We’ve all heard about the positive effects of music on kids’ brain development. Some researchers claim that in learning how to play a piano, a child’s brain remains challenged, forced to stretch and grow. Music arises out of memory: to learn to play a song, a child must remember a series of notes, and then get their hands to do the work. None of this is easy, especially for the parents who are encouraging (and — let’s be honest — at times forcing) their kids to play.
We introduced each of our five children to music classes at the age of five, but now only three are playing. Our two oldest gave it up last year when their soccer practice times changed. I so much hope next year they will start again.
Here are Marielle, Beckett and Annaliese after their concert last week. My kids songs were among the most simple. They played early on; the kids playing later being more advanced. Yet who’s to care — I was so proud of them!Inspired by the older, more adept pianists, my kids took to plunking the keys after the concert.Here they are with their wonderful teacher Irina. Strict, Irina has high expectations. She expects the most out of her students.Apart from whatever people might say about the benefits of music or the benefits of piano for kids, what strikes me as crucial is the simple fact that playing the piano is just plain difficult. Life is difficult. Life throws us curveballs, disappointments, challenges that we learn to side-step as we keep moving forward. How good for kids to get used to doing things that don’t come easy from a young age!
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