via flowkey: Did you know that when you’re learning to play the piano you are actually improving several skills that will help you be more successful in other areas such as university or work? In fact, multiple studies link the study of music to increased success in other fields, as this article from the New York Times points out.

So what is it that makes musicians more successful in life? Here is a list of six essential skills that you will master by practicing the piano:

1. Playing the piano sharpens your concentration

When you’re playing the piano, you have to focus on the rhythm, pitch, tempo, note duration, and several other things. Even though your’re doing something you acutally enjoy, this is really a multi-level concentration exercise.

In fact, studies have shown that every time a musicians picks up his or her instrument, there are fireworks going on in his or her brain (for more information, see this Ted Lesson). Playing an musical instrument is perhaps the only activity during which almost all brain areas are simultaneously activated.

2. Playing the piano teaches you perseverance

Learning new songs on the piano takes time and effort. Until you can actually play a song fluently by heart, you’ll probably spend several weeks practicing it. As you look forward to being able to play the song, you stay motivated, learn patience, and increase your perseverance. These skills will always help you when you are confronted with difficult tasks at school, university, or at work.

3. Playing the piano teaches you discipline

Playing the piano can be quite challenging. However, practicing frequently and working hard will not only teach you perseverance, but also discipline. Consider the parts of the song you will have to practice over and over again. There is one “magic key” to successfully playing the piano (and yes, I will share it with you, just like that): practice, practice, practice.

Practicing regularly requires discipline. Maybe at the beginning it will be harder for you. Maybe you have to come up with some little treats to get yourself there. However, slowly but surely, you’ll get used to it and being disciplined about your practice time won’t be hard at all

4. Playing piano improves your time management skills

Many of us have quite busy schedules. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t found a way to make one day last more than 24 hours yet. So to get all your activities and duties done, you need to organize them. When you get used to practicing regularly, you also learn how to use your time efficiently and how you can use a 20-minute time slot for a quick piano lesson.

5. Playing the piano improves your emotional intelligence

Playing the piano enhances your listening skills. These are also very important when you interact with other people. Emotions are not only expressed by facial expressions and body language, but also by the tone of voice, the speed of speech, and the melody of speech. People who play an instrument are better listeners, and it is not surprising that studies have actually revealed that musicians are more perceptive in interpreting the emotions of others.

6. Playing the piano increases your memory capacity

Playing the piano stimulates your brain. While you learn and play songs, the stimulated areas of your brain become larger and therefore more active. The areas that are responsible for the storage of audio information, particularly, are more developed in musicians then in non-musicians.

So when you play the piano, your ability to memorize audio information increases. The chance of saying something like: “I’m sorry! Maybe you told me, but I really don’t remember…” most likely will occur less often.

Isn’t it amazing what playing the piano can do for you? If you’ve always been looking for an excuse to pick up that tricky piano, well, here — now you’ve got more than one. 🙂

via Sacramento Press: Are you looking for an after-school activity for your child?

Do you want to appeal to their artistic abilities as well as provide them with tools to succeed in other parts of life?

If so, strongly consider enrolling your child in piano lessons.

Obviously designed around artistic talent and music ability, piano does offer more to learn than just the keys. There are many ways children who take piano grow to become well-rounded, successful adults in their studies and relationships.

Read on to learn the 4 benefits of piano lessons for children:

1. Children Learn Hard Work and Discipline
Ask any musician and they will tell you the key to success is practice, practice, practice.

Learning piano takes the dedication to sit down and concentrate. It takes committing to something when you are not being told to or checked on.

Committed students learn the value of their efforts and go on to apply discipline in reaching any goal, not just learning a new song.

They also learn to try again. Piano is not something one easily picks up, and by sticking to lessons and practice, children see the value in learning from mistakes and having perseverance.

2. Piano Lessons Improve Performance in School
Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of piano lessons are the boosts in cognitive skills.

Children with musical training go on to have stronger neural connections, better memory and IQ, and better information processing.

In essence, the time spent learning notes and songs primes their short and long-term memory for academic use later on. Particularly in math and science, piano students shine in their ability to pick up patterns and understand abstract concepts.

3. Music Builds Strong Emotional and Social Awareness
Music is meant to make us feel something. Children in piano lessons are taught to listen for the emotions a certain piece is trying to create.

As children learn to pick up such effects from changes in music tones, they are actually becoming more aware of how voices change depending on a situation.

This makes them more likely to pick up when someone is angry or upset, as well as happy or surprised. Being able to notice such differences makes them more empathetic in their relationships.

4. Learning Piano Builds Confidence
After taking individual or group lessons, there is always time for a performance.

Playing in front of an audience teaches children confidence by making them shake their nerves and trust in their ability. This shines true in many areas of life later on from sports to academics and careers.

Confidence is also built by criticism.

Piano students will often receive corrections from their instructor or their peers, and the more they learn to accept and work on their faults, the better off they will be.

Learning to give and receive critique reminds students no one is perfect and helps them turn negative experiences into something positive.