Piano can be a great way for small children to learn about music. It is a superb instrument for building a strong musical foundation, and with the right teacher can open up a new world for kids, filled with far-reaching benefits. At our studio in Barcelona, piano classes are one-on-one with a dedicated teacher, and can even be arranged online in conjunction with our handy instrument rental options. What could be better than doing a music lesson from the comfort of your home?
It’s all in the science!Music has long been touted as an important element in the development of our brains, and giving your child the opportunity to explore that can help them in a variety of ways outside of the music realm. Unlock their musical creativity, help them learn in a fun and engaging way with teachers who are adept at connecting music to games as well as learning. At Shine Music School in Barcelona we are also offer siblings the chance to form small group classes, which can make learning the instrument more dynamic and versatile.
Piano is an instrument which is fantastic for accompanying singing, as well as other instruments. Not only can learning piano boost your confidence, but also your serotonin levels. Music has been proven to improve our immune systems as well as provide a literal workout for our brains! If you can instil a love of music in your kids from a young age, you will be benefitting them in the long run, helping them to become well rounded humans as well as expanding their minds.
Finding the right teacher is key. A teacher that can share their love of music and actively engage their students can be hard to find! Teaching kids a musical instrument is a special skill that requires a good understanding of psychology as well as music. Our teachers at Shine encourage their students, and boost their confidence while teaching them their favourite songs. We do not follow a particular curriculum but goals are set by the teacher during the course of organically learning the piano. For older children, we have been training those that wish to, in the Trinity music exams, and each child can track their progress through the grades. Shine prides itself on matching the right teacher to your child to ensure that learning music stays fun and engaging.
Begin early! Children from the age of 5 are encouraged to start music, as at this age they are beginning to read. This ties in with being able to recognise and read notes. Although students younger than 5 can learn an instrument, we prefer to offer our smallest musicians our Music Awareness courses which introduce rhythm, notes, songs, and teach them to recognise tones through movement, dance and musical interaction. Students who have attended these classes are easily able to continue onto our private music classes with their preferred teacher.
Barcelona is a city filled with musical history and at Shine we encourage the continuation of this musical exploration with the youngest generation! Check out our online piano classes for kids!
The study of music is well known to have multiple benefits for the individual, not only in the realm of learning an instrument. For individuals with physical or mental disabilities or those looking to deal with stress, anxiety or improve their motor skills, music therapy can offer considerable advantages.
Science has long proven the value of both playing and listening to music. Playing an instrument improves concentration, develops the brain and helps with a slew of other important social skills. Studying music can improve cognition and enhance learning and memory. The part of the brain that deals with language and reason also deals with music, activating this part of the brain by playing an instrument helps to develop these skills.
Humans have long had a relationship with music, and studies have shown the importance of introducing music to young children. It stands to reason then that music and music therapy sessions can aid a wide range of ailments.
“Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation, providing emotional support for individuals and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”
(American Music Therapy Association, 2020.)
Music is a powerful tool. In Music Therapy, music can be used as a way to build connections, both socially and cognitively. Music Therapists are able to guide their clients in their musical exploration, encouraging them, as well as identifying techniques that can help them improve or work on specific areas. Through sound and play, they are exposed to a variety of challenges which equip them for the future. Music Therapy can give an individual important tools with which to navigate their normal life.
Treatments include creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
For example, singing can strengthen the immune system and research has shown that producing certain sounds can help specific aspects of your health. Singing improves your mood by releasing endorphins. Studies have demonstrated that singing can decrease cortisol levels, which are responsible for stress. Singers often experience increased relaxation. Singing, listening to music and playing musical instruments all combat anxiety & depression.
Singing also aids metabolism, boosts alertness and can be an excellent form of exercise, especially for those who are physically disabled or can no longer move as well, like the elderly. It helps to increase aerobic capacity and stamina and improves posture. Posture techniques used in both singing and playing an instrument help build strong muscles and a good posture relieves back and neck strain. Easing muscle tension is something that can significantly benefit people with physical handicaps, or motor skill issues.
