If you played piano before, would it give you a headstart to violin or other instruments? Please answer :DIf you played piano before, would it give you a headstart to violin or other instruments?...

If you played piano before, would it give you a headstart to violin or other instruments? Please answer :D

If you played piano before, would it give you a headstart to violin or other instruments? Please answer :D

Expert Answers
jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my house, we call the piano PS88. That stands for Public School 88 or Piano School 88. Why 88? Because a standard piano has 88 keys. 36 of those keys are black keys and 52 are white keys. Together those keys form the basis for everything you hear in western music.

Look at the computer keyboard in front of you. Now imagine: every idea in the history of human beings... every novel, every poem, everything from The Origin of the Species to the The Odyssey can be written from that little piece of plastic and metal in front of you.

And it's the same with the piano. Almost any piece of music you have heard and any piece of music you can imagine, can be played or made up from a piano's 88s. And once you get to know the piano keyboard, the way it's laid out and how to play scales and then songs in all the different keys, the major scales and the minor scales, you will have the knowledge upon which every other instrument is based. Familiarity with the piano keyboard is central to one's understanding of intervals, chords and chord progressions, which are the basis of all compositions.

So, yes, spend some time on the piano; it will give you a head start to playing any instrument as well as a deeper insight into how music is made.

Now repeat after me: "Whole note, whole note, half note, whole note, whole note, whole note." If you don't understand what that is, the piano will teach you that most basic lesson and countless more.

timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with Lynne.  I would add that playing the piano "forces" you to learn to read both the bass and treble clefs, which can be a big help in mastering some other instruments.  It also forces you to "introduce" your right hand to your left and learn how to use them both together.  Another very important thing the piano does (if you learn chords) is force you to learn some music theory.  I spent the first 5 or so years of my piano lessons (not spectacular, mind you :)) just learning how to read the clefs.  When I learned how to play chords, I came to understand many of the things that I was just "doing" when I read music.  I never learned any advanced theory, but I came to understand a great deal about music. 

When I later learned other instruments, I think I had a great head start because of all I learned in the process of learning the piano.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the fact the piano is the basis for so many other sounds and instruments would allow you to have a head start on other instruments.  Composers seem to emerge from the piano to other instruments, and it is not a surprise to see them use the piano as the ground upon which other melodies are formed.  At the same time, the fact that so many, if not all, of the consonant and dissonant sounds can be formed in the piano would help with your foray into new violins.  Another way why a head start would be formed would be because in learning one instrument, many of those skills such as practice, refinement of skill, and muscle memory could be enacted with the new instrument, as well.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That is a good question and the answer is yes! There are several reason for this. First, the piano will train your fingers to be agile and strong. This alone will be helpful. Second, piano gives you the ability to read music. This will help you will all musical instruments. Third, piano will train your ears to be able to hear the various notes and give you the ability to appreciate music better. Finally, piano gives you the ability to develop the left and right side of your brain by forcing you to play with both hands. This will help in playing all instruments.

lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely! The piano is both a percussion instrument and a melodic one. Although the technique for playing the violin and other instruments will be different, reading musical notes is the same. Timing in music is the same. Many great composers and musicians as well have started with the piano before branching out to other instruments.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Learning to play piano gives you the understanding of how to read music and play scales. This knowledge is transferable to all other musical instruments. I was amazed, however, when my daughter, who has perfect singing pitch and has never learned to read music, was able to learn both violin and piano.

jess1999 | Student

I play the violin, clarinet, and flute and found it easy to learn because I have been learning piano since I was young. Knowing how to play the piano definitely helps because you're already introduced to the music notes,  and is familiar with music theory. Also learning the piano has actually made techniques on other instruments easier for me. Overall though it still depends on the person, especially if they're willing to practice. 

theestudent | Student

Thanks, everyone :D These are a lot of answers and they're all really good, so I don't know which one is the best D: