How Piano Playing Impacts Child Development

How Piano Playing Impacts Child Development

As a parent, you’re concerned with child development from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. You scour the internet looking for ways to improve your child’s skill set. You sign up for different classes to push them in all the right places. 

Yet with so much to choose from, how are you sure you’re signing up for the right things? 

Sports promise team building and coordination. Computer based classes push STEM concepts. 

But what about music? How about piano playing? 

It doesn’t take a lot of research to discover music has a profound effect on human development. Looking back throughout time, music has always been a part of our lives. We use music for enrichment, for its calming factors. We’ve used music to tell stories. 

That’s because music builds neural pathways throughout the brain. Neurologists who study this believe it has a whole range of benefits, from problem solving to better memory skills throughout a child’s life. 

Have you heard of the Mozart effect? Simply stated, the research behind this says that children who listen to classical music are smarter. As they listen, it builds a child’s sense of hearing and the ability to process the sounds as it hears it. The distinct patterns in highly skilled works of art can increase cognitive performance. 

While it is truly difficult to determine if music puts your child on a different path, making them smarter, there is solid proof it does improve child development. It helps develop skills such as:

  • Language skills, including increased ability to pick up foreign languages
  • Stress reduction skills, which can help with anxiety and mood regulation
  • Patience and discipline
  • Fine motor skills
  • Improved memory and concentration
  • Self confidence and self esteem
  • Higher scores on tests

Yes, having music in your child’s life will influence your child’s behavior. The sooner you make it a part of their daily lives, the more they can gain. Babies are musical. They love to listen and even play with all kinds of musical instruments. Studies show that when you start playing before the age of seven, it changes the way the brain forms and grows. That stays with a child for life. 

Is it time to give your child the gift of piano playing? 

Can Your Kids Make Money Playing Piano? Hello, YouTube

Can Your Kids Make Money Playing Piano? Hello, YouTube

So you want your kids to be successful. You push them in many ways. 

Put them onto a sports team – maybe they can get a scholarship.

Help them do well in school – college is in their future.

Let them build their own YouTube channel. What!?

A lot of parents have trouble seeing the world through their kids’ eyes. Kids want to play video games. They spend way too much time online. They are obsessed with social media. 

And we try to put a stop to it all because … we don’t understand it. 

But here’s the thing you should know about social media. Despite what you hear in the news, not all of it is bad. It’s just a new way of life. 

Did you know a lot of YouTubers are making millions of dollars just by posting regularly to their YouTube channel?

How? 

You can join the YouTube Partner Program

If you start a YouTube channel and build it with a lot of followers who watch regularly, YouTube has a program where they pay you based on your views and subscriptions. 

You can earn from Premium Subscriptions

Not all videos on YouTube are available for view to the general public. Some are walled off and available only if you pay for the premium content. The more people willing to pay to view your content, the more you get paid. 

You can get paid via third-party distributors

If your music becomes popular, other services may want to stream it too. iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon music may all be interested in selling downloads of your content on their own platforms. 

You can build a brand

The more popular you become, the more you can take your brand out to the world in different ways. Build a website. Take your show on the road. Work with other companies and artists to grow your following. Potential opens up the more creative you are. 

You can make other products

Many businesses are set up on YouTube that are tools and helpers for people that have a love of playing the piano. These businesses all have the potential of making money in the exact same way as mentioned above. 

Check these out for inspiration:

The Piano Guys

VK Goes Wild

Lara de Wit

Why You Should Learn To Play The Piano – Science Agrees!

Why You Should Learn To Play The Piano – Science Agrees!

Imagine trying to learn a new sport – football – at the age of 85. 

That’s not going to happen. No matter how well physically an 85 year old is, the thought of running up and down a field probably isn’t reality. 

Now imagine an 85 year old sitting down and learning to play the piano. A little more realistic, right?

Musicality isn’t something that ever goes away. You can pick up an instrument and learn how to play, whether you’re 5 or 85. You bring different things to the table. You learn for different reasons. 

