The subject of music theory divides most musicians into two camps, one supportive of it and the other against. Those who are against music theory claim that it inhibits creativity and stunts the natural development of music. Clearly, others disagree with this claim. Regardless of which side of the line you fall on, there are some undeniable benefits that learning music theory provides to piano players. Here are 3 of the most important.
Makes Learning Easier
Even pianists in the 18th century were taught music theory to enable them to understand the operations of music and its structure. This knowledge formed a foundation upon which they were able to compose pieces of music with combinations of effects and components.
As the beginner begins to grow more knowledgeable of music theory, he’ll begin to recognize certain patterns of chords and scales. They’ll make sense, and rather than simply appearing to be a blob in front of him, he’ll be able to recall them from memory as a certain series of notes. Reading notes is essential if the beginning pianist every wants to compose music of his own.
It Enhances Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking takes hearing music to the next level. Two people could listen to the same piece, and one could simply enjoy it (or not enjoy it as the case may be) while the other could listen to it and have the ability to pinpoint ways that the piece could be improved through the use of critical thinking.
Musical theory enables you to better understand what you hear, and to speak about it more intelligently. There are different scales, melodies, nuances, and other aspects of a musical piece that only someone knowledgeable in music theory would be able to pick up on.
It Makes Your Musical Journey More Enjoyable
When you are able to grasp the why and how something works within a musical piece, you’re able to get the most enjoyment out of it. A deep understanding of music theory unlocks the ability to use different notes, scales, rhythms, and melodies, for your own use.
Without a solid foundation in music theory, you’d be unable to read or understand music sheets, making it impossible to play. It would require you to listen to someone else playing the piece in order to figure out how to play it yourself. You’d also be unable to share your compositions with other musicians, music that you’ve painstakingly worked on and perfected. What a shame to deprive the world of your contribution to its musical heritage.