Beyond the Music: Lessons Learned as a Suzuki Piano Student

Quinn Sweetzir is a former Edmonton Suzuki Piano School student and Book 7 graduate who studied with Tim Eckert. We asked him to reflect on his experience as an ESPS student and some of the skills he developed at the piano .

There is much to be gained from learning an instrument and it’s not just about a love of music, playing ability, or even impressing your friends. Looking back on my experience as a student at Edmonton Suzuki Piano School, I realized just how learning to play the piano helped me develop skills which help me daily. So, without further ado, here are 5 examples.

  1. Patience: In learning piano, there are inevitably going to be times when a student is struggling to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Piano taught me that with enough time and effort, challenges can always be defeated as long as you are patient enough to stick with them.
  2. Goal-Setting: Having a general idea for what you want to achieve in the long run can be pretty easy but figuring out the steps to help you get there is often more difficult. In piano, the long-term goal could be learning a piece and the steps could include learning each hand separately before putting them together. Understanding that everything can’t be accomplished at once and how to set goals within goals is something important I learned as a student with ESPS.
  3. Commitment: Ultimately, being successful at the piano comes down to commitment to regular practice. It’s time consuming and challenging nature taught me to focus on what’s important and to make sure I’m committed to progressively improving at something.
  4. Problem Solving: As I mentioned, having goals within goals is important, but what if someone can’t solve the small goals with the usual methods? Problems like these can be incredibly taxing, so identifying outside the box solutions is an important skill in piano and the outside world.
  5. Focus: One of the most important skills for someone learning piano is the ability to focus. Concentrating on very specific areas is an essential part of learning piano, and a skill which I steadily improved at over the course of the Suzuki repertoire. This has benefited me a lot in my post-Suzuki endeavours.