Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? If so, piano lessons can help! Piano is one of the single best all-around learning activities a child can engage in. Few extra-curriculars engage so many senses and mental processes at once, which makes it a great option for kids with ADHD.Does your child have
Here are just a few reasons that piano can be so beneficial for hyperactive children.
Five Ways Piano Can Help Hyperactive Children
1. Get Them Away From Beeping Flashing Things
While the “causes” of ADHD are highly controversial, it’s hard for anyone to look at life today without concluding that the incredible proliferation of electronics everywhere, all flashing and buzzing and beeping, must be doing harm to our collective attention span.
Perhaps more than any other element, piano playing will help with ADHD simply by showing kids that it is possible to be entertained by an activity that doesn’t involve a video screen.
2. Develop Their Expressiveness
An attention-deficit child may not have ever learned the personal satisfaction that can come from completing a creative project, such as the sort piano can inspire. When a child who wants more music can obtain it instantly from a dozen different sources, they may not ever recognize the value in creating their own music.
Much of the time (although not always) ADHD stems from boredom, especially in students who are actually high intelligence and simply bored. Exposing them to long-term projects with real personal rewards attached increases the likelihood that they’ll learn to channel their impulsiveness into these focused projects, rather than just getting randomly distracted.
3. Piano Takes Years To Learn
Another reason piano can be beneficial to those with ADHD is that it’s a very slow and steady process that rewards daily practice and dedication. ADHD is (probably) in part from the instant-gratification society we live in. It makes it easy for people -kids and adults- to forget that some skills simply take time to develop, and there are no shortcuts.
The entire idea that a long-term project can be worthwhile may be foreign to a child with ADHD. Piano is a way of reinforcing this valuable life lesson.
4. Improve Their Social Skills
We recently came across a fascinating article in SciAm talking about research into using pianos to help improve students from low-income or other under-privileged situations. Such students, as it turns out, show a marked –and ongoing- improvement to their speech recognition and other verbally-based mental processes.
Serious ADHD, of course, can manifest even in an inability to hold a proper conversation with another person. It appears that by training the ears of young students with learning issues, it makes them better-able to converse and focus on the speech they’re hearing, rather than other distracting noises.
5. Teach Them Self-Control
This blog has a wonderful story from a piano teacher who specializes in working with ADHD students and children with cognitive challenges. By learning her students’ needs, and using access to the piano as a “carrot” in working with them, she was able to teach them ways to “burn off” their energy and to learn to focus on tasks.
Because the real point to all of this is, ADHD children can be “cured” largely by showing them ways to channel their energies and boost their attention span. Piano is a wonderful way of accomplishing this and, as the blogger discovered, underneath that hyperactive exterior may be a budding musical genius waiting to happen.
So, have you put an ADHD student through piano lessons? We’d love to hear your story, and how it worked out!