Like most music teachers, we at WKMT are often asked the same question by parents: What’s the best age to start piano lessons? Here are a few benefits of starting to learn music as a child…and as an adult too!
Playing the piano is a habit that needs to be built on in order to achieve results. Like competitive sports, ballet, painting or any other practice, it is a matter of time, patience and perseverance and a compromise with study and exercise. For that reason, many people think that it is best to start taking music lessons at a very young age, to grow up with it as a part of daily life. It could be easier to develop a constant routine…only if the child is really excited about the instrument and the pieces.
Also, scientific studies show that music has a strong effect on brain activity. Playing an instrument can shape the way we think, act and process different feelings and situations. That’s why so many believe that the only way to truly learn how to play the piano is by studying since childhood. But there’s a catch in that! Although we recommend starting lessons between 2 and 7 years old, we strongly believe that there’s no age too old to learn something new and exciting that could help us improve our skills and abilities. We advise this age range because we recognise that the learning experience is different between children and adults, but this distinction does not necessitate any kind of limitation. Ten years of experience teaching more than 2000 students with a homogeneous method allows us to make consistent inferences regarding such educational processes.
Let’s take a look at the relationship between music and the brain to understand better how it works and what happens to us when we start to play the piano:
? Music structures your thinking – Mastering the language of music can help children with pattern recognition, problem
solving and fractions, which makes it an excellent complement to school. It also helps to think in a more organised way, something that is strongly related to technology, computer languages, and logical and mathematical reasoning in general. This advantage is crucial for kids and really important to adults, so it has a positive impact at all ages.
? Music improves abstract thinking – Musically-oriented children have an increased ability to form mental images of objects and improve spatial intelligence. This is extremely helpful for coordination and physical self-awareness, and again, something that both children and adults can benefit from.
? Playing the piano helps you socialise – Music can have a direct impact on relationship behaviours because the language of
music develops self-expression, confidence, a certain sense of empathy, and emotional management. As actors and actresses need to learn which emotion to project in a scene, musicians need to perceive the feelings involved in the passages and pieces they play.
? Music teaches discipline and will – It’s systematic training like sports, but with less risk of critical and traumatising injuries for the kids. At any age, developing a sense of discipline and a strong will can help face and overcome many obstacles related to work, career, health, and relationships.
? Music and languages go hand in hand – It is a language itself and they coexist in our brains. Those who study music speak better, memorise foreign languages faster, and learn the grammar with fewer complications.
Learning music also has many other advantages, like improving concentration, neural connections, creativity, and vocabulary. It also helps with multitasking, reduces stress, and even increases the human growth hormone. It is clear that all of this has a radical impact on children in developing stages, an influence that is lifelong and helps shape their future adulthood. But anyone at any age can benefit from all the positive impact music has mentally, physically, and emotionally.
There’s no need to excel at everything you do, not at least at the very beginning; the only thing you need to do is start. At WKMT we tell our students that the most important lesson is to start, then we will help them to keep up, learn the technique, and develop their abilities.
At WKMT we give piano lessons in London in three different locations: Kensington, Camberwell, and Bermondsey. We specially design lessons for each and every one of our students, tailored to their needs, likes, and learning process. We want them to feel comfortable and understood because our goal is for all of them to enjoy, have fun, and relax while learning. That’s what music is all about: being creative, sharing with others, and enjoying it!
Taking the first class is sometimes the hardest step. But it will certainly be gratifying to see all the progress and to experience how good the piano is for your health and well-being. So start! Just go ahead and sign up for a lesson; experience the results for yourself!
Article by Juan Rezzuto, Pianist, Composer, Teacher, Director of WKMT Piano School London.
Hallam. S. (2010) “The Power of Music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people”. International Journal of Music Education.Vol.21 Issue 3.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2014, May 7). “Musical training can increase blood flow in the brain”. ScienceDaily.
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