And once you learn to play the piano, you’ll have a lifetime to perfect it. It will stay with you and be a part of who you are until the day you die. 

It’s not just musicians, educators, or piano dealers that say this. It’s backed by science too. 

Playing the piano can fine tune your brain, both biologically and neurologically

You don’t have to look farther than some of the greatest musicians on earth to know that they remain sharp well into their sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. Think Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger. A study out of Northwestern University confirms it too. There is biological evidence that keeping music in your life has a good impact on the aging process. It impacts everything from retaining memory to hearing. 

Playing the piano gives you a full body workout

When you listen to music – especially classical music – a whole host of benefits occur in your body. But when you engage in the actual act of creating music, it ramps up and helps you even more. Think of it as a whole body workout, mind and body. It strengthens multiple areas of your brain, increasing concentration, focus, and memory. It carries forward discipline into multiple areas of your life. 

Playing the piano reduces stress and anxiety

Do you have stress or anxiety in your life? It almost seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t? But studies show that adults who sit down at the piano have a therapeutic way of reducing stress and anxiety. The simple nature of sitting down and practicing can help calm your nerves and improve your self-awareness. It gives you a chance to breathe deep and take the focus off what’s not working in your life. 

Playing the piano changes your brain structure and mental awareness

The great thing about playing the piano is you can pick it up at any time, no matter how old you are, and the results are instantaneous. Multiple studies confirm that playing music can change the way their brain processes information. Your brain stays stronger and you become more mentally aware of your surroundings. You don’t have to be good at it, or even reach a certain level before it kicks in. This is something you do for you. It’s something that works for a lifetime. 

Why You Should Play Classical Music On The Piano

Why You Should Play Classical Music On The Piano

A lot of people start playing the piano because they have a desire to play a favorite song. But playing the piano is more than playing your favorite pop tunes on the keyboard. If you really want to develop your skills as a pianist, it’s important to play classical music on the piano too. 

According to an article by Primphonic, classical music doesn’t have a popularity problem. Instead, it has an accessibility problem. When asked, up to 31 percent of Americans state they enjoy listening to classical music. That rises with age as well as education levels. 35 percent of those with a degree enjoy classical music, while 48 percent with postgraduate degrees enjoy it. 

But listening isn’t the only thing that benefits your life; playing classical music has a variety of benefits too. 

It enhances concentration levels

Classical music requires almost all areas of the brain to be activated to play it correctly. It requires you to concentrate on tempo, pitch, rhythm, note duration, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination as you read through the music. 

It teaches discipline

Learning to play classical music on the piano is one of the most challenging things you can take on. It requires frequent practice and discipline to stick with the task at hand until you achieve success. 

It’s great for your joints

Any type of movement is great for your body, and piano playing is no exception. It helps keep the joints of your wrists and fingers agile while improving your posture as you sit. It also allows your joints to remain loose, aiding with degenerative diseases such as arthritis. 

It’s great for your memory

The more you play classical music, the more you stimulate the brain. And according to research, it can help improve your memory as well as help you retain larger amounts of information. It enhances the ability to memorize things. 

It gets your creative juices flowing

Classical music is some of the greatest music ever produced. Sitting down and mastering it will allow you to express yourself creatively. Whether you do it for yourself or perform in front of an audience, you’ll begin to see the world in new ways. 

It’s fun!

The more you learn to enjoy playing the piano, the more you’ll want to explore. Classical music lets you play with all kinds of styles, tempos, and rhythms, giving you a chance to have fun with it no matter what your experience level. If you want to be a better pianist, give classical music a try. You’ll love the way it teaches you to play. 

Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Is your budding musician ready to move to the next level? Have they been asking for a way to record their music?

While some will be content to record their music from home, others will want to experiment with recording in ways beyond home spatial and technical means.

While every piano player envisions themselves being the next Bach or Beethoven, there are many steps between playing the piano for fun and creating a recording that can be shared with the public.Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Am I ready?
The most important question to ask in the process is: Is my music ready? Do you have the ability to complete the songs in a high quality way? A music engineer can’t fix being out of tune or not having perfected arrangements. They can’t help you finish writing a song. Their jobs are to help edit and process it into a final arrangement.

