SCHOOL OF MUSIC
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5 Facts About The Piano
There are few activities more rewarding than learning to play the piano. While it is an amazingly complex instrument
that takes years to master, it can also be fun for players of all levels. One of the greatest aspects about the piano
is that it is immediately approachable and very versatile.
This is due in part to the wide selection of music available
for piano, which spans many different styles and genres.
Here are 5 unique and interesting facts about the piano that you may not know:
a piano may seem like a simple instrument to operate, it has more than 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which are moving. The extensive
number of moving parts is one reason why tuning a piano can be such an involved process.
2.) The piano has earned the moniker
“The King of Instruments” primarily for its wide tonal range. The piano can reach the lowest note of the contrabassoon
and the highest note of the piccolo. There is no other orchestral instrument that can match its complete tonal range.
standard piano has about 230 strings, each of which has about 165 pounds of tension. The combined tension of the strings is
more than 18 tons. For the concert grand piano, that number increases to more than 30 tons.
4.) Piano keys were originally made
from ivory, thus the origin of the phrase, “tickle the ivories.” This lasted until the 1950s, when cost and environmental
concerns caused piano makers to switch to plastic keys.
5.) A new
piano needs to be tuned at least four times in the first year. Seasonal changes in temperature and humidity will cause the
piano to go out of tune. After the first year, it should be tuned twice a year. (Courtesy of Sheet Music Plus)
reveals practicing a musical instrument helps children focus and plan ahead
study published by researchers at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine provides more evidence of the benefits
music can bring to children and young people.
According to the examination of 232 brain scans of children aged six to 18, lead
by Professor James Hudziak, practicing a musical instrument positively influences developments in the brain which help children
to cope with emotions, improve attentiveness and sharpen executive functions.
Concretely, the Professor of Psychiatry’s
study revealed that a positive activity, such as playing music, impacted the development of the cortex, the brain’s
outer layer. Hudziak previously discovered that cortical thickening in certain areas of the brain is linked with the development
of psychological problems like anxiety, attention difficulties and behavioral issues. The study’s authors noted that
practicing music had a beneficial effect on “executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as
well as organization and planning for the future.”
Hudziak suggested that giving a child a violin may
be more helpful in dealing with anxiety than a bottle of pills. “We treat things that result from negative things, but
we never try to use positive things as a treatment,” Hudziak said.
One major difficulty with this
approach identified by the study is that in the US, three quarters of high school students do not take any musical or extracurricular
tuition. Allowing children to secure the benefits of music practice would require considerably expanding access to music lessons
by increasing funding.
Over 100 recital videos are now on YouTube! Visit "Sweet Sounds
for You" to see you and your friends performing at past recitals!
Recital videos are also available on facebook!