15 Reasons You Should Learn To Play The Piano
Learning to play the piano is an incredibly fun and rewarding experience, and one of the greatest joys in life. Lots of people think about learning the piano but are sometimes hesitant and reluctant to take up the musical instrument. Usually, all they need to convince them are a few good reasons why taking up the piano is a fantastic choice to make.
Here are 15 great reasons you should start learning to play the piano today.
1. Provides a powerful alternative to electronic entertainment
In the 21st century, more and more of our daily lives are being taken over by electronics.
Computers, tablets, games consoles, and mobile phones (the big one!) can provide a quick and easy digital fix of entertainment. Entertainment often comes in the form of scrolling through ‘social’ media, watching shows on Netflix, and reading up on random trivia (like what happens at the end of Home Alone 2).
All this time spent in front of our screens can have negative effects like a shortened attention span, low mood and anxiety, and even impaired cognitive functioning.
The piano is a great unplugged outlet for entertainment
On the other hand, the piano is a physical musical instrument. It isn’t inside a rectangular screen and you interact with it as you play. Not only is playing the piano an unplugged outlet for entertainment, it’s also incredibly entertaining. Two for the price of one!
2. Develop an appreciation for different musical styles, like classical music
Learning the piano often means exploring a range of musical styles to develop technique, style and proficiency. Whilst learning the piano you can expect to play anything from classical to jazz, as you experience the joy of the musical spectrum.
Classical is seen as an essential style for teaching piano pupils and is probably the most popular. Especially in the early stages when pupils are learning basic scales, arpeggios, and getting familiar with keyboard geography.
We’ve all heard the iconic first few bars of Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, or the grand opening of Mozart’s ‘A Little Night Music.’ Truly inspiring classical pieces of music all piano players will enjoy.
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Haydn, and Handel are amongst the most famous classical piano musicians of all time. Their compositions are often learnt for piano exams and played for enjoyment all around the world.
You might never have thought classical music was for you. Before long, classical pieces will become some of your favourites. A fantastic reason to start learning the piano.
3. Learning the piano improves concentration
Learning the piano requires concentration. You must be incredibly focused and attentive to hone your musical skills. Learning a new piece, familiarising yourself with a new scale or arpeggio, playing through finger flexibility exercises, enhance your ability to concentrate.
Having improved concentration can go a long way in life. Concentration comes in handy when you’re reading a book, learning a new skill, working on an important project, booking a family holiday, carefully following a recipe for your evening meal.
In fact, learning an instrument is said to be beneficial for those with attention disorders like ADHD and ADD, because they condition the person to focus on one task for a prolonged period.
4. The piano improves coordination
Coordination refers to ‘the ability to use different parts of the body together, smoothly, and efficiently.’ Playing the piano certainly improves your coordination.
Playing the piano requires the hands, fingers, and feet, working together in harmony, and this is a great way to develop coordination.
Different pieces feature different rhythms, time signatures, dynamic markings, and musical phrasing. It may be a challenge at first, but your motor skills will soon become fine-tuned as you practice the piano more.
Having improved coordination is helpful for typing on a keyboard, driving a vehicle, organising a space, playing other instruments, and even playing sports like golf and cricket.
5. Learning the piano builds confidence
Unfortunately, some adults, teenagers and children, experiences confidence issues.
Learning to play the piano can develop tremendous self-confidence. When you practice, hone your technique in lessons, and work on pieces you’re learning, you will notice a huge difference in your performance. Before long, you start to believe in your self and your ability to play, and your confidence increases too.
The magic of performance in confidence building
Playing in front of someone, whether it’s your teacher or family members, is a fantastic way in which piano players can develop their confidence.
Performing a piece of music to someone can be a daunting experience. What if you mess up or forget to play a few bars? These are normal worries all musicians have. Don’t worry, all piano players make mistakes! From Stevie Wonder to Billy Joe, mistakes sometimes happen in live performance an are key to developing confidence.
