Letters From Readers

All children should take piano lessons

to the editor
I started taking piano lessons when I was five years old and continued to take lessons into my late teens. All of those many years I took lessons from Alice Sjoquist, who died recently. I wish I could have told her that the lessons she taught me, both in piano and in life, I am still using today. The effort I put into lessons was well worth the return I have experienced later in life. I never thought that I would become a music teacher and have the privilege to teach young children the love of music. Through my years of teaching children music, I have concluded that learning to play the piano is an essential skill that more children need to learn. All children should take piano lessons because the piano is a great first instrument to learn, it helps develop a lifelong love of music, and it is proven to make you smarter.
There are many skills that playing the piano teaches you such as self-discipline, patience, coordination, and memorization. These skills are invaluable later in life as an adult. While other instruments may teach the same skills, there are other benefits to learning the piano. The piano does a better job of teaching musical concepts such as rhythm, melody, and harmony. It teaches all aspects of music theory which is beneficial when learning to play any other instrument.
When you learn to play piano, it helps develop your love of music. The learning curve is not as steep as other instruments, and children are almost at once rewarded by being able to play songs that the whole family can enjoy. Playing the piano helps to relieve stress and improve your mood. Children can learn to appreciate different styles and genres of music through the piano.
Playing the piano has been proven to make you smarter. Playing an instrument alters your brain by adding new neural connections and keeping your brain fit. Research shows that playing a musical instrument is like a full body workout for the brain. Other musical instruments may have some of these same benefits as piano, but only the piano can tie them all together in one neat package. My students who are taking piano lessons are better academically than other students. They have more confidence and are not afraid to perform in front of a crowd. The same benefits can also be enjoyed by adults who learn to play piano later in life.
There are countless reasons to learn to play the piano. The benefits are many and will be appreciated when you are older. The piano is a great instrument to learn, and it is fun to play. The benefits of playing piano will continue throughout your life, and if you choose to share them as Mrs. Sjoquist did, the piano can become a part of your legacy.

Nathan Duncan
Post Falls, Idaho
Former resident
of North Branch

Thank you to Apple Festival helpers

to the editor
Thanks to everyone who helped with the Almelund Apple Festival. We use this event each year to introduce history to children in a fun environment.
Volunteers are the backbone of an event like this! Thanks to all who provided the setup, clean up, entertainment and all the great food at this festival.
We appreciate every minute you helped making this successful! This is our 24th year — we’re already planning for the 25th the third Sunday in September 2018 — so mark your calendars now!
Apple Festival Committee

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