Exposure to Music Therapy techniques not only develops imagination and intellectual curiosity but the rhythms of music also aid those with physical issues by helping them time their movements to the beat of the music. According to papers published on Neuroplasticity, “Playing a musical instrument demands the coordination of hand movements with integrated auditory, visual, and tactile feedback, in a process that recruits multiple brain regions. These multiple demands during instrument playing, together with the entertaining character of music, have led to the development and investigation of music-supported therapies, especially for rehabilitation with motor disorders.”
The same concept can be applied to speech and language development. Because verbal difficulties often tend to create communication barriers, leading to low self-esteem, any therapy that can help an individual with their vocal issues is important. Repetitive speech, such as the chorus of a song, can improve one’s ability to participate in a conversation. Singing together with the music, helps to develop control of the vocal muscles. Cognitively, music can be used as a tool to help recall conversation just as you would remember song lyrics. This can be vitally important for those suffering memory handicaps, like dementia or Alzheimers. Not only can listening to their favourite song greatly reduce stress and agitation, but also offers a way for them to connect emotionally with loved ones.
Music when used in therapeutic instances offers a vast array of benefits. Shine Music School in Barcelona is now offering Music Therapy sessions. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
Katarina Ruvidic is a piano teacher with more than six years of experience, teaching all ages and levels, from beginners to advanced students. In her classes she presents various musical styles to keep even the smallest music students interested. Katarina provides the foundation for learning with individualised lesson plans. In addition, Katarina is a music therapist with two years of experience in developing music therapy knowledge with diverse patients.
What was the first thing that got you interested in music?
Since I can remember, I always listened to music at home. I loved to sing and
dance while I was discovering different musical styles that my parents introduced me too.
Who inspired you to make music?
In kindergarten, we had music classes, and I was always impressed with the teacher
when she was playing the piano. When I got home, I used to “play” the radiator, while imagining that it was a piano, singing, and giving music lessons to my parents. Then when I was six years old
I would dance while listening to my cousin play the piano, imagining that the movements I was creating an energy that was connecting with the music.
Where and how did you win your biggest prize?
My biggest prize was the laureate (overall winner) In the “Nikolai Rubinstein” contest in Paris, also in the international pianist contest “Davorin Jenko” in Serbia. But my favorite is from 2009, when I won a special award for the best sonata performance by F.J. Haydn at the “International Pianist Competition” in Serbia, where I was also the overall winner of the contest.
How would you describe your lessons?
I always adapt the musical classes and styles with respect to the person I am with working with. Carl Maria von Weber said “Music is the true universal language”, so it is a powerful tool that allows us to transmit and exchange energy, emotions, moods. It opens a new door for us, a new space where we are creating an atmosphere that allows us to feel free and in contact with the inner world of oneself.
Of your concerts, which one have you enjoyed the most and why?
The truth is that I always enjoy the moments when I give the concert, and each one is
special for me. But I remember that in one of my first concerts that I gave at the Academy
Serbia de Ciencias e Arte, I felt very happy before giving the concert, because it was the first time all my family and friends were able to come.
What famous musicians do you admire?
It is a difficult question, because I admire each one. It’s not easy being a musician, it never has been. Musicians always had difficult times, their art was often not accepted. Dating back to
the Mozart era, or in the Stravinsky era when he performed his ballet and concert
orchestral “The Ritual of Spring”. People find it hard to accept new, innovative things, which
makes sense too, because when we’re used to certain types, everything that’s
new challenges our limits, we need time to get out of the bubble and digest it. So
I admire each musician and his music, because being a musician is a creative risk, equally a
vocation that should have no limits.
When did you find out that you wanted to be a music teacher?
When my sister turned two, I wanted to teach her to play the piano. From that
moment, the desire was born, and I always thought that one day all the knowledge and the
experience I have, all the tricks and wisdom received from the best masters, I want to share
with my future students.