Putting your worries aside and getting your feet wet with some live performance, is a great starting point for building confidence and self-belief. You may make a few mistakes, but that’s completely fine and at least you gave it ago.
You may find yourself more comfortable getting up and speaking to a large group of people after performing a few times, as performance can also build public speaking confidence.
6. Meeting new people
We’re social animals. We like meeting new people and being around others. Learning an instrument like the piano is a wonderful opportunity to meet other musicians and make new friends.
There are plenty of ways to meet others when you start:
- If you’re learning at a music school, you’ll probably meet other pupils during recitals or practice sessions.
- When you’ve practised for a while, and are confident in your ability, you could start or join a band. Team up with other musicians, like guitarists and drummers, to play your favourite tunes or compose original music as part of an ensemble. Who knows, you might be the next Beatles.
- You can use music as a conversation icebreaker. Maybe you vaguely know someone plays the piano, and you use this fact to introduce yourself and get discussion flowing.
- Once you’re relatively competent and can sight read well, you could join an orchestra. An orchestra is a group of instrumentalists, consisting of a range of instrument types like woodwind, strings, brass and percussion.
7. Stress relief
Research suggests playing a musical instrument, like the piano, can reduce stress.
When our body detects a possible threat in the environment, like having too many tasks to complete or a demanding boss or teacher, it turns on the stress response. Therefore, we feel agitated and anxious when we’re stressed.
Playing a musical instrument like the piano gives your mind something else to focus on and directly combats the stress response, making you feel calm and relaxed.
The 21st century is a busy place with lots of things to worry and stress about. Learn the piano to take some of the strain off and relax.
8. Good posture
The first thing any piano teacher worth their salt will teach you is how to have good posture. Posture refers to how someone holds their body when sitting or standing. Learning and playing the piano requires a lot of sitting for long periods of time.
Having correct posture means you can practice properly, for longer, with a reduced risk of experiencing any aches and pains.
Learning and implementing efficient posture from piano lessons can benefit many areas of your life where you sit for a prolonged period.
If you sit at a computer all day for work, drive a lot, watch movies regularly, read books or study, or even watch TV, having proper posture will go a long way and you’ll be less likely to develop injuries or pains.
9. Enhances your communication skills
Learning to play the piano is great for developing communication skills. Being able to communicate properly and concisely is crucial for many areas of life, like being in a relationship or working with colleagues for work.
There are many opportunities to strengthen communication skills when learning the piano.
For instance, you develop great speaking skills. On the first lesson, you introduce yourself to the teacher, explain your current level and where you want to go, give detailed feedback on how practice is going (what went well and what didn’t go so well), and any other general chit chat that goes with it.
Learning the piano also develops effective listening skills. Piano students need to carefully listen to their teacher’s instructions and feedback, and when they play a piece or an exercise for you to mimic or practice.
10. Learning the importance of time management
“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.” Miles Davis, legendary jazz musician.
Being a piano student means you will need to effectively manage your time. It’s easy to forget that everybody has the same amount of time available to them. 24 hours a day. How you use that time will determine whether you are successful as a piano student.
Learning the piano means you’ll need to manage your time
In a typical practice session, you will need to divide your time properly between warm-ups, technical exercises, practising pieces, and strengthening aural skills. If you’re preparing for an exam you will have the exam day as the deadline, and it’s crucial everything is practised and ready to go for the exam.
Having proper time is essential for almost everything in life. Planning a birthday party, meeting a project deadline, getting somewhere on time, studying for an exam, playing at a sporting event, all require a degree of time management. After all, everything does have a deadline and you can’t spend months doing a task with a deadline of 14 days. Proper time management is key.
Learn the piano to enhance your time management skills.
Learning the piano is going to need some organisation. This refers to how you order things, and what system you place them into.
Organise your books
To help you learn the piano you will need resources, like music books and sheet music. Without a system, in place to organise your books, it’s possible you’ll forget them for a lesson, or that you won’t be able to find them when you want to practice. Not ideal situations for an aspiring pianist to be in.
