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5 Life Skills Children Learn From Piano Lessons

Five Important Life Skills

Good Habits

Confidence

Public Speaking

Talent

Team Player

Introduction.

When I was seven years old, my grandparents offered to take me to the home of a local piano teacher for lessons. While I may not have been fond of the hours spent practicing piano after school each day, or the weekly Wednesday drive across town to my piano teacher's home, I attribute a lot of my life skills to the lessons I learned at a young age.

Learning how to play a musical instrument is rewarding for many reasons. These five life skills are proven to help your child maintain a guided life track toward success.

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1. Good Habits.

Like brushing teeth and picking up a bedroom are good habits for a young child to acquire early on in life, teaching a child to play a musical instrument creates an atmosphere of discipline.

Discipline has several meanings. In this context, the word discipline means a branch of knowledge.

Playing the piano or any other musical instrument requires the following:

  • Dedication
  • Commitment
  • Time Management
  • Focus

By fostering these attributes, a child will gain personal independence which will result in forming good habits.

2. Confidence.

As toddlers, parents tell children no in order to keep a child safe around dangerous things like a hot stove or electrical wires. At some point, the toddler learns not to touch things that are dangerous.

Confidence is taught or achieved by doing something repeatedly.

As adults, we seek training in fields in which we'd like to work. A hair stylist seeks out beauty school. A lawyer seeks out law school. But in each of these fields, there is specific training required in order to do that job. Once trained and educated in a particular field, a person can become successful in their job.

Likewise, confidence is instilled in children by giving them opportunity to master something they can achieve on their appropriate level.

Mistakes and disappointment are always part of the process, but the end result is confidence once success is gained.

Confidence lasts throughout our lives. A child that achieves confidence will become successful in their desire to accomplish. It doesn't mean that they will go on and become a rocket scientist or president of a country. But it's a life skill that's acquired which will help a child master success in anything they do in the future.

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3. Public Speaking.

Public speaking is an area where even adults have issues of fear, stress, and anxiety.

As an adult, have you ever walked in to a crowded room and had to give a presentation or run a meeting? What did you feel like at the point of looking at all of the people waiting for you to present something to them? You may have noticed your heart racing, you might have started sweating, your hands might start to shake, and you could possibly feel sick.

Public speaking is something that isn't as easy as it looks, especially for someone attempting it for the first time.

My first piano solo was before I was 10 years old. I played Für Elise by Ludwig Van Beethoven, my grandmother's favorite piece, for the entire gymnasium that had assembled to hear me play. I felt afraid yet excited. I was filled with anticipation. When I stepped out in front of the few hundred students smiling at me, I sat down and played with confidence because I had practiced that song until I memorized it by heart.

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As I got older, I had more opportunities to play in front of large crowds. I never made it to Carnegie Hall, but because of my experiences, I grew in to an adult who has never had trouble speaking in front of large crowds.

In fact, I do better in front of large crowds than I do in a small gathering of people.

Learning how to play an instrument provides encouragement and teaches leadership so that we are able to face our fears and a public crowd.

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4. Talent.

Some people are born with it. There are those that make headline news with their unbelievably talented singing voices or outrageous gift of brilliance.

For the rest of us, talent takes time to develop.

The definition of talent is a special ability that allows someone to do something well. The old saying practice makes perfect may not always be the case. I took lessons for many years, played in jazz band as well as a church orchestra, and I am far from perfect. But offering a child the opportunity to master something at their own pace when in time creates talent, is argument enough.

Children that are talented are also offered opportunities such as joining school bands, playing instruments in school concerts, playing instruments at church, and other various activities that otherwise would not be available.

5. Team Player.

Many musicians play in bands or with groups of other individuals. There are also solo musicians.

But when learning how to play a musical instrument, children are invited to play in something called a duet. This is when two children play one song together. My piano teacher used to coordinate mini recitals at a nursing homes which provided an opportunity for her students to serve the needs of others in a caring environment.

Children learn how to play together. This is an important life lesson that carries through to adulthood because most people work in jobs which require us to get along with others.

Learning how to be a team player opens up further opportunity to join right in to a boys or girls club, team sports, and other activities which children may otherwise feel afraid or shy around.

Children learn what they are taught.

When a child is enrolled in piano lessons, it's an opportunity for individualized instruction, one-on-one attention, and discipline which is required to learn good habits, confidence, public speaking, acquire talent, and be a team player.

All of these character attributes start at home.

Did you know?

Learning how to play the piano involves studying and teaching of motor, intellectual, problem-solving, and artistic skills?

Piano lesson strategies.

A lot has changed since I was a child taking my first lesson. But one thing has remained the same. Good study habits are important for the constant structure and learning environment required for your child to achieve success.

Here are a few tips on how to get your child started:

  1. Have a journal notebook available for your child. Teach your child to record a daily log including date, time practiced, name of song (book and page), and what areas your child feels they need more instruction.
  2. At each lesson, have your child bring the journal to the teacher and review the information. Also record in the journal the homework given by the teacher.
  3. Depending on the teacher, they may even reward the child's journaling efforts with a sticker or A+ on the last entry.
  4. Keep music books clean. The music books are expensive and will be around until your child masters each lesson. Avoid bringing the books around food or other mess to help preserve the pages.
  5. Commit to a set time every day for your child to practice. This also means the television, radio, computer, or any other distraction must be turned off. Treat this time as an investment in to your child's life. What could be more important! Don't frustrate your child by watching soap opera re-runs next to the piano when the child is trying to practice and master a lesson.
  6. Be a part of your child's learning. Encourage your child, praise your child, and attend your child's lessons with enthusiasm. Even when everything else in your life feels stressful, use this time to unwind from a busy day and devote yourself to your child's attention.
  7. Help your child focus by using a reminder system about practice time and the weekly lesson. Keep a calendar system in the kitchen or other room where your child will see the reminder in the forefront of your home.
  8. Don't push your child. If your child dislikes lessons to the point of frustration, tears, and anxiety, piano or other musical instruments may not be right for your child. The worst thing to do is force lessons on a child who wants nothing to do with it.
  9. Don't expect your child to devote their adult life in a career around the piano. Many people make the mistake of setting expectations for their children when the child may just enjoy playing the piano as a hobby. Think of the benefits your child will gain from lessons though.
  10. Create a family calendar around your child's lessons and practice so that other events don't interfere.
This is the actual house where I took piano lessons.

This is the actual house where I took piano lessons.

Lessons that teach us value for life.

My piano teacher was talented in many ways. She wrote her own book before passing away.

I have such fond memories of growing up playing piano with her in her living room, accompanying her to the nursing home where she worked, and playing duets with her for the residents.

Her favorite movie was The Sound of Music; from which her favorite song was My Favorite Things.

I share memories of her treating my grandmother to delicious peanut butter cookies while I wrote down my next lesson in my little journal book.

An excerpt from her book, she wrote,

"If you do not tell your story, it will never be told."

Comments

Amazrock Brands on May 30, 2017:

Thank you for the article. Piano mastery requires hard work and perseverance. The payoff is the beautiful gift to play music that touches soul.

As you pointed out, discipline and rhythm defines the mature adult who seeks to enjoy and be the best at his trade and in life.

Marko Todoric from Novi Sad on March 16, 2017:

Thanks for this hub, Crafty. Learning how to play a musical instrument is truly rewarding. Not only that children form good habits but they also increase their capacity of the memory. Some study even proved that children who are learning to play a musical instrument achieve better results in school.

"A study undertaken in 2006 published in the Journal of Educational Psychology shows that teaching children music has a positive impact on their achievement in school."

source: http://parentsupporthub.com/the-effect-of-music-on...

Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on July 24, 2014:

You've some great, intuitive and insightful thoughts here, getting one's child to take music instrument lessons is indeed having many hidden benefits. Apart from what you've already listed, this lets a child develop knowledge of a stream which can then help him/her in establishing and continuing interesting conversations. This can be useful while making friends, but even in interviews/professional conversations.

And then there are career choices. While a child might not want to become a pianist as an adult, s/he at least gets exposure to a stream of art. Basically such exposure at childhood helps people to understand themselves better - the difference between wants and requirements, the difference between what they really enjoy, vs. what's just bearable and so on. With such knowledge about one's own mind and soul, the probability of making better career choices is much higher...

Hope I added some value with this verbose comment :D to an already excellent number of comments.. to a fabulously crafted to the core hub :)

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 08, 2014:

I agree with you, that learning a musical instrument, in general, is a good thing for children. Unfortunately, I grew up hating piano. My mom insisted that all of us learn to play the piano and so I suffered through it. I stopped at Fur Elise thinking that would be my greatest achievement in life. But putting hate aside, and referring to your article, there was lots of music in our home, and I enjoyed watching others playing the piano. I used to play the piano in my free time, and that was more fun than having lessons. I remember my eldest sister's suitors coming by and playing the piano, and a few of my suitors too, (until the guitar became more important, and eventually I liked that much more, too). Music brings happiness to a home, and even if you may not like learning it, you can definitely enjoy playing it on your own or listening to music from others. Great hub.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on May 17, 2014:

I also took music lessons as a child and learned many lessons that have benefited me my whole life. When we have children, they will definitely take music lessons too! Thank you for sharing.