What are you trying to achieve?
The first thing an engineer is going to ask you is what your objectives for the studio are. If you are paying money to create something, you should know your ultimate goal. Do you want a single or an entire album? This can also help you select the right studio for your goals. Have they worked with other artists like yourself? Can they provide resources to help you accomplish your goals? The more you know going in, the better fit the studio will be.

Do you have the resources?
Studio space is expensive. If you don’t have realistic expectations, you might blow your budget long before you get your final results. A good studio will help you create a realistic budget and help you move along on schedule. Be sure you understand the process and how you’ll proceed if things go off track.

Do you have the right equipment?
Is your piano in tune and recently serviced? There’s no excuse to enter a recording session without having instruments playable and at your expectations.

Before you head into the studio, you might choose to play with your own recording devices. A quality digital piano can help you play better and record your music to digital output, which can be edited using online resources. It’ll give you a better idea of what you want to create once you book studio time and head in for your first recording.

Are you ready to book a studio for the first time?

How To Move Beyond The Piano Is A Chore Mentality

How To Move Beyond The Piano Is A Chore Mentality

Whenever something becomes a daily routine, it becomes a chore. It becomes something we have to do rather than something we choose to do.

And that’s when it loses its appeal.How To Move Beyond The Piano Is A Chore Mentality

That’s when the majority of kids give up playing the piano. Because when it’s no longer fun, it becomes something your child has to do, they try to get out of doing it at all costs.

As a parent, to keep you child active in music, its important to switch around their thinking. Playing the piano should never become a chore. It should be a privilege to play. It should be a fun experience, every time they sit down at the keyboard.

And you can encourage the process.

Take Ownership
Instead of forcing a time to play, have your child set the pace. What goals do they wish to achieve? What do they enjoy most? Just a simple turnaround in thinking can move them beyond thinking of it as practice. Let them have more choice in their selections. How about composing their own? The more they see its about them, the more fun they will have with the process.

Provide Role Models
Its easier to have a desire to do something if you see how others are doing it too. Find pianists to inspire your child. People like Jim Brickman, Liz Story, John Tesh, or The Piano Guys all can provide inspiration to your budding piano player. Take them to see your local orchestra to see musicians in action. By bringing awareness of live music into their lives, they are more likely to see how it can impact them in the future.

Reach For A Goal
Piano practice sometimes means playing the same types of songs, over and over again. Break out of the habit and stretch for new music. Try jazz. Or pop. Or classical. Introducing kids to new music can have them striving for more. Maybe they hear a piece they love – how about Let It Go from Frozen? By playing something they love, they can take more ownership in their skills, and have a stronger desire to keep moving forward with their lessons.

Change Your Lingo
How do you talk about practicing? Do you say it with a chore mentality? Things like “You have to get your 30 minutes in today” sets the tone for it being a chore.  But when you build excitement with “You get to play your favorite song today” adds to their enthusiasm. Focus on changing your vocabulary and you will quickly see a change in the attitude of your child’s practice routine as well.

Be More Creative By Piano Playing

Be More Creative By Piano Playing

Ever watch a small child at play? They are constantly inventing new approaches, improvising how to fit things together, creatively weaving different realities into their actions. They can take a small box and make it into a rocket ship that will take them to the moon. They can build a structure out of blocks and have a time machine that whisks them away to faraway lands.Be More Creative By Piano Playing

We all are born with a creative streak deep inside of us. We all showcase that creativeness … for awhile. Then something comes along and teaches us to put our creative juices far away and learn how to live in the modern world.

Yes, our current approach to school doesn’t cater to the true creative. All you have to do is look at where funding cuts happen most – arts, music – to understand where the emphasis is being placed.

Our modern education system is built around rationalization and memorization. We want students who will be obedient, do as they are told, and become great at STEM subject matters. The problem is that line of thinking doesn’t cut it for 100 percent of our society.

