The Importance of Piano Lessons

I never took piano lessons; my instrument was a tenor saxophone.  But I know music lessons are an important part of growing up — at the least it’s a sneaky way to teach kids math, especially fractions.

My opinion has been reinforced by a new study, involving Mandarin-speaking Chinese kindergarteners, that claims the piano can also help kids build up their language skills.  John Gabrieli, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the co-author of the paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is quoted as saying “There’s evidence that early exposure to piano practice enhances the processing of sounds that extend not only from music, but also into language.”

The key is thought to be the instrument’s different pitches and tones.  Distinguishing among the instrument’s varied sounds leads to parsing subtle differences among spoken words, thus helping language acquisition.  This is especially true when listening for similar-sounding consonants, like “T” and “D”, which our brains have to make quick decisions about to accurately process.

So if you’re wondering about music lessons for your offspring, be sure to read “Why You Should Enroll Your Kids in Piano Lessons, According to Science” by  Jamie Ducharme at http://time.com/5322121/music-lessons-language-learning/? .

 

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