Take Learning the Piano beyond the Practice Room

We all know that learning an instrument benefits us, encompassing health, mental cognitive capacity, and social and psychological aspects. It has therapeutic effects to helping children with autism, dyslexia, or can even help to de-stress you after a long hard day at work or school. It also offers to enrich your quality of life overall and the holistic effects are immeasurable.

Let’s take a closer look at how we can take learning the piano beyond the practice room:

1. Endurance and Perseverance

Learning to play and excel on the piano requires a lot of patience and dexterity. When you see a great performance on stage or from a recording, the musician has persevered to overcome many challenges and endured many hours of practice. If a young child is taught to understand that learning the piano requires a lot of patience and endurance from the onset, the child is better prepared to face the obstacles and challenges for what life may present with greater level of tolerance. As the old clichés state: Life is not always a bed of roses, and the grass may not always be greener on the other side. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Learning the piano can provide you the life skills to be resilient.

 2. Transferable skills set to perform well at work

Not all of us who learn to play the piano will end up being a pianist.  Many will venture to work in an environment completely different from playing the piano. Many Human Resources hiring policies, require that you demonstrate these competencies: creative solving skills, agility, analytical, collaborative and communication skills, including time and organizational management.   Have you ever realized that these skills can be acquired during your piano learning process? As you are learning a piece of music, a good teacher will help you to learn how to analyze technical issues and assist you to discover how to creatively solve the challenges during your practice process.

When you accompany other instrumentalists or are involved in a band or orchestra, you will be using collaborative skills to play with others and to perform your piece through your communication skills to the audience so that you can manifest your expression through your performance. In many occurrences, you are required to adapt to the size of the piano and the concert hall, which may require you to adjust your pedal and key touch and dynamics. This is an applied skill through agility, versatility and dexterity. These valuable skill sets are easily transferable to many other settings, such as in a hospital, driving a car, a mechanic working in a field (who operates hazardous equipment) or even a chef in a kitchen. Working outside the practice room presents you with another set of undertakings which command one to be capable of handling time, prioritization and organization skills. Students can learn these skill sets during piano trainings, which in turn, can be extended as a skill for life.

3. Self- Discipline and Commitment

Signing up for piano lessons requires on-going weekly commitment to attend the piano lesson. After the piano lesson, it is expected that you will practice on a daily basis to make progress. You diligently practice your lesson daily so when you arrive at your next lesson, you are ready to present your accomplished learnings and progress to the next. This generates an internal energy and continuum to your routine. It takes discipline for a child to sit at the piano at a certain time of the day, and for a duration of at least 15-30 minutes or 60 minutes depending on your level. When a child is instilled with this aptitude, it is much easier for them to apply this life skill in other aspects of their life like relationships, where you may need to exert discipline and self-control to avoid issues.

4. Confidence Building

You may not always be playing piano for yourself, at some point you may be asked to play for your granny’s Sunday afternoon visit after a nice Sunday Pot Roast Lunch! Or your school teacher may ask you to perform at an assembly or on speech day! A good piano teacher will prepare you for that audacious day and you will be trained to conquer stage fright and to take risks.  These will develop your self-esteem and ultimately boost your level of confidence. When a student exudes confidence, it empowers them with the key to success in life!

5. Improve your Motor Coordination Skill

Playing the piano actually promotes multi-tasking skills.  As you use both of your hands to play the keys and your feet to depress the foot pedals at different times and various degrees, while engaging your eyes to read the notations or watch your hands’ movement as you listen all concurrently, requires a lot of dexterity and coordination.  In addition to that, reading piano music scores is a lot more difficult than it is for reading music scores for other instruments. Piano scores involve two clefs (treble and bass) to begin with and as the music gets more complicated, it involves four parts writing ( soprano, alto, tenor and bass) reading as opposed to single line music reading for other instruments.  A greater degree of coordinated motor skills are also required to transpire the piano playing.  A high caliber pianist can automatically execute these events and produce the utmost beautiful sound and movement with great velocity and minimal effort.

This skill can be very similar to driving a manual transmission vehicle where you automatically simultaneously operate the vehicle with both hands, feet and eyes.  Your feet need to operate the gas and brake pedal as well as the clutch while you change gears with your hand. In the meantime your other hands will steer the vehicle with the steering wheel while your eyes are continuously scanning where you are going and viewing behind you with the mirrors. You will also need to be alert and aware of the surrounding traffic and drivers, using your eyes and ears, otherwise you could become a victim of an accident!  This is a multi-tasking and motor coordination skill.  Some people have a natural disposition to this and some don’t, similar to that of the piano.

If you are a Human Resources specialist and have not realized how learning a piano can benefit your organization, you may want to seriously consider individuals who play the piano.  There are many transferable life skills.

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