Sweet Harmony

I recently shared a titch about the sweet, sweet harmony reigning in our home since both of my girls started music lessons in September. But I was skeptical about squeezing a piano into our tiny living room. A piano is generally a big-ticket item, and I really, really want to instill an appreciation for frugality in my children.

Well, it turns out I know a guy who knows a guy who is a professional tuner by day, and he gave us a great deal on a 1950s Kimball that’s in super good shape. Not excellent shape, which is perfect for me, because I’m happy to give it a little cosmetic love. So with plenty of encouragement from a music teacher that I am thankful to have in the girls’ lives, my hubby and her hubby carefully hauled it up our front-stoop stairs and into our living room.

Photo Jan 16, 2 03 34 PM

Here’s what the experts say: Playing an instrument is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout, especially for children. Learning to play an instrument develops physical attributes in the fine-motor-skills department for sure, but research is now showing that learning an instrument aids in emotional and behavioral maturation as well. That means the little ones are honing their attention skills, managing their anxiety, and gaining control of their emotions, because playing an instrument actually thickens the parts of the brain used to fight depression, aggression, and attention problems.

In school, music-makers generally understand math and science concepts more easily. By learning about note lengths and how they relate to the whole piece of music, students exercise the part of the brain that processes proportional thinking, and that kind of thinking is required to understand math and science at higher levels. It also improves spatial-temporal reasoning, which is the ability to see disassembled parts and mentally put them back together.

Wow, all that from a little ivory tickling. The results I’ve seen in the short time we’ve had our piano are rather astounding. The girls even play it while they brush their teeth! To say the least, they are appreciating it far more than I ever dreamed. This year, I’m anticipating a year filled with sweet, sweet harmony and music.

American Trade Cards, Boston Public Library via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a comment 7 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Ohh, Megan, what a lovely piano deal you were able to purchase! I remember when my girls were little and we got our piano. It was fun learning to play duets together too as they got a bit better. Plus, it was fun to watch them increase in skill and play beautiful songs. For a few years, I even took lessons. I agree with you that having a musical instrument like a piano in the home just brings out great opportunities for family enjoyment. Tell, Stella and Mia that I wish them the best with their lessons and exploration of music!

  2. How wonderful for all of your family ! Congrats and keep on ticklin’ those ivories, the girls will be popular at parties all their lives even if they don’t grow up to be concert pianists.

  3. Bobbie calgaro says:

    I can buy into a lot of what was said about what music can do except the math part. My mind wants no part of math and my grades all through school reflect that. I took about seven years of piano lessons so it should have rubbed off in the math area at some point. But not so much. Lol

  4. CJ Armstrong says:

    Yay for your girls . . . and your family! I’m a pianist having started learning before I even started school. So, I’ve spent my life at the piano keyboard. It’s a “whole body exercise”. The brain training that takes place is amazing . . . your left hand and your right hand are doing entirely different things. You have to play the right notes, get your timing accurate, get your dynamics in there . . . and make it MUSICAL!
    Enjoy the ride, girls!
    CJ

  5. Linda says:

    So nice you got a great deal on a piano. There has been a piano in my life from day 1 – my mother played every day. I took piano lessons from age 4 and then started violin in 3rd grade at school. I have always been good in math and love math – to this day I love working with numbers. It helps in designing quilt blocks. Now science, that is a different story. I’ve never been great at science. But I think music helped when I was having to type computer code for engineers I worked with. Several times I pointed out something that just looked strange to me – there was a series of code with repeats, and yet something looked wrong. I was right! LOL! Music is great for kids of all ages.

  6. Krista says:

    Megan, what a great find. I’m glad you were able to find a piano and give your girls such an amazing gift. When I was younger I played the violin, the piano, and the flute. To this day I still have a love for music and can agree with the experts on the benefits. During school I was good at math and science, even though I didn’t care too much for math. There is just something about music that can completely change your outlook. I hope that your girls continue to find joy and passion in playing the piano and you will have a year full of wonderful tunes.

  7. Cindi says:

    That is a very nice looking piano ~ congratulations on the best investment ever 🙂 Those girls can take music with them to the end of time. Not so with many other types of extracurricular activities. You might have to push them through a ‘piano lessons are borrrrring’ phase at some point, but they will thank you in the end.

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