Why Are Pianists Good at Math?
Most children hate math. That is a fact.
What’s also a fact is that math is necessary for children. Especially so if they want to progress far in their studies and career. What we need is to get them started on the right foot. Science points at music instruction, particularly piano, as the perfect introduction to mathematics, that also helps develop chidren’s brain power.
Let’s take a look at how the piano can teach your children math
The Rhythm of Math
Children hate math, but they love music! They are naturally attracted to it. Music relates to math. Any effort required to understand it translates to better math understanding. Sometimes listening with attention is good enough.
For children that are starting with music, the first thing they will encounter is rhythm. In its most basic form, rhythm is the division of time. It involves counting the beats to know your place in the song. Later they will subdivide further into smaller time units. That is excellent for learning multiplication and division by two. All these concepts are very abstract, but music gives a very concrete context. It will help with their understanding of fractions at an intuitive level.
Going further into rhythm and counting, we can divide music in phrases, like a language. Children learn addition and subtraction by fitting melodies in the music. For example, if the measure lasts for 8 beats, they can add a 4 beat phrase and another 4 beat phrase. Or they could add a 5 beat phrase and a 3 beat phrase. Once they practice enough they will be able to improvise this on the fly, without even thinking about it.
Piano is the best introductory instrument. It only requires pressing a key with one finger to start making music.
Children don’t need to learn any difficult technique, only fingers pressing keys. Playing the piano looks like a dance of the fingers, and children also love dancing!
We can relate numbers to keyboard notes. Then they will make associations between fingers, numbers and sounds. Those will be helpful for counting, and for understanding addition and subtraction procedures.
The Fun Way
Playing music is much more fun than doing math homework.
It develops concentration in a good way. They enjoy what they are doing, and they are focuses and self-motivated. That helps them advance without effort. The mathematical lessons they are learning will get ingrained in their brains.
Later they will learn to love math, because they understand the basics at a deep level.