Why do we spend all those hours practicing and learning how to read music? Well, I guess there are a lot of reasons we take piano lessons or lessons on any instrument for that matter.
For most of us, we started learning an instrument because our parents forced us to, or it was just another activity we couldn’t wiggle our way out of at school. But for some people, learning an instrument is a great outlet for creativity and an opportunity to tap into our talents.
Some of us love the challenge of sitting at the piano and reading a new piece of music for the first time. Maybe it’s a song you heard on the radio or in a movie or perhaps it’s something you grew up listening to. Being able to recreate that sound and moment in time can be a very rewarding experience. Music has a way of bringing back emotions we felt at certain times in our lives. Being able to create those moments yourself, without the help of itunes is very empowering.
Playing an instrument and making music in general can be an amazingly peaceful experience if you want it to be. I have played piano since I was 9 and learning those notes at the beginning was tedious to me. It took me about 4 years of constant reminding from my parents to practice until I realized I actually had a talent! So after all the hard work and practice I found that learning new music and even playing old songs became much easier and enjoyable.
For young students, playing the piano can have advantageous effects on the development of the brain and can also help build self-confidence. Those same effects are realized by adults too, but as an adult I find now that sitting at the piano and playing the songs I like is a major stress reliever.
No matter how long or stressful your day might have been, if it was the late subway, the long commute, the snoring guy on the bus – sitting and playing an instrument can take you away from all the things in your life that are causing you anxiety, even if it’s only for a few minutes. So next time you’re feeling stressed, find your favorite sheet music, sit down and play and try to find your inner peace.
For singers and parents of singers, here’s a piece of advice for you – learn to play piano. Your child might outperform their peers, bring you to tears with their voice, sing like no one’s listening, et cetera, et cetera. But when it comes time to get serious, they will struggle.
Music school is a conglomeration of all musicians, not just vocalists. Your star singer will be taking classes with people who know music theory backwards and forwards. They will study conducting next to the boy who’s taken piano since he was three. They will take music theory classes with the violinist who played Carnegie Hall at 10 yrs. old. Ask any professional singer and they will tell you the value of learning piano.
Want examples? When you get a new score you can sight-read it. When you need to accompany yourself, you can. When you want to pick up private voice students you’ll be able to play for them! And if becoming a professional musician isn’t your bag and you want to jam every now and then, it’s way cooler to know what the band is talking about when they say, “let’s pick it up from the key change after the turnaround.” If you don’t know what that means? Maybe its time for you to take some piano lessons.