Brain Structure and Kid’s Piano

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Your child’s experience of the piano is entwined with the development of their brain hemispheres, and their brain structure.

When the hemispheres are less connected, the child has difficulty. This is based on age.

Most piano teachers do not take this brain development into account when they encounter a child having difficulty. They just asssume the child is stupid or lazy.

Given the difficulty of the piano, even trying to play is a victory.

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Piano teachers and parents have to decide what their expectations are: do you want virtuosi on their way to Carnegie Hall, or kids who love to play songs on the piano?

If your child has extreme talent, it will be obvious to everyone. But the statistical probabilities are daunting.

Almost no children will become world-famous pianists, but, with the proper guidance, they can become enthusiastic hobbyists.

More important than Carnegie Hall is your child’s experience of the piano, and you should do everything to ensure that it is a positive one.

Drawing of two brain hemispheres
Let’s look at the human brain itself to see how kids perceive the piano.

The left brain controls the right hand, and the left brain controls the right hand.

Depending on your child’s age, the connection between the two hemispheres, known as the corpus callosum, will be more or less developed. There is nothing you can do about it: it takes growth and time for this neural highway to grow.

Playing music forces the two sides of the brain to “talk” to each other, and this is what produces greater mental capabilities in musicians. In younger children, the lack of the development of this connection produces profound discomfort and stress.

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It is well known that the “corpus callosum” (the connection between the hemispheres) is up to 90% larger in trained musicians.

The best strategy is to start the child early, and ignore early failures as their brains develop.

So it makes no difference if your child has historic musical talent. What you need to do is expose your child to musical experience frequently, early and often: piano lessons. It makes no difference if they succeed, the brain is growing.

Let’s not rob kids of a positive experience of the piano just because their brains haven’t grown quickly enough. The solution is to design a curriculum that suits their particular stage of brain development.

You need to start seeing piano lessons from the child’s point of view.

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