Why Learn Piano? It’s part of your education…   Leave a comment

A large part of my childhood was spent taking piano lessons – seven years of lessons and daily practice laid the foundation for a love of music in my life.  But those seven years didn’t come without its share of moans and groans.  Whenever I complained about practicing or why I had to take lessons when my friends didn’t, my parents always answered – “It’s part of your education.”

“It’s part of your education”….  remembering those words makes me think about education and what we believe it to be.  Usually reading, math and science come to mind.  These are important areas, but so much emphasis is placed on these subjects that often the arts, such as music, are seen as trivial. Music programs are often the first to go in schools that need to do budget cuts.  But more and more studies are showing the relationship between music and brain development and learning.  Even Albert Einstein attributes much of his intelligence to his love of music that was developed when his parents gave him a violin as a child.  Thomas Jefferson used music to help him write the Declaration of Independence.  Whenever he couldn’t think of the right words to use, he played his violin until the words he wanted flowed.  The world was made better by these two men whose works were enhanced by music. How different Thomas Jefferson’s words may have been if he was just strictly taught grammar and sentence structure, and not had an education in music.

Now I don’t advocate music education so we can all raise little Einsteins and writers of world changing documents, but because music enhances our lives and enriches our souls. Even King Saul from the Bible knew the power that music played in his life, as it soothed him and restored his mood.  We are underestimating the value of music when we don’t include it in children’s education.

The piano that I plunked away on as a girl, now sits in my dining room. Liz, child number 4, is learning to play just as the three before her also did.  All my children will learn to play the piano – they don’t have to like it, or be good at it or toil away long hours at practice, but they will learn to read music and reach a level of late intermediate/early advanced before they can choose to quit.  When they moan and groan or ask why they have to learn piano, my reasoning is quite simple – 1. we own a piano so therefore you will learn to play it and 2……. It’s part of your education.

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Posted January 15, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in Uncategorized

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