Here’s an excellent question to ask: why learn to play the piano? Why spend hours each week on the bench, going over scales…
There are plenty of other ways to use your time (going to the movies, or seeing friends, for example).
But don’t second guess yourself, because we’re going to see that learning to play the piano offers a number of rewards and contributes to the well being and personal enlightenment of everyone who plays it.
To the keys (not the ones on this computer)!
In general, this question, “why learn to play the piano,” is one that children ask of their parents.
How many children have been traumatized by Tuesday (or any other day, it doesn’t matter) afternoon piano lessons they never asked to take?
How many mortified children had to be dragged to music school?
So yes, why learn to play the piano?
An instrument that offers you numerous rewards.
Of course we don’t need to be so hyperbolic: some children love the piano or at the very least show a real interest in the instrument and in music in general.
In any case, it’s not only children who ask this question.
It’s a very common question in reality. Those of you hesitating to sit down at the piano, those of you still weighing the pros and cons, perhaps you’re asking it as well.
You’ve come to the right place: in this article we’ll show that there are more reasons to learn to play the piano than you ever thought.
Playing music, especially the piano, is more than anything else a chance to have fun, to enjoy yourself. Learning to play the piano is fun activity, despite everything that’s been said and even if it’s tough at the beginning. No, playing the scales isn’t the most enjoyable thing in the world. But playing songs you love, in front of your friends, creates real pleasure.
Improvisation is an extremely entertaining activity.
You will, we should mention, not be very good at improvising when you start. The ability to improvise must be acquired through work, and you need to learn the basics of the piano, especially harmony (the science of the chords and their sequences). But your efforts at the beginning will be worth it.
When you no longer need to practice moving your fingers on the keyboard, when you can improvise original melodies, you’ll understand that you weren’t wasting your time.
Take a moment for yourself, sit on the bench and play the piano in order to forget your day at work or school. It’s an excellent way to relax, to unwind. Doesn’t the name piano originate with the Italian word “gentle”?
The sound of the piano is rightly considered one of the softest instruments, the most “tranquilizing”. If music calms the savage beast, like the saying goes, it’s particularly true of the piano. The piano as stress relief? Why not? Of course, if you’re playing a more aggressive song, the effects won’t be quite the same.
Playing or practicing the piano requires all of your attention, all of your concentration.
If we’re being realistic, we live in a world where focus is becoming more and more rare, more and more difficult. Everything takes us away from the things that need our attention, our patience, and the advances in technology don’t help.
As you learn to play the piano, you’ll be developing a level of focus that counteracts the prevailing sentiment that puts instantaneous gratification on a pedestal.
In the same vein, playing the piano allows you to improve your memory, and to expand your intelligence. Learning a song requires a strong memory, in two senses: the memory of the mind, yes, but also muscle memory (in your fingers most notably).
It’s been proven that playing the piano enhances intellectual faculties.
Playing the piano really is like exercise for your brain. Regularly playing the piano enables you continuously work on your cognitive abilities and memory. It’s even looks like the piano helps battle Alzheimer’s disease.
A German scientific study demonstrated that professional pianists have more developed brains that other people.
And according to lots of scientific research, playing the piano (and music in general) is the activity that uses the brain the most. Piano teachers are thus not only teaching their students how to play the piano, but helping to develop their overall intelligence.
The piano is king of the instruments, and its stature is unsurpassed. Anyone who knows how to play the piano can learn to play other instruments more easily, all other instruments. The piano is essentially a string instrument with no fewer than 88 different keys. The piano’s range (its spectrum of notes) is the most extensive of all the instruments. Anyone who can handle this much can handle less.
Indeed, all of the great composers (except perhaps Berlioz) were pianists. They always wrote their sheet music, their symphonies, and their operas with a piano nearby.
Did you know? The piano is one of only two instruments (with the harp) that uses two different keys: the key of G and the key of F! An extra arrow in your quiver!
Playing the piano enables you to get acquainted with the genius composers from the history of music, to invite them into your home so you can play their music. Playing one of Chopin’s nocturnes is like forming a relationship with him, like establishing a dialog with the genius composer: you as translator, him as author.
Learning the piano also allows you to sharpen you ear for music. You’ll never listen to music the same way again once you’ve begun learning to play the piano. You’ll understand the music, its logic, and more easily be able to distinguish between bad and good music. Even if musical taste is subjective, it’s true.
It’s well known that playing piano promotes language learning in young children. It makes sense if you think about it: isn’t music just another language? Aren’t the musical scales the “language of music”?
In general, the piano has very positive effects on a child’s development: many studies have shown that children who take piano lessons do better in school (on average learning 30% more effectively than their classmates who don’t have musical training).
Music also enables children to enhance their spacial awareness abilities, essential for learning and understanding math or the physical sciences.
Learning to play the piano can be an opportunity to make friends, to meet talented teachers who can pass along their passion for music. The human contact, the bond between teacher and student, can be very enriching and lead to lasting relationships.
It is undeniably the best way to learn to play the piano.
Another reason to take piano lessons: you can find hundreds of piano teachers on Superprof!
Learning to play the piano enhances motor skills. Playing the piano uses your entire body.
All piano students know the importance of their posture, of the positioning of their back, their arms, and their forearms as they play the piano. Physical coordination of both hands, independently of each other, is something all pianists learn because it’s an essential component to playing well.
You’ll be amazed at how coordinated you’ll become.
It’s obvious that playing the piano allows you to build self-confidence. Of course it’s not the piano specifically, but all musical instruments. No matter what area, reaching the next level, mastering something, meeting and overcoming a challenge, and achieving a goal is strong factor in terms of building self-confidence.
Being willing and able to play the piano in front of your friends and family is also a strong indication of self-confidence, of pride in yourself. If you don’t have self-confidence, if you doubt yourself at every turn, then maybe piano lessons are just the thing for you.
Playing the piano promotes the development of creativity. Composing music and improvisation both stimulate the creative abilities of the brain. Learning the piano, in a way, is like reconnecting with your childhood. Childhood, as everyone knows, is the time in your life when creative plays the greatest role in your everyday activities.
It’s clear that these creative tendencies diminish as you get older, taking a backseat as you become an adult.
Playing the piano allows you to reacquaint yourself with your childhood imagination, to awaken the child within you.
A beautiful instrument, fine sand, the sound of the waves… who could ask for more?
Lastly, as perhaps you understand based on the other reasons: playing the piano can make you happier.
Then again, perhaps it’s a little bit of exaggeration, especially if you look at certain portraits of classical composers…
Gaining self-confidence, developing a range of abilities, being creative, improvising, playing songs that you love in front of an attentive audience, having fun with your musician friends, just relaxing… doesn’t all of this seem like the basis for a certain kind of pleasure, or at the very least an improvement on your everyday life? What else do you need?