Piano in DC pit deserves plenty

The piano located in Durham College’s Pit unites students with song.

Students and staff have tickled the ivories but more should be done to support the piano.

Sheet music should be provided and music workshops should be held in DC’s Pit. Musical and events will help pianists from all levels learn and play songs.

Offering students the option to learn new pieces and to develop their skills is beneficial. Studies show learning the piano teaches valuable and transferable skills. Academic success, lower stress levels and improved concentration result from playing the piano.

In 2004, a study in the Journal of Educational Psychology linked the IQ of music-playing students to academic success. College students who had a history of playing music were found to have a two point IQ increase over their peers.

An article posted by the National Library of Medicine in 2013 found depression, mental illness and stress levels were reduced when playing the piano. The study was geared toward older adults but recognized the significance of learning the piano at any age.

Additionally, playing the piano was described by scientists as a ‘full body workout.’ TED educator Dr. Anita Collins conducted a brain scan study of musicians playing the piano. She said multiple areas of the brain are engaged when playing the instrument and it strengthens an individual’s concentration, focus and discipline abilities.

If sheet music is added to the piano in the Pit, more opportunities to learn will be created.

Beginner music books, scores and chords should be placed on the music rack of the piano. Old or unwanted music books can be brought in and shared between students.

Experienced students can teach non-musicians how to play and build a relationship with the piano. A bin could sit next to the instrument with sorted music for different styles and experience levels. This installation would give students the appropriate resources to take initiative in their own learning.

A music event could be held in the pit once every few months to celebrate the piano and other instruments.

Music teachers and professionals in the industry could be invited to bring in extra keyboards, guitars, drums and other instruments to teach students and faculty. The knowledge learned in these workshops would encourage students to continue playing and learning every time they walk into the Pit. This event would inspire and motivate the community of DC to have a greater appreciation for student participation in music education.

The piano is universal instrument which connects students and faculty with song. It is important to support this natural connection, because without this sharp link, we’d all fall flat.