If you’re a parent who is musically clueless but would like your children to pursue musical talents, then please consider starting them off with a piano and some lessons.
Many kids start making music when they’re in elementary school. Maybe you’ve forgotten this, but kids often care about what’s “cool”. In modern day music, certain instruments are “cool” while other instruments are “lame”. On the radio, kick-butt guitar solos and incredible drum beats are awesome to listen to. Your kid might even want to be a DJ and ask for a DJ set. The problem is, they won’t know how to get the sound they want on any of those instruments if they have no knowledge or understanding of music theory. The best way to learn music theory, or the art of making music that can be called “music” and not “loud noises” is to become familiar with every note and different tone. What easier way to learn that than by playing the piano? On the piano, each key is its own note. That’s as simple as it gets. Therefore, when your children learn to read sheet music, all they have to do is familiarize themselves with the keys and therefore the notes. This will help them become ear-trained to the point where they can replay songs they hear without seeing the sheet music. Learning string or wind instruments first makes learning music harder because you lose the ability to associate a sound with a key- instead, they must associate sounds with complex finger positions and physical technique. Eventually, these skills will be mastered and perfected after practice. But this process can be simplified by learning the piano first, and many moments of frustration can be prevented as your child’s musical career expands.
Another great perk of playing the piano first is that a piano player can accompany anything, anywhere. Whether they want to sing and play, or join a group, there’s always a spot for a piano player. Concert orchestras, jazz bands, and rock bands all need somebody at the keyboard. This will give your child the ability to meet friends in and out of school who would appreciate their piano abilities, as well as expose them to other instruments. Also, any song can be transferred into a piano song. You can transfer the rhythm and melody of a rap record into a piano version, but you can’t play both the rhythm and melody of a Mozart classic written for piano on another instrument. The piano is unique in that you can make 10 sounds at once and combine them to make a beautifully satisfying “full” sound. The same can’t be said about most other instruments.
It can be said that the piano is the easiest and hardest instrument to learn. The basics of playing the piano are easy to understand, but mastering your ten fingers and your foot (on the pedals) is not. But the benefit of learning the piano as a first instrument is that you DO learn the basics easily, and once you can master using ten fingers and a foot, you can easily learn five fingers and a strum (guitar), or ten fingers and a blow (wind instruments), or two sticks and a bang (drums), or… you get the idea.