“The reality is that you are improving your brain when learning piano! You are actually making yourself smarter and improving your memory; this is why learning the piano correctly has so many benefits, such as success in school, the ability to better cope with everyday problems, and the ability to retain memory longer as you age.” – Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan C. Chang
The key word in the above quote is ‘correctly’. Learning the piano correctly has many benefits, but what about learning the piano incorrectly? How often has a teacher come across a transfer student that did not learn correctly from the start? How much work must go into unlearning bad habits? In one of my blog posts I talked about the importance of finding the best piano teacher one can afford, especially if you are a beginner. Unfortunately, some people think exactly the opposite: they enroll their kids in cheap group classes taught on cheap keyboards “just to see if the child is really interested in music”. Sometimes no harm is done, but most often than not, the student develops bad habits, posture, and technique. The biggest problem I have encountered with such students is that when finally being shown the correct ways, the student realizes that it is too much work to redo everything all over and looses interest. The teacher must then find every possible way to inspire the student again, and to reinstall their desire to learn. The result – progress is delayed, parents end up spending more money, and sometimes the student gives up lessons. So is it important to learn correctly from the start? Absolutely!