This approach develops our rational mind, without allowing the creative mind to come out to play.

And when the two are out of balance, it impedes our creativity, success, happiness and overall fulfillment with life.

Which is why it’s important to develop both sides of your mind from an early age. Ideally we can do this in a variety of ways.

Start with language
We use language to learn, to share, to communicate, and to express our ideas. Language isn’t just our words, language is also found in music, in singing, in dancing, or even in expressing ourselves through art. Studying music theory and harmony helps develop different parts of your brain. So does playing and listening to pieces by great composers.

Experiment with music
Piano playing doesn’t have to mean the same old sounds over and over again. With piano comes melody, which means even simple pieces of music will quickly resonate with the listener. Experiment with a variety of different genres – jazz, classical, R&B, pop, even rock can all add to the depth of our character. And give you the ability of expanding your horizons and build your knowledge of different cultures.

Be creative forever
There is a great Gandhi quote that sums up great living.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Some skills you can learn early in life and keep expanding on until the day you die. Music is one of them. And playing the piano helps you bring in music theory at all levels. The more you practice, the better you become, the more challenge you seek, the more you discover … about yourself and about our world. Piano playing allows you to express your creative side. It can help you overcome challenges by putting your mind onto a different task. It can help you master not just playing the piano itself, but also how to connect different pieces of our world.

If you are looking for an activity that can help you awaken your creativity, something that can give you lifelong pleasure, look no further than the piano.

Taking Up The Piano At Any Age Can Be Beneficial For Your Brain

Taking Up The Piano At Any Age Can Be Beneficial For Your Brain

As a parent, we want to expose our children to the right activities. We want to set them up for success with everything they do. We want to expand their knowledge, try a little of everything, then help them make the right selections to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

The power of a music background is obvious almost from the moment you hear of it. We’ve all heard of theories like The Mozart Effect. Yet pushing a child into something that may be a little different from the norm can sometimes be difficult. If “the gang” is all hanging out on the soccer field, what motivation does a child have for sitting in front of a piano?Taking Up The Piano At Any Age Can Be Beneficial For Your Brain

Yet piano playing isn’t just for kids; that’s what extends its power throughout a person’s life. The more scientific research is performed, the more is discovered about the benefits it can have from childhood through old age.

Health benefits are numerous and include things like:

  • auditory improvement
  • increased cognitive skills
  • improved coordination

The therapeutic value in not only included in playing the piano, it can be equally as valuable to listen to piano music.

  • It has a pacifying affect which helps reduce stress
  • It can maintain a level of mental engagement
  • It can improve language skills, including listening, reading, verbal fluency and memory

And as an afterschool activity, it can give your child the extra stamina they need to do even better in school. Piano playing has been shown to increase test scores, improve SAT scores, even help with both reading and math related technical skills. Yes, music majors are often highest in their class when it comes to moving into pre-med related studies.

Its not just a passive exercise, it is an interactive experience.

For all of these reasons, playing the piano provides a wealth of benefits, no matter what age each member is in your family. It all starts with owning a piano, and having it available to play and practice at any time. Take some time today to visit and find the perfect instrument for you.

Making Piano Playing A Habit For Life

Making Piano Playing A Habit For Life

“We become what we repeatedly do.” ~Sean Covey

Motivation, expectations, and foundational habits; all are needed in order to become a great piano player and enjoy it in the process.

Though in this case we’re talking about playing the piano, the same characteristics can be applied to any new direction you’re taking in life. Good habits lead to success, which leads to happiness. At its root is the process of forming good habits. The better you become at putting something new into your life, the more you’ll make it stick and be happy with the results.Making Piano Playing A Habit For Life

Yet as a human, I’m sure you realize that saying (or reading) this and actually accomplishing it are two different things. Saying you want to be a great piano player, for instance, and building it into a successful habit are two different things. Life gets in the way, and before you know it, weeks have flown by with no action taken.

Its hard to make piano playing a habit under those circumstances.

