When I was six years old, my parents bought a tan colored Wurlitzer piano that had been sitting in a storage room at our church. The wood showed wear, and a few keys were chipped, but I thought the piano was perfect. I was elated when we finally got the piano home. I sat down and started to play songs by ear such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Hot Cross Buns”. However, three-note songs did not content me-I wanted to learn how to play real songs. So, I began begging my parents for piano lessons. My parents arranged for me to take piano lessons from my school music teacher. I continued these lessons until I was twelve years old. Piano lessons helped me develop strong math skills, a deeper appreciation for music, and self discipline.
Many scientific studies have shown a correlation between playing the piano and excelling in math. This was definitely true for me. When I was in sixth grade, after achieving one of the top scores on a test of math skills, I was chosen to represent my elementary school on a Math Bee Team. Four out of the six members of the team had taken piano lessons prior to being on the team. I enjoyed the challenging math problems we worked through on the team, and as a result, I became one year accelerated in math. Playing piano helped me excel in math and led to my score of thirty-three on the math portion of the ACT.
Being able to play an instrument is important to being able to better appreciate music later in life. Knowing how to read music has been helpful to me when I have been singing music at church or in a choir. Because of the skills I learned from my piano lessons, when looking at a piece of music, I can easily sing intervals between notes as well as know the correct rhythm to sing the notes. As an audience member at music events and a musician myself, I understand the work it takes for other musicians to become highly skilled and develop the natural talent they have. When I was in fourth grade, my mom took me to a Lorie Line concert. I was amazed at how adept she was at playing the piano. The concert inspired me, and I wanted to become an amazing pianist just like her. I also realized how much practice it took Lorie to become a professional pianist.
Piano lessons taught me self discipline. Each night, I spent thirty minutes practicing my assigned songs on the piano. Halfway through my fourth and fifth years of lessons, I became unmotivated to practice. My teacher had given me all new songs to learn, and I struggled to get them to sound perfect. I often became frustrated and would skip practicing the songs altogether; however, my mom pushed me to keep practicing them and would not let me quit my piano lessons until the end of the school year. I eventually decided that I would have to practice the songs so that I could move on to songs that I liked.
I am so grateful that my parents let me take piano lessons. The skills I learned as a piano student enriched my childhood and helped me to excel in mathematics, learn to better appreciate music, and become self disciplined. When I am a parent, I plan to have my children take piano lessons so that they can receive the same benefits as I did.
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