When I taught piano, I noticed something about my students’ learning. The first two years were easy and a student got satisfaction quickly from playing recognizable melodies.
Year three, however, separated the long-term gain students from the others. Pieces are more difficult at this point and practice time is lengthier than 15 or 20 minutes a day. The student begins to learn more serious piano literature. Practice sessions involve more technique with exercises to improve the fingers and the ear.
Most parents can tell the difference between their child suffering through learning an instrument they dislike, and one going through growing pains. If you think it’s growing pains, encourage your child and help them to stick with it. Here’s why.
A child engages both sides of the brain when they study piano. Both hands and all fingers learn to operate independently. They problem solve, they learn creative interpretation, they develop listening skills, and they learn tenacity. Research reported in National Geographic calls piano study a “cognitive training program” that later on benefits aging brains.
After the year three difficulties, there’s smoother sailing, and your child learns that effort and stick-to-it-tive-ness pays off.