North York Piano Lessons
How performance help make you a better piano player
Piano performance provides an opportunity for students to showcase and share what they’ve learned. It can be a fun and truly rewarding experience, whether it’d be an informal performance in front of friends and family, a recital among fellow students or a formal presentation in front of an audience at a festival or competition.
The benefits are very fundamental to becoming a better piano player in many aspects, especially for young students.
1. MOTIVATION TO PRACTICE
Piano performance motivates students to work towards a set goal. They learn what it means to complete the task of preparing a piece(s) from start to finish, and finessing it for a poised performance. Students are never as self-motivated as when preparing for a recital or presentation. They take ownership of their pieces and therefore become more focused, attentive to teachers instructions, and results-oriented.
2. PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE & MUSICAL EXPRESSION
They learn what “making music” means: it’s not as simple as just playing through the notes from beginning to end. To be a performer is to be an entertainer — to artistically express and communicate the mood of your piece to the audience, through carefully selected tempo, rhythm, touch, and dynamic expression. What story are you telling with your piano playing?
3. SELF-ASSURANCE & CONFIDENCE
The idea of getting up to play the piano in front of an audience can be intimidating for many students, especially those who have never done so before. Thorough preparation, diligent practice, and numerous performance rehearsals, even those in class or at home, can help calm nerves, and provide students with the self-assurance to be more comfortable with playing in a more formal setting. The excitement experienced during a piano performance and the sense of accomplishment acquired afterwards are immeasurable for students and parents alike.
Roy Thompson Hall
4. MUSIC APPRECIATION & NETWORKING
At recitals and festivals, a student will be able to experience and become inspired by other performers’ repertoire, whether the levels and musical genres or styles are at similar or varying levels. Music should also be a social activity – sharing it and engaging with others who are also doing the same is a great way to nurture a long-lasting love and passion for music.
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Piano study produces bigger and better functioning brains, a benefit to people of any age.
Playing piano expands the mind-North york Piano Lessons
A parent would be considered foolish if he or she said that they don’t want the best for their child. Of course you want your child to have every advantage possible. Piano lessons are one of those things that can help a child get a leg up.
This might seem surprising to some. However, numerous studies have proven a connection between music and other factors. Lessons provide much more than just the ability to play piano. They influence many other aspects of a child’s life. What things can piano lessons help with? Here are just a few.
What Piano Lessons Do for Children
- Taking piano lessons to children teaches patience.
- Taking piano lessons teaches discipline.
- Taking piano lessons inspires creativity.
- Learning piano promotes the habit of goal-mindedness.
- Piano studios provide a relaxing, yet structured environment.
- Taking piano lessons strengthens problem-solving ability.
- Taking piano lessons helps build confidence in children, especially as they progress in their skills.
- Playing piano has been linked to reducing stress.
- Playing piano helps increase fine motor skills.
- Taking piano lessons helps provide a love for a variety of music.
Why Lessons Are Important
Some children are just naturally gifted when it comes to music. These exceptional few are just able to play and do it well. They still might have formal training, but their natural ability shines through mostly. However, this type of ability is present in only a small minority. Most children need lessons.
Lessons are important because children learn to read music this way. Not only that, they learn each individual key and, later on, learn how to put the keys together in order to create music. They might just play songs that have already been written. They might end up creating something of their very own.
Lessons help children become self-disciplined. They learn to sit still at the piano for an extended period of time. Along with this, patience comes through. Learning to play piano is not something simple. It will take a great deal of patience to learn the instrument correctly. Patience is something that is valuable in all aspects of life. Lessons are especially important if the child grows up to be a musician.
As with anything, there may be some concerns that parents have about sending their child for piano lessons. One is obviously the cost. Piano lessons can be expensive, but think of it as an investment in your child’s future. If that extra money for lessons meant a better college down the road, it would be worth it.
Another potential concern is the child’s safety. These days, you really cannot be too careful. However, you can monitor your child and the instructor. Asking for a background check is not unreasonable. All in all, the benefits of piano lessons outweigh the risks.