Neetu M from USA on May 01, 2014:

Crafty, I couldn't agree more! Learning an instrument is a lifelong asset that can have incredible impact in all the ways you have mentioned plus more. Even if the children do not go on to becoming big performers, they acquire all those skills and music becomes their companion in times of stress, in times of joy, as a means to create harmony in other areas of life and as a means to bringing them together with others who share similar interests. All positive things!

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 30, 2014:

Hi Martie! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting here. That's awesome that you were the administrator for a music school for 20 years! I did go through a period of time where I dreaded the whole practicing thing. But I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to take piano lessons when I was a child. My son adores music and he has your attitude about not practicing, but enjoying the playing of piano.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on April 22, 2014:

I was the administrator of a music school for 20 years, so I am an advocate for music tuition. It's not what you can do for music, but what music can do for you.

Both my grandchildren are taking music lessons, and they love it, until they have to practice at home. While I - and also my son - have a passionate urge to make music 24/7. It was never necessary for me to tell him to practice; he didn't practice; he enjoyed playing his instrument. And so was I since I can remember.

Great hub!

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 15, 2014:

Hi LadyFiddler! My friend's daughter is in elementary school and she is learning the violin. It looks like such a hard instrument to play. I commend you for taking lessons. Thanks for commenting here!

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on April 15, 2014:

Hey Craftytothecore, good hub and interesting to, I am presently learning the violin i was to do my grade II exam on March 28th, but i had a surgery so had to miss it some other reasons to.

Yes music teaches us commitment , dedication, how to spend our time etc. I am afraid that i need to be a lot more dedicated i am too busy and tired after work.

To be a good musician you must dedicate time in order to become perfected. I did a piano/organ course when i was younger. I started off again doing piano in 2011 but because i love the violin more i stopped off with the piano. Piano is much easier to learn the violin can be a pain in the butt. Yes 'Fur Elise" is always a beginners piece in piano.

Thanks for sharing this hub with us.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 14, 2014:

Thank you teaches. Yes, that's true, commitment is another lesson that playing an instrument instills.

Dianna Mendez on April 12, 2014:

My parents made sure their children each played a musical instrument. I played the piano. It was a discipline that taught me much about comittment. Great message in this article.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi WriterJanis! Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind comments.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi Denise! What a sweet story. Thank you so much for stopping by.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi Tolovaj, I know what you mean about the expense. I'm not sure where my grandparents got their piano. It was always in the family when I started playing it. It just so happened that my piano teacher's cousin was the town piano tuner, so we got a good rate. Thanks so much for stopping by.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi Au Fait, that's wonderful that you were able to pass musical ability down to your daughter. Thank you so much for your insight here.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Thank you Writer Fox! Yes, piano lessons give us an appreciation for music. Excellent point.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Kathleen, those are such excellent points! I worked in a law firm for 12 years and did tax returns for multi-million dollar estates without any formal accounting training.

Janis from California on April 08, 2014:

You have nailed it with all of the benefits from taking piano lessons.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi Shyron! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hi Faith! First, thank you for your prayers. They mean a lot. I can play several other instruments if I have music in front of me just because I learned how to play the piano. I never learned how to play the guitar though. My son tries to dabble with guitar, but he is naturally gifted at the piano. That's neat that your husband plays! Thanks so much for stopping by.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Hey Mel! It's never too late to learn. The one advantage of a keyboard is the keys are easier to press. I had an upright piano when I was growing up. Now I have a portable keyboard.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 08, 2014:

Thank you Audrey! It's so nice to see you.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 08, 2014:

Piano lessons did the same thing for me that they did for you, instilling confidence at a young age, persistence, and enjoyment of music. I married a music teacher, and together, we taught our children piano, singing, and the playing of musical instruments. It has become our family heritage!

Tolovaj on April 07, 2014:

I always wanted to learn a piano, but this was pretty complicated projects when I was a kid. Pianos, even small and used ones were really expensive. And there was tuning and cost of lessons, lack of time, you know, ordinary excuses. Well, today's syncs cost only a friction of the fortune needed few decades ago, and many lesson are available for free on web, so we are slowly running out of excuses, aren't we?

Thanks for this detailed explanation.

