"I love the sound of the piano."
"The piano will be my lifelong companion."
"Piano lessons were the greatest gift my parents gave to me."
"My piano teacher will always remain a wonderful part of my childhood memories;
I'm still in touch with her now as an adult."
"The discipline I learned during my piano lessons helped me with competitive sports and making class presentations."

These are some of the comments I've heard over the years as a piano instructor and concert pianist from my students and their parents. Piano lessons can be rewarding and important to any child's development, regardless of her future goals.

A Unique Instrument

The piano is a unique instrument. I've seen piano students thrilled with the fact that they could produce "high sounds like piccolos, moderate tones like voices speaking, low sounds like trombones and cascading sounds like harps, all from the piano!" Surely, with its 88 keys, there are infinite possibilities for musical expression, sound production and harmonic combination. Pianists have the capability to play both melody and harmony. They can transform themselves into living, breathing, thriving "one-person orchestras," with enormously rewarding musical experiences throughout their lifetimes.
The piano is a "learner-friendly" instrument. A basic sound on a piano is relatively easy to produce compared to many other instruments, where the student would need to work for quite a long time to create even a sound.
Studying the piano can also be socially gratifying. There are opportunities to share music with friends and family at home, at church or synagogue, at parties and in school. And pianists can play with other pianists, other instrumentalists, as well as vocalists-rewarding experiences both musically and socially throughout one's lifetime.

Lessons in Creative Discipline

Piano study can also be a lesson in creative discipline and its rewards. Under the right tutelage, students learn how to work at improving their playing because they experience the satisfaction of mastering the instrument. Hopefully, they will discover the enjoyment of the practice itself and feel good about the results. (Note: some people think discipline means doing something undesirable. I like the broader definition, where students practice because they like what they hear in their performance after their practice). These valuable lessons can be translated into other creative disciplines throughout one's life.

Piano and Child Devlopment

Musicians often call the piano "the backbone of the orchestra" for good reason. Piano study can serve as a foundation, or stepping stone, for studying other instruments in the future. For example, some violin teachers recommend at least two years of piano study as a prerequisite.
Research supports the idea that studying the piano as a young child is related to brain development. Some studies also show a correlation between piano study as a young child and development of reasoning, logic and math skills.
Additional studies also find a relationship between piano study and improved coordination and self-esteem. Imagine a studen's exhilaration with 10 fingers working both independently and simultaneously while utilizing a creative sense of touch, the mathematics of rhythm and the skill of learning a new language all at once.

Being Part of Musical History

Studying piano can offer students the priceless experience of becoming part of a great tradition of musical history. Many of the world's greatest composers were pianists. So many students love to hear about Bach, who was orphaned at an early age and had to write his childhood compositions secretly in the attic; about Mozart, who was perhaps the most famous child prodigy; about Beethoven, who triumphed as a composer despite being deaf; and about Franz Liszt, who was as famous as a rock star during his time. The appropriate piano instructor can incorporate this information into the student's curriculum and make studying the world's classics a joy.

All of these opportunities may give your child the chance to be blessed in her musical life with a guiding influence-a caring and supportive mentor. Memories of one's mentor can last for a lifetime and be an example of how adults should interact with young people. I love and cherish my mentors, who put the integrity and beauty of the music above personal ambition.Personally, I love hearing from students all over the world as they graduate from college, get married, start families and continue with their lives.

Lifelong Benefits

And, of course, there is the not-to-be-underestimated delight and joy in one's proficiency as one continues to play through the years. Perhaps your child will fall in love with the piano, as I did, and will choose to keep it as a lifelong friend. They'll never know until they try. I started my piano study at age three. I was very fortunate to have a family that valued musical education. I simply loved to play the piano, I loved the sound of the piano and I loved seeing the results of hard work pay off. When I'm alone now, I reach for the piano to soothe me, excite me and challenge me. What a great gift to have throughout one's life! I want this for my students as well.