By now, many parents are aware of the positive effects studying music can have on children's academic development, but can it also help their social lives? Playing the piano draws upon a wide variety of skills, some of which can also help your child navigate the complex world of professional and personal relationships. These are five surprising ways piano lessons in childhood may contribute to a more well-rounded and sociable adult.
Handling the Spotlight
When your child first begins to take piano lessons, he or she will only have an audience of the instructor and any other students in the class to worry about. This relaxed environment increases the self-confidence needed to later perform in front of a larger audience of strangers, friends, and family. This learned comfort in the spotlight can be an invaluable tool when your child begins to cultivate a skill in public speaking.
Boosting Language Development
Being able to effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings is essential in order to function in a professional environment. If you cannot find the right words to express your ideas, no one will ever recognize their potential. A 2013 study on children who studied piano found that they, as a whole, demonstrated better verbal memory and reading ability, as well as more accurate pronunciation of a second language.
The first slow, clumsy notes played on a piano will only turn into a full melody with dedication and practice. By holding your child accountable for his or her lessons, you can offer an early example of how discipline pays off over time. The ability to stick with a project to its end is a crucial factor for success in adulthood, and it may help establish in your child a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.
Exploring Wide Cultural Interests
Technology is making the world smaller by the day, and many professional settings are now international in scope. Although piano may not seem like an intuitive gateway into world culture, the instrument can be used to explore many different styles of music and their historical context. As your child discovers classical composers, jazz and contemporary styles, engage with him or her to tie those genres into the stories of their origins and development. Fostering an appreciation for history and culture in childhood can lead to a well-informed conversationalist later on.
Responding to Positive Criticism
One of the most important skills any child can learn is how to respond to criticism. When given and taken maturely, criticism can force your child to assess his or her performance from another's perspective, encouraging empathy and healthy, realistic self-esteem. Children who do not learn this skill are more likely to react to criticism angrily or take it too personally. Piano lessons focus around constant progression and feedback, exposing your child to positive criticism from an early age.