C E Clark from North Texas on April 05, 2014:

Agree that children benefit immensely from music lessons beginning as early as 5 (or younger depending on the child). My own daughter was 6 when she started on the piano. I was 9 when I started learning the sax, and even younger playing the piano by ear. My siblings all played instruments too, but I don't remember how old they were when they started.

I've written an article about when children should begin learning music and the many benefits of getting them started early. Besides learning to discipline themselves, learning music can increase a child's mathematical and language skills among other advantages.

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on April 05, 2014:

I think one of the most valuable things children receive with piano lessons is an appreciation of music. This will enrich their lives as long as they live. Enjoyed your article and your childhood experiences!

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on April 05, 2014:

I've read there is connection between music lessons and math and language skills. I've found this to be true with my three now adult kids.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 05, 2014:

Hi Crafty, I think this is Awesome to teach children music. I believe that it teaches respect, and all the other benefit you mention above.

Voted up, UABI and shared

Blessings

Shyron

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 04, 2014:

Hi Dear Crafty,

Wow, this is a fantastic hub here. I truly wished I had learned to play the piano. My mother played and learned when she was very young, but alas, we could not afford a piano or the lessons. However, my husband and I have a piano in our home, as he can play and was in the band in high school and play a couple of different instruments. He has tried to teach me but I believe that boat has sailed However, my son must have received his gift of music from my husband and my mother, as he can play piano and guitar just naturally, truly gifted. He did take guitar lessons, but not piano, but he knows how to play? I wish I had that gift. I am trying to get him to take the piano to his home and hopefully have his three young children to take piano lessons, as they just love it so when they are up, and they are this weekend.

This hub is truly insightful as to all the benefits of learning to play the piano! Thank you for sharing about yourself and I would love to hear you play.

I have missed seeing you here on HP, and I am sorry I missed this hub, but so glad I found it now. Great to see you back writing your wonderful hubs.

I read in your comment to Sha about your son, and I will keep him and your family in my prayers.

Up and more, tweeting and pinning

Hugs and blessings,

Faith Reaper

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on April 04, 2014:

I regret now not learning the piano myself. I have long fingers which I think would give me an advantage. Who knows, I might still do it. Keyboards are cheap these days. Great hub!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 04, 2014:

Passing this on to all the folks in my music world!

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Sha! Thank you. I played Fur Elise at my first recital and I practiced it so much the sheet music tore in half. I still have it taped together. I couldn't memorize lines from books either. I've always been like that.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 04, 2014:

Sorry to hear about your son, Crafty. I hope all works out well.

I had practiced Fur Elise so much I no longer needed to refer to the sheet music. Now I can't get past the first bar!

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi VioletteRose! Thanks so much for stopping by.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Alicia, thank you so much for your comments. I certainly attribute my life skills on piano lessons, although at the time when I was a kid practicing, I doubt I thought of it like that! LOL

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Sha! My son has been going through a lot of medical issues. We've been traveling back and forth to Yale New Haven to specialists. He's developed a neurological issue with his eyes. He is limited to 1/2 days at school. I haven't had much time to do anything else.

That's really impressive that you memorized Fur Elise because I can't memorize anything. I never was one that could just play a tune from memory. I always needed my sheet music or books.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Rebecca, yes that's true too. A lot of children get frustrated and don't want to play the instrument at all. I felt that way too for a long time. But my piano teacher allowed me to accompany her at a nursing home and I really enjoyed playing the piano for the residents. That kept me going because I noticed how much the elderly enjoyed the entertainment. My daughter has no interest in the piano and I would never make her play it. My son loves it so I encourage him.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi MsDora! Thank you so much for your kind comments.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Jodah! Nice to see you here. I have a friend that can play any instrument. He never took one lesson. I tried different instruments. I could never get the hang of playing the flute or other wind instruments.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi DDE! Thank you for stopping by and yes, it has been a while since I've had the chance to get back on HP. My son is going through some medical problems. He's on 1/2 days at school, so it's been very challenging trying to keep up with everything.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

That's very interesting Shinzuu! Thanks for that information. My son has that ability to sit down and play by ear. I never did.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Jackie! It took a lot of commitment. It meant when my friends were outside playing tag or riding bikes, I was inside practicing piano. Looking back I don't regret it because I learned so many other values from it.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Shinzuu, thank you so much for your input here. I was so shy as a child. I was put in special ed because I was afraid of talking in front of the class. By the time I grew in to a teenager, I had no trouble at all. I've spoken in front of hundreds of people at a time without any fear now. I attribute it to the recitals I played in front of large crowds.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

How wonderful RTalloni that you have musically inclined children that have gone with their talents to play even more instruments. That's a true musical testimony for families. My son naturally loves to play the piano. He is very inquisitive to begin with and can play things by ear. I had to study and study when I was taking lessons, sometimes to the point of tears. My daughter loves to sing.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Flourish! Thank you. You are so right, it's universal across the world.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Susi10! It's great to see you. Thank you so much for adding your experience here.

