Preschool Piano: What does your child stand to gain?

You won’t be alone if you were wondering why children are encouraged to start piano lessons early. While every parent would fancy the thought of bringing up the next world famous pianist, enrolling in a preschool piano class doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to become professional musicians.

Musical training helps to develop children’s minds and a preschool piano class with other children remains one of the most popular ways to begin this training.

Here are a few things your preschooler will learn in our preschool piano class:

Impulse control

Children are known to move and act impulsively. However, our preschool piano class would allow your child multiple opportunities to coordinate his/her movements. When songs or stories are acted out, children learn how to control their impulses and move or talk only when they should. Having to sit in a specific place with others and follow directions helps them control their impulses. Even when they are not being actively engaged (listening instead of dancing), they absorb the environment and sounds around them. These are invaluable opportunities for growth and it would help them developmentally for other group situations in life.

Concentration

On the surface preschool piano lessons might look like all fun and games, but in reality it takes a great deal of patience and discipline on the part of the child.  Learning to play with others, following directions, singing only when it’s your turn, singing as you play the piano, how to sit correctly at the piano, which keys to play, how to play gently instead of pounding, and the list goes on!  Internalizing all of these generally requires perseverance.

A preschool piano class helps your child absorb these skills early on. They are learning to focus and be successful at seemingly difficult tasks. Little by little they are acquiring the maturity needed for the day when formal instruction begins.

Listening Skills

Numerous studies have attempted to investigate the benefit of music education in children. One common theme about these studies is the ability of music to improve the listening skills of children. In our preschool piano class auditory skills are fine tuned by listening to voices and sounds of nature and the unique qualities of acoustic instruments. These activities are not only fascinating to children but will definitely be a boost to their beginning reading skills!

Confidence

There is a need to build your child’s self-esteem right from an early age and a preschool piano class offers an effective method of accomplishing that. When children are allowed to be themselves in a safe environment that is loving and kind, they will feel confident to share their music with others.  They experience weekly success with music in class and these seemingly small achievements mean the world to them, building the confidence they need.

Are you ready?

There you have it! Highlighted above are just some of the things your preschooler stands to gain from our preschool piano class. The lessons are specially designed to attract the interest of children and they’ll naturally find them intriguing. Preschool piano class is an amazing way to start your child’s musical journey!

Music and the Brain

 

It has been said that music is healthy for the brain, happiness for the soul and pleasure to the heart.

Many of us have experienced how music affects our soul and heart but how does music affect the brain?

Does classical music really help encourage infant development?

How does musical training affect the brain and does music really improve the quality of life?

Wanting to understand exactly how music affected me, I did some research.

Have a good read and explore the effect of music on the brain!

Does classical music really help encourage infant development? 

I’m sure many of you have seen albums such as “Baroque for Babies” which encourage classical music exposure to infants. In 1998, a study was conducted to determine if music truly affected the mind of a young child. The belief of the time was that listening to classical music in the crib would improve skills in math and engineering. What came of this experiment is known as the ‘Mozart Effect’.  Music also relaxes your baby. Studies show that babies exposed to classical music relax, move less and sleep more comfortably at night.

How does musical training affect the brain? 

As corny as it sounds, musicians have bigger, better brains! This isn’t something made up, science proves it. Looking at a CT scan of a brain, musicians tend to have bigger, more connected brains. If you hadn’t noticed, musicians tend to have exceptional memory, auditory skills, and cognitive ability. Not all of us a professional level musicians but if you listen to music half as much as I do in a week, music is influencing your brain too! 

Does music really improve the quality of life?

Well music has been proven to improve your mood and reduce stress! Don’t believe me? Find a quiet country road, go out on a sunny day, roll down your windows and turn on your favorite song. I guarantee you’ll start smiling and your body will physically and mentally relax. Listening to upbeat music can give you energy and positive attitude. Music increases our dopamine levels (dopamine is our “happy” hormone!) and that’s why listening to your favorite song makes you so happy!

Music is a key factor in my life – I believe that I am a more loving and compassionate person because I have music in my life. Above all else, music is a sensation, it has the power to raise feelings you didn’t know you had before. Music makes you happier, healthier and enhances everything of the human experience.

You can read more about music and the brain here.

written by piano pedagogy student Lindsey Johnson, Southwestern Adventist University.

Music and “reading readiness”

According to Dr. Dee Coulter, a renowned brain science educator, key pre-reading skills that researchers have identified as helpful for preparing children to read are the same as those supported in a good music class.

  • ability to hear and identify differences in pitch
  • ability to work with codes, such as linking musical tones with notes
  • familiarity with rhyming words (in poetry, lyrics, etc.)
  • ability to copy rhythms so they can hear the rhythmic structure of language
  • a rich vocabulary of regular and “rare” words; (a bigger vocabulary makes learning easier)
  • ability to focus attention on pictures and on the teacher’s voice, and to communicate well

In our Family Music for Babies and Toddlers class the children are involved in call and response songs and patterns, the earliest pre-reading activities in our program.  For those enrolled in Cycle of Seasons or Pre-piano reading readiness is continued with call and response activities, finger play games, nursery rhymes and body awareness songs.  All of these are activities that deepen the children’s connection between words and actions.

Enrolling in music lessons is not only for enrichment and enjoyment.  The benefits into other fields of learning are tremendous when the musical environment you have chosen is purposeful and allows your child the freedom to learn in a pleasant and non-threatening environment.

Call Dorla’s Piano Studio (817) 832-8578 today and schedule a free class so that you may experience the joy of music and learning!

adapted from Musikgarten Delivers! Partnering with Parents Set 2

Instrument Play

We play instruments each week in our Family Music classes, primarily because it’s fun!

This is the time for getting to know the feel, and the sound of simple rhythm instruments, experimenting with different ways to play them.  Although I will give  examples of how to play the instruments, I do not expect everyone to do exactly as I am doing the whole time.  Instead, I want to give the children an opportunity to get to know the instruments and to establish a repertoire of ways to play the instruments.  By giving them this opportunity now, they will be ready and able to play specific instrumental parts in the coming years as we work to build 2 and 3 part instrumental accompaniments to some of our favorite songs.

Music and Behavior


Parents usually enroll their children in music class because of the musical benefits.  But have you ever taken the time to think about the neuroscience of music? Music, delivered in a thoughtful, useful, creative way will help your child make small changes in their behavior.

In music class children can learn to relax and be calm. During the carefully planned 30 minutes of class there are opportunities for movement, instrument playing, singing, improvising and silence.  Transitioning from one activity to another not only creates excitement and anticipation but will teach your child a routine that will enable him to change to a calm and quiet activity.  Caregivers are always a hug away and make this quiet time a special one.

Dr. Lorna Heyge, founder of Musikgarten explains: “How many times do we say to a child “Just sit down and listen!” Yet, those are exactly the skills most hard to come by in our couch-potato, visually oriented, noisy world!  Children need to move so that they become well acquainted with their bodies in order to learn how to hold still!  Children need quiet, focused listening – someone pointing out the sound of that bird, or the wind, just for a few seconds – to be able to tune in to individual sounds.”

The ability to smoothly change from one activity to another, on cue, is an essential life skill.  It is also a skill needed for group musical participation and interpretation.  It is a skill that you can teach at home, but if you would rather join a group of like-minded parents and movement-filled children, a Musikgarten class is a perfect fit.