an orchestra. They can help a child write their own music or combine different sounds and record their own songs. We’ve even given you a few of our own favorites right here – and here – on our blog. 

There’s something fascinating about using a smartphone or tablet. You’ll see it in the faces of even the smallest child. Being able to slide, tap, and click away to play in a magical world is exciting. With the inclusion of a tablet into your weekly practice routine, it can add to the “coolness factor” that makes learning the piano even more thrilling. Before a child even knows it, they’ve improved their skills. And they can easily convert their knowledge from something they learned in a game to real world practicality. 

As a parent, it can be difficult to know the difference between playing and practicing. Your child’s piano teacher is a great resource for finding high quality apps that can help in the process. You can also learn more on your own by doing a few simple searches online. Innovative tools are being added all the time and are often just what a child needs to turn even the most frustrating practice sessions into fun again. 

Want to learn piano yourself as an adult? Not a problem. We typically have two things in common. We want to learn fast, and we don’t have a lot of spare time. That’s where an app can help. Apps can provide an interactive learning environment that engages you and provides feedback on your process. It can allow you to understand the nuances of your practicing in far more efficient ways. 

Want to learn the piano? There’s an app for that. And we’re sure you’ll be amazed at how beneficial they can become. 

What are your favorite piano apps?

Piano or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

Piano or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

For a few years in a child’s life, parents run through the activity list as if it were a marathon. A busy child is a safe and happy child. They can’t get into as much trouble if they are active. And if they’re with friends, they’ll enjoy the activities they are in. 

So as a parent, we try a little bit of everything. T-ball. Gymnastics. Swimming. Soccer. 

What about piano? Piano or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

The piano is the ultimate instrument in terms of skill and demand. It requires two hands playing together simultaneously while navigating 88 keys. At any given time, two hands can play up to 10 notes at a time. All of those options require the brain to think in a unique way. 

Pianists have to overcome something innate in all of us: the ability to use both left and right hands equally. In most people, we have a dominant hand that we favor throughout the day. Pianists have a demonstrably more symmetrical brain than others when put to the test, possibly because they continually build their brain muscles by putting the two together on a frequent basis. 

Studies show that the more experience a piano player gains, the more efficient their brain becomes. That means a person who plays regularly can be more effective as improvisation skills needed to navigate the day, including problem solving, language, spontaneity, and decision making tactics. Pianists tend to integrate all of the brain’s intake and make more efficient decisions in the process. 

It doesn’t stop there. 

Trained pianists work every day with a complex instrument that taxes the whole brain. Scans show that the longer they play, the more efficient the blood flow becomes as it moves into the brain. Less blood flow means less energy is needed to accomplish the same tasks – to concentrate, to perform certain tasks. When less blood flow is needed in one area, it increases the ability to send blood to other areas. It allows other areas to remain active and engaged at the same time. It can completely change communication skills because it allows the brain to respond in different ways. 

That gives the brain more energy to multi-task and to jump into different situations with less doubt and hesitation. 

While there is a need to keep kids bodies healthy and active through exercise, the same can be said for keeping their brains healthy by giving it an activity that can help them develop and become smarter over time. 

Maybe it’s time to encourage them to play the piano. 

Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

With most actions, we perform them one hand at a time. Pick up a pencil, write a sentence, or tap out a rhythm and you’ll be operating one hand at a time. 

But when you sit down to play the piano, things get a bit more complicated. Your right hand plays one part while your left hand plays another. And for many just trying to learn, it can be complicated at best. Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

Some instructors will have you practice right hand and left hand separately before bringing them together. But is it the best way?

There are two different aspects to playing hands together that make it difficult. When you play two separate pieces of music with two separate hands, each is vying for your attentional resources. Each hand has to figure out what key on the piano to strike and what rhythm to give each note. You also have to keep in mind the details like dynamics and articulation. There’s only so much attention to go around, so focusing often becomes a problem. 

Learning involves attention; if you have to give resources to two parts, it takes double the effort and more time to learn. You must focus on learning one part to success before giving time to the other part. But once you learn one part, it becomes more automatic, giving you more time to spend on the other. In some points of view, this makes sense. 

However, it’s also important to note how the brain works. The left side of the brain controls the right hand, left hand controlled by the right side of the brain. As an infant, humans have a natural tendency for mirror movements. You’ll see this in a small infant as they routinely make hand movements together. But over time, your motor control takes over, and you learn to control this through interhemispheric inhibition. And when you use only one hand, it becomes more pronounced. 

When you bring the two hands back together, it still feels a little difficult and clumsy. 

Surprisingly, there are very few studies to determine which is the best method: hands separate or hands together learning. In a study conducted by Roberta Brown back in 1933, she found that it was more efficient and more enjoyable in using the hands together approach. 

A study by Robert Duke also concluded that when pianists practiced music with both hands together method, it led to a better performance. 

While there certainly isn’t a right or wrong approach, it’s important to remember that piano is a two handed instrument. That means the sooner you bring the two hands together, the quicker you feel the music as it works together with both hands, the more effective piano player you will become. 

What’s your experience with playing piano with both hands?