Piano is one of the most popular and sophisticated musical instruments out there, and for this reason, a lot of parents want their children to learn how to play the piano. Indeed, besides taking pride in the fact that your child is a music virtuoso, being able to play the piano has many benefits for children. It enhances your child’s hand-eye coordination and dexterity, sharpens their motor skills, and improves their aural awareness.
But did you know that playing the piano can also make your child more intelligent? Research studies have shown that children who take home piano lessons tend to perform better at school and grow smarter in general. If you’re curious about the intellectual benefits of playing the piano, this article is for you! Here’s everything you should know about how learning to play the piano can make your child smarter.
What do research studies say?
Piano teachers or those who work with music have always known the advantages of playing a musical instrument. This has been confirmed scientifically by several research studies. For instance, in a study done by Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California and Dr. Frances Rauscher of the University of Wisconsin, it was found that there’s an undeniable link between music and intelligence.
Music training, especially the piano, reportedly enhances a child’s abstract reasoning skills and makes them better at understanding Math and Science. Aside from this, a more recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences found that learning how to play the piano can improve a child’s linguistic agility.
According to cognitive neuroscientist John Garbieli, a co-author of the paper, there’s evidence that being exposed to piano practice early on improves a person’s processing of sounds that covers not only music but also extends into language. In other words, piano training is reportedly capable of sharpening a child’s language processing.
Intellectual Benefits of Learning to Play the Piano
Several research studies support the general idea that learning how to play the piano, or any other musical instruments can enhance a child’s intellectual capacity. In order to further understand how this is possible, here are some of the major intellectual areas that piano practice can improve:
1. Split Concentration
Split concentration, also known as divided attention, is a crucial aspect of playing the piano, and helps hone a child’s concentration skills. Basically, to play the piano, your child needs to use both of their hands, read music, listen to the notes that are being played, and operate the pedals, all at the same time. These are a lot to do simultaneously! By constantly practising the piano, your child can become a pro at using split concentration and subsequently boost their multitasking skills.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to create and reorganise synaptic connections, particularly in response to experience or learning. In other words, it’s the ability of your child’s brain to alter its form and function, especially when stimulated by physical activity.
Practising the piano can alter your child’s brain in a positive way! According to studies, while playing the piano, a person is adding new neural connections, which prepares their brain for other forms of communication. Hence, while your child is working on a difficult piano piece, they’re also enhancing their attention, memory, language, spatial and Math skills, and even their ability to vocally express emotions, all at the same time.
3. Aural Awareness
As mentioned earlier, playing the piano can boost your child’s overall aural awareness. Aural awareness enables your child to analyse their own sound and balance with others, keep in time, and play with a sense of pulse and rhythm. By practising the piano, your child is training themselves to recognise chords, tones, and intervals and to develop a sense of pitch.
Now, aural awareness is important not just in the field of music. If your child has good aural awareness, they’ll find it easier to spot and understand the sound patterns of foreign languages. A good aural awareness also helps combat dyslexia while it’s still developing and helps your child whenever they’re having trouble hearing due to a lot of background noise.
There are undoubtedly plenty of intellectual benefits that come with playing the piano. Such fact has been scientifically proven several times by a number of reliable research studies. Hence, if you wish to increase your child’s intellectual capacity, boost their abilities, and improve their overall academic performance, encouraging them to play the piano with the help of a piano teacher is something you should definitely do!
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