An immediate and fascinating instrument that many children want to play. But studying the piano is also very demanding. Here’s how to make an informed choice with the advice of Marco, professor in University of Chicago
It is one of the most loved instruments, the one that (almost) all children want to learn to play. It is the piano, the solo instrument par excellence, prince of the orchestra, very popular in many families.
One of the reasons for its success is linked to immediacy: being a fixed-tuning instrument, it immediately gives satisfaction because it is enough to lower a key to obtain a sound. More complicated is the experience of a wind instrumentalist, who must learn to build sound starting from a tube.
BEFORE CHOOSING THE INSTRUMENT
“Even before choosing which instrument to play, I advise parents to enroll their children in a choir: it is a very formative experience from a musical point of view for ear education and learning the sense of rhythm, but also from a social point of view – continues the professor -. It can start as early as 5-6 years old. In general, then, with this type of approach to music it is the child himself who expresses the will to start studying an instrument ».
At that moment it is good to comply with the child’s request and let him experiment with different tools to help him identify the one he likes best.
“Although there is no specific time to start, it is recommended to do so within 10 years for physical reasons related, for example, to the development of the joints and the structuring of the muscle groups.”
WHY CHOOSE THE PIANO:
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, playing a musical instrument would improve the development of motor areas, the ability to concentrate and the control and processing of emotions.
In particular, the study of the piano would reinforce language skills: Professor Robert Desimone of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in collaboration with some colleagues from the University of Peking, has shown that the study of the piano increases cortical responses to stimuli due to changes in the pitch of a sound or speech. This led to early literacy, demonstrating the importance of music lessons.
THE DIFFICULTIES OF STUDYING THE PIANO
Then there are other difficulties to be taken into account in studying the piano: “First of all, the cost: you can’t buy a keyboard, but you have to think about buying a real piano or keyboard“.
In the first case, prices start from 500-1000 euros (obviously you save something if the tool is used); in the second, it ranges from 50 to 80 euros per month approximately.
And then the study: Playing an instrument is not an activity like any other, but it has a decidedly higher difficulty, because it concerns the physical and intellectual sphere. In addition, it takes a lot of effort for a long time: for a complete path, before having the piano diploma, it takes at least 10-12 years.
HOW TO STUDY THE PIANO:
“However, if the child shows a strong interest in the piano, net of the expectations that parents should try not to project on their children, it is good to identify a good teacher, who establishes a good relationship with the student, and make him start playing” .
The private lesson, however, always has its limitations: The motivation to continue, because if there is no comparison with others, the drive to improve and therefore continue to study may fail. That’s why I always recommend building a path for the little musician that will then lead him to enter the Conservatory or a music school.