I’ve talked a lot about how learning to play the piano improves your brain. Now I’d like to talk about how learning to play the piano improves your life.
Of all the many valuable life skills your child will gain as they study the piano, one of the first and most universal is perseverance. Merriam-Webster Online states that perseverance is “the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.” How valuable it is to give our children the ability to keep working at something even when it doesn’t come easy!
Everyone who achieves things in life has to work through periods of difficulty, and getting through those times can be hard. We all wonder sometimes if the things we work at are ever going to get easier, or if they’re even going to pay off. What makes us keep going? Partly a desire to have the thing we’re working for, partly a belief that if we keep trying we’re going to get it, and partly experience that has shown us how perseverance has paid off in the past. How do we build this in our children? One great way is through piano lessons.
Piano students know that perseverance works. They get to experience the sweet rewards of tackling a challenging task, then sticking to it until they can do it well. Each time they begin a new song, of course they find it difficult at first. But, with practice, playing the song becomes possible, and then easy and fun. Piano students are very familiar with what happens when they persevere. They know from experience that if they keep trying and don’t give up, they can master each new piano song as it comes their way.
As a parent, you can help your child make the connection between the perseverance they apply in their piano lessons to the perseverance they need to succeed in life. If your child is struggling with a homework assignment, or with a skill in sports, or with just about anything, remind them to think about what it’s like when they have a new piano piece to learn. It’s a little hard at first, right? But if they stick to it, pretty soon it gets easier, and becomes something they can enjoy.
While in piano lessons, your child can experience the payoff of perseverance on a daily basis. When they hit frustrations in their piano playing, remind them how much they’ve improved since they first began, and encourage them to persevere until they achieve their goals.