Piano lessons do a lot for children; they improve hand-eye coordination, focus, and concentration. As they progress and improve, the classes also instill in them a sense of accomplishment and help them develop a love for music and the arts.
They also help the kids do well in school. In the mid to late nineties, much research was conducted on this topic. One such study revealed its results in the Neurological Research, February 1997 issue.
Dr. Frances Rauscher, psychologist, collaborated with physicist, Dr. Gordon Shaw in a study of pre-schoolers and the effect of music on spatial intelligence. One group was given piano lessons and there were two other control groups who were not.
At the end of their research, Rauscher and Shaw discovered that the children who took the classes scored more than 30% higher than the control groups in math and science tests. It is interesting that learning the arts can positively affect performance in the sciences like math, engineering, and other problem-solving curriculum.
Other similar tests show that kids who take piano lessons score high in IQ tests and generally do better in math and sciences, particularly in abstract reasoning. These studies suggest that there is a correlation between the development and stimulation of neural pathways and listening to music, learning, or playing it.
It may even be beneficial to children with developmental conditions such as autism. It offers them an outlet for expression that they may not have otherwise. Of course, it would take a very special teacher for it to work out.
This is a great argument for getting your kids interested in music and fostering a love for creating it through piano classes. You don’t even have to tell them that the training is good for them.
While it may not make your child a genius, there is enough proof that learning to play the instrument will help your child. It is better to start as early as possible, but all hope is not lost for teens and adults. Rauscher and Shaw also noted an improvement in spatial reasoning among college students who simply listened to piano music.
So, while most of the benefits occur early on while the brain is still developing those neural pathways, learning to play an instrument benefits everyone.
But, if you want to give your child a head-start in life, find the right instructor and sign her up. It can be a very positive experience for him/her. She may even turn into a great concert pianist or, if his/her skills aren’t that great, she may still become an engineer or a scientist.
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