If you organise your piano books they will be easy to find, and you will feel less stressed.
Organise your practice room
It also pays to order your practice room properly. Making sure everything has its place and is easy to find and use whenever you need it.
Keeping piano books on the shelf, pencils in a stationery pot, piano cleaning equipment in that draw, and so on. Learning the importance of organising your practice room will go a long way in other areas of your life.
Being organised is a fantastic transferable skill to other areas of life.
When you cook a meal, you need ingredients to be clearly labelled and laid out in a neat system, so you can use them quickly and efficiently as you follow the recipe.
If you have children, you’ll need a system to make sure they have clean clothes and are fed healthy meals daily. Paying a round of bills is much easier if you categorise bills and have a system to pay them off, like ticking each one off a list when it’s paid off.
12. It helps you develop a growth mindset
In life, some say there are two mindsets. A fixed mindset, and a growth mindset.
Having a fixed mindset means you believe your creative ability, personality, and intelligence, are all predetermined when you’re born and there’s nothing you can do to change them. A fixed mindset means you don’t think you can improve or get any better at something if you tried and failed once, because you were ‘just born that way.’
“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.” Mortimer Adler
Any pianist will tell you having a growth mindset is an essential trait of playing the piano. Accepting the fact, you aren’t going to start out perfect, and that you will grow and get better the more you practice and hone your skills, is essential for successful piano students.
Mozart and Beethoven had growth mind-sets
Believe it or not, there was a day when Mozart and Beethoven played the piano and it sounded like a bunch of cats screeching. So why did these two pianists become the two most legendary classical composers of all time?
They had a growth mindset and knew they would get better with constant practice, patience, and perseverance. They didn’t have a fixed mindset and accept they were never going to be good players. These legendary composers kept at it and practised relentlessly until they began causing a stir in the music scene of their day.
Having a growth mindset will help you in other areas of life. You won’t be the best football player or the best public speaker the first time you try. If you understand it’s possible to grow your skills over time with patience and constant practice, you will get much better at these activities.
Learning the piano is fantastic for adopting a growth mindset.
13. Helps you accept constructive criticism
Simply hearing or reading the word ‘criticism’ makes most people anxious. Nobody particularly likes being told what they’re doing isn’t perfect, and there are ways to improve. However, criticism is a part of life and it’s something we must all learn to accept gracefully.
Learning the piano means taking constructive criticism on your performance to improve and refine what you’re playing. Positively taking criticism in piano lessons will help you out in other areas of life.
A manager at work might suggest a better way to do something, a colleague might help by pointing out spelling mistakes in a draft email, the family might critique a dish you cooked by politely pointing out there’s too much spice, a coach might highlight poor form during sports training.
Being able to positively accept the constructive criticism and apply it not only makes you more likeable and respectable, it will also help you improve at whatever it is you’re trying to do.
14. Encourages creativity
Learning a musical instrument will awaken your creative side. You’ll be encouraged to use your imagination and to come up with original ideas for your practice and playing.
You can be creative by composing your own music, or by playing a piece of already composed music. You could say playing somebody else’s music isn’t creative at all, yet this simply isn’t the case.
No composer can fully put their musical ideas from their mind into musical notation, for another pianist to play perfectly, exactly how they envisioned it. It is the job of the pianist to interpret the piece and put their own unique spin on the music.
The pianist might exaggerate certain phrases, expressively drag notes out, and use the pedals to flavour the music as they see fit.
Being creative helps you become a better problem solver in other areas of your life. Whenever there’s an unexpected problem, having a creative mind means you can adapt your thinking to come up with solutions to the problem.
Learn the piano to become more creative today.
15. You can express yourself in a different way
“Where words fail, music speaks.” Hans Christian Andersen
Sometimes there are no words to express how you feel. Maybe you’re over the moon with joy, or down in the dumps with sadness. Whatever emotion it is, playing the piano is an excellent way to express yourself without having to speak the words.