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The Benefits of Taking Piano Lessons

Last Updated: August 31, 2011 / by Michael Raybould

The Verdict is in. Piano Lessons Pay Off Big Time! Did you know that kids get smarter by playing piano? Pianists have less anti-social behaviour. Pianists are able to multi-task almost as good as mothers!!! No matter how you cut it, the piano is an incredible instrument. Below is clear proof why you AND your children should be putting aside time in your day to learn piano. There is no denying that doing so will benefit both of you.

Studies showing Piano Lesson Benefits

After nine months of weekly training in piano or voice, new research shows young students' IQs rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers.The Canadian study lends support to the idea that musical training may do more for kids than simply teach them their scales--it exercises parts of the brain useful in mathematics, spatial intelligence and other intellectual pursuits."With music lessons, because there are so many different facets involved--such as memorizing, expressing emotion, learning about musical interval and chords--the multidimensional nature of the experience may be motivating the [IQ] effect," said study author E. Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga for Psychological Science

The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians - Grant Venerable, "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior,"

A study of 237 second grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills.The group scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children that used only the math software. - Graziano, Amy, Matthew Peterson, and Gordon Shaw

"Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training." - Neurological Research 21 (March 1999)

Researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12." - Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga.

"Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts." - Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.

66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted. - As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994

Students who participated in arts programs in schools in New York City showed significant increases in self-esteem and thinking skills. - National Arts Education Research Center, New York University, 1990

"The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling--training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression." - Ratey John J., MD. A User's Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.

Researchers at the University of Montreal used various brain imaging techniques to investigate brain activity during musical tasks and found that sight-reading musical scores and playing music both activate regions in all four of the cortex's lobes; and that parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks. - Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B. (1992). Distributed neural network underlying musical sight reading and keyboard performance.

A University of California study showed that after eight months of piano lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning IQ - Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, "Music and Spatial TaskPerformance: A Causal Relationship," University of California, Irvine,1994

Researchers found that children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial- temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing, or no lessons - Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J., Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., and Newcomb, R. (1997)

Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial temporal reasoning - Neurological Research

A McGill University study found that pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly for students given piano instruction over a three-year period. They also found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students given piano instruction - Costa-Giomi, E. (1998, April). The McGill Piano Project:Effects of three years of piano instruction on children's cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and self-esteem.

And if that isn't enough to convince you, maybe this list will help...

Famous People who Played the Piano

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • President Richard Nixon who performed with Pearl Bailey at the White House, and also on Television on the Jack Parr program.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama as well as her two daughters
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • President Harry Truman
  • Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
  • Former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
  • Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of Germany
  • Dudley Moore - Comedian and actor (Arthur). My wife and I had the honour of attending one of the final concerts of this incredibly talented man. He performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts.
  • Katie Couric - Hosted NBC's Today show before signing on to be the anchor and editor of CBS Evening News.
  • Clint Eastwood - Hollywood actor and producer. Known for his Dirty Harry movies, he also directed a film about the life of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.
  • Kelsey Grammer - Actor, writer, producer and director known for his role as Dr. Frasier Crane in the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. Grammer attended the Julliard School for 2 years
  • David Hyde Pierce, Frasier's brother on Frasier, comedian
  • Anthony Hopkins - British actor known for movies such as The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Nixon.
  • Lady GaGa whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
  • Justin Beiber - pop singer
  • Myley Cyrus - singer and TV star
  • Rihanna - pop singer
  • Elizabeth Dole - US Senator
  • Prince Charles - Future King of England
  • William F. Buckley, Jr - author, commentator
  • Fred Rogers - "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", children's entertainer
  • Charles Osgood - TV Host "Sunday Morning"
  • Virginia Cha - NBC Newsreader
  • Paul Reiser - actor, author
  • Dustin Hoffman - actor performs with a Jazz band on piano.
  • Richard Gere - actor
  • Beau Bridges - actor
  • Jeff Bridges - actor
  • Albert Einstein - hysicist
  • Thomas Edison - Inventor
  • George Washington Carver - American Botanist and Agriculturalist
  • Marcus Allen - athlete
  • Mike Reid - Penn State, NFL
  • Jerry Mercer - world renowned drummer of April Wine

  • Alexander Graham Bell, Scientist, Inventor of the Telephone
  • Mark Twain - author & philosopher
  • Ansel Adams - Photographer: Virtuoso pianist. Almost pursued a career as concert pianist.
  • Dennis O'Hare - Tony Award Winning Theater Actor
  • Hugh Jackman - actor
  • Sandra Bullock - Hollywood Actress
  • Courtney Cox
  • Holly Hunter
  • Christopher Reeve - Superman in the movies and in real life!
  • Hugh Laurie - British actor
  • Mickey Rooney - actor and professional wife changer!
  • Gary Oldman - actor
  • Geoffrey Rush
  • Jason Segel
  • Fred Astaire - the late, great dancer and singer
  • Jamie Foxx - actor, director
  • Jeff Goldblum - actor
  • Kevin Kline - actor
  • Kevin Bacon - actor
  • Alicia Keyes - popular singer
  • Norah Jones - award winning songstress
  • Paul McCartney - still kicking after all these years!
  • John Lennon - one of the world's most prolific songwriters. Composed at the piano.

Convinced yet? Want to do something really radical --- maybe even revolutionary? Shut off the TV, the cell phone, and computer, invite some friends, family, and a grouchy neighbour or two, and have a neighbourhood sing-a-long around the piano. Try it out once a month and you will laugh and experience a togetherness lost in our generation.End war --- play piano! You don't have to be great --- can you remember all the laughs when we sang "Row, Row, Row your Boat" in rounds?Or ask a friend over just to listen to some music. Have a ball! Long Live the Piano!

Interesting Quotes about Piano

"When you play music you discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed." ~ Bill Evans

"Pianos are such noble instruments - they're either upright or grand." ~ Author Unknown

"To play without passion is inexcusable!" ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Written by piano expert Michael RayBould

About the Author: Michael Raybould

PIANO TUNING / REPAIR / COMPLETE RESTORATION CERTIFIED MASTER CRAFTSMAN Piano Tuning by RayBould, USA PO Box 31, Ferguson, NC 28624 828-964-7657 / 336-973-4197

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