If piano playing is truly important in your life, or in the life of your child’s, there are a few things you can do that will put the odds in your favor.

Be 100% Committed

If piano playing is a part of your child’s future, you have to commit to making it a part of your life. That means taking the good with the bad, the fun with the not-so-much fun. You can’t approach it with the attitude of doing it as long as its fun. Invariably your child will burn out, whine and complain. Its your job to keep them motivated, and look for ways of making it fun.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

What makes a child better at addition or multiplication tables? Practice. What makes someone a better swimmer? Practice. Piano playing is no different. You can’t sit down and play a popular tune your first time at the keyboard. It takes practice to learn the notes, and practice to learn how to combine notes into a song. The more you practice, the better it will sound, the more fun you will have.

The Ultimate Purpose

Practicing should never be overwhelming. In fact, the true purpose of practicing is simply to get it down to a routine. When you first start, the hardest part is putting it into your life. Practice should always be about establishing a healthy habit of putting it into your life. Five minutes a day every day at 3 pm is much better than playing a scale a few dozen times once per week. Practice is the health way of bringing this new talent into your life. Once it becomes a habit you enjoy, then you can build other key points into the routine – scales, playing songs a number of times, etc.

Provide Encouragement

For an 8 year old boy, 1 minute of practice may be a huge accomplishment. Recognize the effort put into practice and encourage him for what he’s accomplished. Tell him you recognize how much he’s improved. Tell him how good of a job he’s doing. Tell him you are impressed with his attitude towards playing every day. All of these can impress on your child the desire to want to take the next step, and build on skills already developed.

Tips For Relearning The Piano After Not Playing For Years

Tips For Relearning The Piano After Not Playing For Years

Sometimes we overlook the simple pleasures we took for granted as kids.

Remember when you could sit down and play the piano, relax and enjoy music for awhile with nothing else to do? Then work and family priorities set in, and with a million things on your plate, the goal of creating music slipped by the wayside

Its easier than you think to pick up piano once again.

Start SlowlyTips For Relearning The Piano After Not Playing For Years

No matter how much playing you did years ago, this is a new venture at this point in your life. Create small goals that are doable, rather than jumping in full force.

Start with a piano; do you have a quality piano to play? If you still own the same piano, yet its been tucked into a corner of your home for years without a second glance, it may need a little refurbishing to get it into quality playing condition. A simply tuning may not be enough, but it’s the best place to start. Work with a reputable piano tuning and restoration company to find out the current quality of your piano, and what it will take to bring it back to working order.

Then set aside a little time every day to practice and play. Your hands, your arms, even your entire body has to adjust to this new activity. Its easier to spend 20 minutes a day getting back into the swing of things than to sit down for several hours of frustration when you simply can’t find the notes the same way you once did.

Practice is what brought you to success the first time; its no different today. Your skills will come back quickly if you enjoy the process along the way.

Change With The Times

If you haven’t played in a long time, things have changed in many ways over the years. Your body has changed, and the way you deal with aches and pains. Likewise, piano technology and the way we approach the piano has changed over time as well.

This may be the time to work with a professional for a few lessons to get back on track the right way. If you are now used to sitting at the computer all day, how will this transfer over to the way you sit at the piano? You many need adjustment and refinement to make sure you are playing comfortably and in a way you won’t further injure yourself down the road. Are you doing all you can to be the best you can be? A few lessons can put you on the right track once again. When an instructor has experience with adults, they can make suggestions on how to keep up with the physical side of playing piano as well.

Structure Your Sessions

Twenty minutes of structured playing will do more for you overall than randomly playing pieces you like and ignoring errors you make or improvements to your overall ability. Start with warm ups, and ease your fingers and your hands back into playing mode. Play something you know well, for pure enjoyment. Give yourself a challenge; work towards something new.

By creating a plan and including all three structures into your practice section – warm ups, mastering something new, playing for enjoyment – you’re sessions will become fun instead of chore.

 

The key is to have fun, and enjoy playing the piano once more.