7 Reasons Everyone Should Play Piano

by   |  May 16, 2012
Play Piano

Studying piano carries so many benefits. Why doesn’t everyone play piano?

I’m an advocate of having every musician play the piano.   This powerhouse instrument packs a powerful punch of benefits.   These are merely the top seven:
 
1)           It has more notes.   The piano keyboard represents every note available on other instruments.   There is no instrument that has a note that the piano does not have.   This reason alone gives a strong case for everyone to play piano.
 
2)           What you hit is what you get.   The piano produces the most immediate results of any instrument.   You simply touch a key and the note sounds—no tone training required.   With most other instruments, you have to spend weeks just trying to make a sound and many more years striving to perfect it.   Not so when you play the piano.
 
3)           Get the big picture first.     This straight-forward quality of piano playing makes it ideal for sight reading.   If you play a different instrument, you can always plunk out your part on the piano first.   If you’re learning an orchestral piece, you can even play the other instruments’ parts.   After getting an overview of a piece on the piano, then you can worry about creating all the other musical features on your primary instrument.
 
4)           You can play chords.   Since the piano allows you to play multiple notes at a time—unlike a saxophone or bassoon—it is by far the best instrument for learning music theory.   Theory teachers frequently use the piano to play chords and explain other concepts.   The keyboard is ideal for visualizing the music you’re analyzing.
 
5)           Impress more friends.   Keyboard instruments are the most versatile of all instrument families.   The piano by itself is used in all genres—classical, baroque, rock n’ roll, jazz, pop, hip hop—you name it.   If your primary interest in studying music is to impress your friends, the piano is a wise choice.   You are more likely to impress a diverse crowd of individuals.
 
6)           Branch out.   The ability to fit into many styles is not the only benefit of playing piano.   You can easily learn other keyboard instruments like organ and harpsichord.   Mallet and other “layout” instruments such as the marimba and xylophone are easy to learn after studying piano.
 
7)           Play virtually anything.   Electric keyboards have an added bonus: built-in voicings of other instruments.   If you get bored with the grand piano sound, you can switch to cello, accordion, or even a sophisticated drum kit.   Record yourself playing one “instrument”, add another voice on top of that, and you’ve got a whole orchestra at your fingertips.
 
Playing piano is key to a singer’s survival.   My voice teachers always told me that the best singers were good pianists.   Sadly, I had quit piano lessons years before learning this essential fact.   I have worked hard in my adult years to make up for lost time.   Now I teach piano basics to all my voice and violin students.
 
No matter what your primary instrument is, you can strengthen your skills by learning piano.   It’s never too late to start!

More on: Classical Music, Music Teacher, Music Theory, Musical Performance, Personal Development
About the Author:

Having achieved so many of her own dreams, Mimi West has devoted her career to paying it forward to the rising generation of musicians. You can follow her on Twitter @mydreamteacher.
Publshed: May 16, 2012  | 
You might also enjoy...
Nina Stone J-Walk
How to Find Your Calling through Music
Betty Jeanne Chipman
Remembering Betty Jeanne Chipman:

Music Teacher, Mentor and Friend
Opera Singer Meme by Mimi West, Founder, My Dream Teacher
Memes 101 for Classical Musicians