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Piano, guitar, violin–oh my! There are a ton of options and factors that go into choosing your first instrument. From your personal musical tastes to your schedule, there are many things to consider prior to booking your first Toronto music lesson. If you’re having difficulty choosing for yourself or your child, you may want to consider the piano. Learning how to play the piano prior to other instruments is a great way to build musical foundation among many other benefits!
A Greater Toronto Music School piano student performing at our recital.
1. Improved Physical Health
Although you are sitting down (usually) while you play the piano, this instrument has great benefits for your physical health. First and foremost is posture. Having good posture while you’re playing can actually make or break your sound. This is because as a pianist, you may have to sit at your piano for long periods of time. Without the right posture, you’ll become distracted by aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, and back. Additionally, a pianist with good posture becomes more relaxed granting them great control over their hand movements and sound quality. This need for good posture at the piano will help you throughout your life (and trust us, your back will thank you later!)
Playing the piano also improves your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The piano is one of the only instruments that requires your left and right hands to be playing equally. As a pianist progresses in their lessons, they’ll learn how to play two sets of notes at the same time. This skill requires major hand-eye coordination so your brain and hands can work together. Lastly, playing music is shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and heart rates. This can all help to lower the chances of cardiac issues and even boost your immune system. This is why playing an instrument can be so impactful regardless of your age!
2. Musical foundation
Learning the piano provides a great musical understanding and foundation that can help you later if you choose to pick up another instrument. Reading music is easier on the piano because of the way the keyboard is set up. The set up of a piano makes it clear to see the link between pitches. Because the piano is easier to produce sounds on, the player can focus on reading music more than fumbling with a difficult technique.
Learning music theory on the piano is also easier because of the simple layout of the keys–low notes on the left, high notes on the right, and the white/black keys make it easier to understand flats, sharps, and key signatures. The shapes on the staff look similar to the piano which helps the player to visualize chords and how to play them. Toronto piano lessons will give any student the foundation required to succeed on any instrument.
We’re not here to tell you that learning the piano is super simple and that you’ll pick it up within a day. Perfecting your skills as a pianist can be difficult and will take years; however, the piano itself is very easy to use–especially for a child. Compared to an instrument like the guitar or drums, the piano can be played regardless of your child’s hand size or arm length. When you play the piano, sound is made simply by pressing the keys unlike many instruments such as the violin which requires finger strength and a bow. While playing the piano requires good posture, there’s a lot less physical need for it (i.e. such as good breathwork or constant tuning.)
Additionally, it’s fairly easy to play a song on the piano that actually sounds good because there isn’t the possibility of playing pitches in between notes, also known as microtones. While you shouldn’t expect to play the most complex pieces right away, the piano offers a sort of instant gratification since easy songs can be played almost right away. Many people can get frustrated with the time and effort it takes to learn just one song on another instrument which is what makes the piano so different. You can learn how to play a simple song in just a few minutes!
4. Upkeep And Maintenance
One of the most convenient aspects of the piano is that it requires very little maintenance and tuning. Over time (regardless of if they’re played or not), piano strings will stretch out and the piano will become out of tune. Typically pianos only require to be tuned once to twice a year which is far less compared to other instruments such as the guitar or violin. The way your piano sounds is also affected by the temperature and humidity levels which is why it’s recommended to do your tuning once in the spring and once in the fall. To keep your piano in the best shape, make sure not to place it by radiators, stoves, fireplaces, or drafty windows. Keep it clean, dust-free, and out of direct sunlight to increase its life.
Although there are simple things that must be done to maintain a piano, it is far less compared to many other instruments which makes it ideal for beginners.
5. Time Commitment
Because the piano is easier to pick up compared to many other instruments, it can require a bit less practice time in the beginning. For young children, they should be practicing 15-20 minutes a day to keep them interested and attentive. For teenagers and adults, start off by practicing 30 minutes a day. Once you get more comfortable with your skills, you can increase that time to 45 minutes-1 hour. Regardless of your age and skill level, playing the piano doesn’t require hours each day to learn which makes it perfect for beginners just starting to get interested in playing!
Ready to jump into the world of piano lessons in Toronto? At Greater Toronto Music School we offer flexible piano lessons online and in-person. We’re able to tailor our Toronto piano lessons for each student to meet their musical preferences, skill level, and schedules. Give us a call today to learn more!