The only regret i have for my children and their formal piano and vocal lessons is that i didn’t have them start much earlier in life. Now, we’ve always listened to music or music history when we homeschooled, but no formal training until Jessica was 14, Dallas was 12, and Nathan (starting later) was about 11. Nathan didn’t take for very long because their teacher moved away, although we did find another wonderful teacher who gave him lessons for about a year later on and introduced him to the world of stage production musicals. Jessica became good enough to earn a small vocal scholarship at Central Methodist and was very active in their music programme and even participated in rehearsals, special ensemble small group called ‘Chorale,’ and was an officer in SAI.
Dallas, through his training actually showed the most improvement!
Nathan is a good vocalist, but not quite good enough to snag a singing part in Carousel Production of Les Misérables a couple years ago as a sophomore in high school. It was a great experience for him anyway as he participated with four different roles in the musical.
Anyway, I started playing the piano when i was nine – hated practicing -but was required to continue for five years. Only way later in years did i appreciate my parents forcing me to continue for as long as i did. My children, however, really enjoy playing the piano and enjoyed their lessons, although none of us are accomplished pianists.
Those of us who play or teach piano know that it helps our brains. It’s even scientifically proven according to some. Playing the Piano Might Make You Smarter is a neat article that gives some of the evidence for that.
Now today, I struggled through playing a part of a song (Sonata quasi una Fantasia – First movement) i used to be able to play, but i cannot now. Although, it’s far from starting an unknown piece, it will be a long time before it sounds decent. So my question is – can old brains be made smarter and/or improve memory by playing the piano? Hmmmm Maybe if can push forward and learn Movements 2 (i can stumble through) and 3 (only in my dreams) by L van Beethoven.