What advice do you have for piano lovers who are starting to study the instrument?
Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to learn to play any instrument,
regardless of age and abilities. I always believe that when desire is what
guides us, everything can be learned. The learning process is very nice, although sometimes
it can be frustrating. You have to be persistent, believe and enjoy the process.
How do you think the internet has impacted on music teaching?
Lately I have been seeing the ads “How to learn to play piano in x days”. So I wonder, why did I go to school and learn to play the piano for 15 years, when could I do it in x days? Apart from this, I think the internet is offering us many good and significant things, especially now with the current situation, where the the internet makes it easier for us to continue giving classes online.
Do you think music can be good for people’s health?
“Music is the most direct art, it enters through the ear and goes to the heart.” Magdalena Martinez
Music is one of the main engines of feelings and reactions, due to the brain activity that it creates in people. Music reduces stress, and gives a feeling of tranquility that allows you to acquire the necessary comfort to be able to carry out various activities. It is proven that music has a direct influence on emotions and people’s moods. Plus it boosts learning, increases concentration,
and much more.
Can you explain Music Therapy a little?
If we are talking about music therapy, it is very important to distinguish it from music lessons, where you study an instrument. Music in this case, is used as a tool for therapy depending on the health diagnosis of the client or in specific areas for rehabilitation. The therapeutic objectives and methods are then organised according to the needs of the person receiving music therapy. Any activity with music becomes much more bearable and enjoyable.
Does music help improve the health and mood of people? Why?
Yes, music helps improve health and mood, this is scientifically proven. First, music releases dopamine, which stimulates the subcortical brain circuit in charge of generating responses on an emotional level. One more benefit is that music reduces stress, because it produces a series of chemicals in the brain that help achieve total relaxation and relieve tension, thus promoting calmer breathing and a feeling of well-being. When one is listening to some song that moves you, instantly you begin to sing, dance, laugh, and likewise, your mood (and motivation) are lifted in a very simple and natural way.
The end of the year is the perfect time to think of a thoughtful gift for the musicians in your life. As we move into the season of gifts and giving, start planning ahead. November also hosts the ever popular “Black Friday” on the 27th of the month, and it is a perfect opportunity to grab some great online offers for your family and friends. Or why not think of supporting some small local businesses with unusual gifts like a music class, hand made local guitar or artwork. Also remember there are plenty of places where you can buy sustainable gifts, like second hand instruments or equipment. Just make sure check the reviews or test the instrument. Without further ado, here are 20 ideas for fun festive season gifts…
Oblique Strategies is a card stack for musicians created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Each card has a word or phrase to kickstart the creative process. Amazing for songwriters or generating ideas and breaking through creative blocks (Only in English)
Km0 Spanish Guitars – Germanos Camps produce fantastic Spanish and Flamenco Guitars in Girona. We sell them at Shine in Barcelona
Guitaleles are great little travel companions. A six stringed travel sized guitar that sounds like a ukulele but is played like a guitar with the Capo in the 5th space. It’s versatile and portable. This may be the perfect gift for those who love to play guitar and travel! You can buy one directly from us!
Don’t forget to check out your local music stores, or second hand shops. Online, places like Gumtree or Facebook Market place often have listings for second hand instruments. Support your local teachers too. Many have valuable skills to share, and don’t forget that the internet allows you to have lessons in particular styles with specialised teachers from all over the world.
Music surrounds us. From the minute we are conscious of sound, music filters into our brains. The rhythmic sounds of a heart beat or voices, a lullaby to send us to sleep. Birdsong, a street side orchestra, and as we get older we find bands and singers that we enjoy, and perhaps even begin to play music ourselves!
It seems to be an unspoken rule that parents should expose their children to music at some point during their childhood. Studies have shown that “Music Awareness” lessons where sound, notes, and pitch are introduced to toddlers or babies helps them develop a fundamental love and ability for music as well as language development skills and a head start in life.
