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  • Writer's pictureBurdett Rice

Why piano lessons will help to improve math skills

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Have you ever wondered why piano lessons help improve math skills? I'm sure you've heard of the "Mozart Effect", which suggest a slight boost to cognitive abilities for a short time after listening to Classical Music.

I assure you that it's not as mystical as it seems, and I can help uncover the mystery of the link between piano and math skills.

Piano and math skills

When you look at a keyboard, immediately most people can pick out that there's a pattern between all the keys. This repeating pattern of 2, then 3, black keys over and over, give a framework for how the notes are equally spaced between one another.

Once a student sits down with a piano teacher typically the teacher will point this pattern out to them and begin to show them how to navigate this pattern to create the music that lives inside their heads.

From these last two paragraphs, I hope that you see that the piano mainly operates in two spheres, the pattern (or musical grid) and the creative head space to create artistic combinations of this musical grid. The combination of these two worlds is called spatial reasoning. Many studies, including an article published in the year 2000 in the Journal of Aesthetic Education by Dr. Lois Hetland, suggests that early childhood music instruction helps students develop their spatial reasoning to a higher extent than children who do not have music instruction.

As it stands, children with higher spatial reasoning skills tend to do better at math. "Having strong abilities to mentally picture and manipulate objects in the ways described above predicts success in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields." quoted from an article in the Development and Research in Early Math Education article written by S. Eason and S. Levine in 2017.

So, who knows? Helping your child achieve great heights in the STEM fields could all start with piano lessons.

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