CraftytotheCore (author) on April 04, 2014:

Hi Billy! Thank you for your wonderful comments.

VioletteRose from Atlanta on April 03, 2014:

Learning to use a music instrument is a wonderful thing and I think piano is a great choice for kids who have a passion for music!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 02, 2014:

You've raised some very good points about piano lessons and their benefits, Crafty. Learning how to play an instrument can teach valuable life skills and playing the instrument can be very rewarding. As you say, though, I think it's important that a child isn't forced to keep doing something that they hate.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 02, 2014:

It's nice to see you again, Crafty. I was beginning to worry about you.

I took piano as a little girl and also had Fur Elise memorized. Unfortunately, I quit to spite my mom. In hindsight, I spited myself.

My son took guitar lessons in high school. I haven't heard him play in a while. His work schedule doesn't leave him much creative time.

Rebecca Furtado from Anderson, Indiana on April 02, 2014:

My mother forced piano lessons on it . It became a dreaded activity. I think you can learn get lessons from them , but you have to start young enough that you do not get that natural resistance some kids have to lessons

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 02, 2014:

True, discipline developed in piano training are transferable to all of life. Your list of strategies are very useful for the families.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on April 02, 2014:

Very good hub Crafty, with great advice. I never learnt to play a musical instrument as a child and regret it now. One of my sons played the saxophone, another is now learning guitar, and another can sing...he auditioned for Australia's Got Talent one year. You are right that music lessons teach kids other life lessons. Voted up.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 02, 2014:

I have noticed the behavior in kids who play the piano and the benefits are so helpful in such ways. It has been a while since you wrote a new hub so glad you came up this hub.

Shinzuu Katame from Maine, USA on April 01, 2014:

it also depends on the program you take, too. if you ever want, look up a program called Suzuki Piano. This program teaches students to learn music by ear rather than by written music. Also, it ingrains into the student's mind, the ability to switch different key types, as well. it commits very well to musical development. i actually gained perfect pitch with this program by the time i turned 12.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 01, 2014:

I do wish I had learned to play when I was a child. My best friend taught me chop sticks and I picked a few tunes by ear but nothing like having lessons and all that goes with it as you say! ^

Shinzuu Katame from Maine, USA on April 01, 2014:

very insightful. as someone who's been playing Piano for 25 years, I only have to say that it never helped me with public speaking. I still have issues speaking to groups larger than 5.

RTalloni on April 01, 2014:

Really good stuff to think through here! :) The life skills you mention are so important to consider when deciding whether to give a child piano lessons.

I'm not an expert but I do have some experience and I have come to believe that nearly every child should at the very least have introductory piano lessons at early ages. I would go so far as to say that children who do not like the lessons could and should be bribed into them (after all, who goes to work for no pay), keeping in mind that the younger the better. It is surprising how many children come to like playing the piano if their early lessons are handled correctly on every level.

Our daughter loved her piano work, but it led her to study voice. Our son was okay with piano lessons, but he used them to advance his violin/viola studies. They both continue to enjoy using their studies and are passing their love for the instruments to their children.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 01, 2014:

I like that music is a great connector in that it can unify people across culture, language, generations, ability profiles, and so much more. And like you mention, learning how to play an instrument such as piano builds competence/confidence through practice. Nice hub!

Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on April 01, 2014:

Nice hub Crafty! I learned to play the piano and I regularly play piano nowadays. I studied it for about 6 years and I absolutely loved it. Piano is most definitely my favourite instrument out there because it sounds wonderful and is so fun to learn. I still learn piano songs today, including many of the classics (such as Fur Elise, as you mentioned in the photos above). I agree, piano is a great way to develop a child's skills in many ways. Gaining confidence is very important and that can be developed through piano playing and performing.

I enjoyed reading this! Voted up +++, voted useful and shared.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 01, 2014:

I'm all for it. Wonderful lessons here. Every child should be exposed to the playing of a musical instrument....or art class....or creative writing....or sculpting....the Arts must remain alive. There is so much to learn from them.

As you said perfectly in this fine article.

Good to see you again my friend.

bill

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