Not everyone has a positive experience however, when they first attempt learning an instrument. So often people account tales of how they were cut from choir class or how their music lessons were boring or how having to practice every day became a chore.
To make learning music a positive experience, it’s vitally important to both introduce music from a young age and also find the right teacher. You don’t have to join a class, as children can easily be exposed to notes and sounds at home. Classes with an experienced child music teacher however, can be beneficial, it is a fun and interesting activity for parents and children to do together as well as giving both the skills and tools to play with music at home. The older you are, however, the better it is to find the right music teacher for your specific needs.
So what should you look for in a music class or music teacher? Here are some thoughts for parents, students and teachers on what makes a good music lesson.
Staying Positive about Music
To share a love of music with a child or student, you have to be positive about the music yourself. Teachers may have taught the same class many times before, and often classes can become rote. A teacher who can impart the basic steps with enthusiasm will infect their student with music happiness. Planning lessons prior to the class helps too. A prepared teacher can give a better lesson. Parents can also help by staying positive about learning music. If practicing music becomes a chore, try to find other ways to reward children for practicing or involving it in games or other kinds of interactive play. Make a music video…
Teach students their favourite music
There is no wrong or right music! The best way to get the most out of a student is to teach them their favourite musical genre. That might be pop or rock, or metal, maybe even trap! But each of these genres has something that can be used to teach. A sequence of notes, a rhythm, a lesson can be found in every song. Students who are learning about the music they are already interested in will be more likely to practice, and, as they say, practice makes perfect. Students will progress faster and become more proficient, making learning harder things that much easier for both teacher and learner!
Engage with Students
Music lessons should be dynamic. Music is not something you can just memorise. It’s an artistic and creative expression. Lessons should cover all these aspects. Learn a little, have fun a little, laugh and play, the music will follow. Don’t just follow the book, make the lessons work for both the student and the teacher. These days both teachers and students have a huge range of media they can use to add to lessons. From videos to production programs. Great teachers show personal investment in their students as musicians and as people, and encourage their student’s progress rather than expecting it. A talented music teacher understands each student’s individual needs and can help to set accomplishable goals to work toward at a pace that suits them based on their abilities.
A music teacher can spot a guitar student sitting in the wrong posture a mile away. It’s this eye for detail that make a skilled teacher important for the music student. To guide them in the fundamentals, sets a student up for life. Students with a great basic understanding of the underlying elements that make up the study of music will be able to switch or add instruments later on much more efficiently and easily. Sitting correctly helps the student produce the notes and tones without excess strain, and having a teacher reinforce key training techniques makes learning the music more efficient and easier.
Understanding the role of basic music theory concepts makes it easier for a student to play and experiment with sound later on.
Once a music student, always a student
An excellent music teacher is also a musician. Someone who not only shares their music knowledge but also creates and enjoys music for themselves. It’s not easy to understand a student’s needs unless you were once learning too. Effective instructors continue to learn as they teach. From their peers or in their own musical careers and these new lessons can be shared with their students. A love for music does not diminish, it evolves.
Find your Match
To find the right teacher for you or your child, know your goals! What do you want to learn, what kind of instrument or style. What kind of teaching or learning environment do you enjoy? If you know the answers to these questions, you can provide this info to your chosen music schools and they should be able to match you with the right teacher. Learning music takes time, but it also takes time to build a relationship with your teacher. Make sure you are learning in a positive environment.
“A good teacher is the one who is empathetic, has patience, positive attitude, and knows how to push you when required. They should also reward you when you achieve a certain level. All in all, they should make the learning fun and interesting.”
At Shine Music School we strive to match our teachers to each individual student, allowing for the most positive music educational environment. We have teachers who are professional musicians in a wide variety of musical genres, with years of experience sharing fundamental musical knowledge with their students.
We have teachers who are specialists in teaching very young students, as well as teachers with Music Therapy knowledge who understand how music can benefit students in all aspects of their lives.