Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eight Reasons Why Your Toddler With Autism Should Start The Piano

The discussion on whether or not to begin piano instruction with a child typically starts around the age of 5 or 6 years of age. This is largely due to the perception that the piano is difficult to learn and that it is a more 'refined' instrument. When you consider that the piano is truly a percussion instrument, it is very durable and it offers instant feedback to the player: you may begin to change your view! While these eight reasons can be applied to all young children, the possible benefits associated with an autistic toddler exploring the piano can be even more important.

1. Give Them a Head Start

When a 5 or 6 year old student begins to learn an instrument, a lot of time is spent on the basics; such as sitting appropriately, focusing on the page and using rhythm. By starting to teach to these basics earlier on, the student will be well on his way to learning simple songs and using both hands while the former student is just starting to explore the instrument.

2. They Can Do It!

If your child can match - they can play the piano. It really is that simple!

3. You Can Do It!

Yes, even if you have no musical background! After all, these matching exercises are, relatively, not complicated and exploring more advanced material would most likely be counterproductive here.

4. Help with Focusing

Even though your toddler will most likely not be practicing for extended periods of time, there are still benefits associated with starting the process. The act of designating short time periods which are 'only piano time' will begin to instill a sense of routine in the child. These time periods can gradually be increased over time.

5. Great Way to Introduce Other Instruments

Certain concepts such as reading musical notation and rhythm are shared by all instruments. Since learning the piano will eventually introduce both Treble and Bass Clef note reading skills, almost every other possible instrument will be available to them in the future.

6. Less Competition

School and an increasing amount of peer related activities will very quickly become a major competitor with any extracurricular activity. In these early stages of the child's development, you can devote more time to the piano and still have time to just have fun!

7. Social Skills Development

While the piano may seem like a stand-alone instrument, it can eventually open the doors to many community based activities. This is especially important in toddlers with autism since many individuals on the spectrum have challenges, later on, with expressive language and socializing. Attending recitals, professional performances and interacting with other musically inclined peers are all great ways to increase social skills development.

8. Changing Perceptions

Like it or not, many people still have an unclear view of just what individuals with autism are capable of. Learning how to play the piano can have a huge impact on the perception of siblings, family and friends and society in general.

About the author:

Mr. Jeffrey Young is the President and Founder of Innovative Piano, Inc. Mr. Young has published over 17 books dealing with music and autism. To learn more about the author and the program please visit

Offering piano lessons for students with autism - Nationwide!

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