There are so many reasons why both adults and children benefit from the study of a musical instrument. Here are my top ten, to encourage you to learn the piano:
1. Music brings us all so much happiness – it really is very central to our lives. It is important to be given the chance to make music because it can give us an emotional and creative outlet.
2. Playing an instrument is an excellent source of pleasure and fulfilment and can provide a deep sense of satisfaction.
3. The piano provides both melody and harmony, therefore it can be played solo without any accompaniment. This is not the case with many other musical instruments (like the clarinet or violin which only produce one line, usually the melody line, so an accompaniment is always needed).
4. It is possible to make coherent sounds on the piano from the very beginning because it has ready-made pitches (you depress a key and it makes a sound) unlike other instruments where it can take many months of study before a pleasant sound is produced (this is true of brass and string instruments especially).
5. Mastering the piano requires a tremendous amount of co-ordination (you really do have to multi-task!) so this can cultivate many useful mental skills. It really focuses the mind.
6. It has been proved that children (and adults) who take part in musical activities are happier and more sociable than those who don’t.
7. The study of music is an extension of the learning process so children who excel at piano playing often do well at school too.
8. Playing the piano provides a ready-made opportunity to perform. Performing is so important for everybody. If practised regularly, it builds confidence – which, as we all know, is crucial for success in all walks of life.
9. It can develop a passion and an interest in life.
10. It’s fun!
All you need to do now is motivate yourself to get playing. Good luck and have fun.
For much more information about practising repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece.
If you’re thinking about learning to play the piano, my guide-book, So You Want To Play The Piano? (Alfred) is full of useful help and support.
The Faber Music Piano Anthology (Faber) is also a valuable resource for those who desire a collection of standard repertoire from Grades 2 – 8, featuring 78 pieces in total.
I have written a selection of educational piano music (both solo and duet) and you can hear it and find out much more here: EVC Music Publications.