As discussed above, having your child take piano lessons provides numerous benefits.
- Your child’s motor skills can see significant improvement
- You child learns several traits (patience, problem solving, self-discipline, setting goals) that help greatly in later life.
- If your child has natural musical talent, lessons will help encourage growth.
- Happiness levels go up, stress levels go down.
- Appreciation for music is increased.
You know all the reasons to get your child started with piano lessons. Now it is time to put some investigation into instructors and put some action behind it. You will be glad you did.
What a unique experience it was for all who attended Encore Piano Studio’s annual field trip last month to Roy Thompson Hall for the special live performance of Disney’s beloved animated classic film Fantasia. What a fun way to have a piano lesson outside of the classroom!
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed a selection of magnificent repertoire from both the original Fantasia (1940) and Disney Fantasia 2000, while the scenes play on the big screen. There were so many memorable moments. Mickey Mouse dabbling in magic in Duka’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, mythical unicorns and winged horses accompanied by Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, the garden festivities of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite, and much more!
Here’s what the piano students had to say about the show – Elisha paid close attention to the instruments throughout the performance and really felt that the drums and the other percussion did an exceptional job on rhythm. Most students, like Curtis were extremely impressed by the work put in by the conductor and orchestra to synchronize the performance of the pieces in exact timing with the animation from the feature film, which was no easy feat! Ethan commented on how much he enjoyed the scenes with the flying whales as well Micky Mouse with the brooms and buckets. Some students have already started learning piano pieces that piqued their interest from the film in their first lesson after the trip!
We are already looking forward to our 2016 excursion and the next stop on this musical journey!
Students eagerly awaiting the performance to begin!
Disney’s Fantasia Performance with the TSO
Roy Thompson Hall
Playing piano comfortably, with the right posture, is necessary for your health, for your skill development and quality of playing, and for your image as an instrumental performer. Let’s talk about the key elements to attaining good piano posture.
1. ADJUST YOUR PIANO BENCH
The goal is to achieve “The Golden Middle” . The piano bench should not be too low or too high — forearms should lie at a level parallel to the keyboard with your elbows just slightly higher than the keys. Do not sit too far or too close — you’ll want to be able to reach the keyboard at a comfortable distance. Avoid leaning back too far or sitting so close that your elbows are pointing backwards.
2. KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT
This will allow you to play well and develop your piano skills without affecting your health. Remember, playing piano is a performance art; it is important to play with poise, image, and grace — nobody likes to see a pianist who is slouching or looking uncomfortable.
3. STABLE LEGS & FEET
Keep the feet flat on the floor (if possible) and under the knee creating an angle, with your legs, just slightly larger than 90 degrees. The right foot may be slightly forward if you are right handed and vice versa. Do not cross legs or ankles, as that will diminish your stability while sitting on the bench. For young children, that are not tall enough to have their feet touch the floor, a foot stool placed near the bench will provide them with the stability they need.
4. SHOULDERS, ARMS, WRISTS, & FINGERS
Keep the shoulders down; they must never be raised or tense. Elbows should be at a flexible and slight distance from our body.
When playing piano, keep wrists up and fingers curved — hands should resemble the shape of a dome. A quick and easy way to check this, is to put your hands on your knees when sitting, and then lift them up to the keyboard while maintaining that natural round shape. Make sure the wrists are not collapsed and dropping down (forming a “valley”) or held up uncomfortably high (forming a “mountain”). Flexible and relaxed wrists allow the limbs to “breathe” when playing piano, and are essential to achieving a beautiful and deep piano sound. Fingers should be rounded but not so much that your hand forms a claw. Aim to have stability and strength in your fingers while avoiding tension.
North York Piano Lessons – wrists up, fingers curved
5. A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
A positive attitude is really the key here! It is not easy to do all the above at once, especially if you are a beginner. Proper form must be developed and strengthened through time and repetition, and eventually it will come naturally and easily. Be persistent and remember to keep mental reminders with these five steps, and you will be on your way to mastering good piano posture.