This involves a discussion of the cognitive theory and an explanation of what is involved in playing the piano. Cognitive theory is based on the on the development of thought processes of a person. These thought processes are also reviewed in cognitive theory in a way to determine how they influence people on in their interactions with the rest of the world. Most of the things that people learn in life are influenced in one way or the other by the cognitive theory. The theory is one of learning theories that people come across in their lives (Sorensen, 2007). Such theories as the cognitive development theories, humanist theories, cognitive theories, social learning theories apply in some situations in the continuous learning process of a person's life. This paper focuses on the cognitive theory in the process of learning to play the piano. Cognitive development deals with the with processing of thoughts which includes; remembering, developing of solutions to certain problems as well decision making in the livelihood of someone from childhood all the way to adulthood (Stanley & Williamson, 2001). It involves the manner in which people perceive, think, and expand understanding of their environment as a result of their dealings with genetic as well as other acquired factors (Baars,1993).
The use of cognitive theory in explaining the learning of playing the piano has its own strengths and challenges. Among the strengths are; this is an activity that is very challenging to most people based on the fact that it involves the brain and other parts of the body such as the fingers, ears and eyes (Lewis, 1990). As a result, this is an exercise that involves the different thought processes of a person and as a result, the theory is at a very good position to offer a good explanation (Gilbert, 2004).
At the same time, among the major challenges of explaining the playing of the piano with the cognitive theory is the fact that this is an activity that does not require much thinking once someone becomes an expert. In playing the piano by the ear as it shall be explained later in this paper, the person playing the piano conditions his ears with certain characteristics of music concerned with the piano such as the pitch, melody and others and once he or she hears them, the message is communicated directly to the fingers which does the playing without necessarily involving the brain in much thinking and processing several commands to issue to the different parts of the body (Sorensen,2007).
Though majority of parents are of the opinion that involvement of their children into sporting activities is a perfect way of ensuring that their children become both socially and physically fit, there has been an increase in the number of parents who have come to realize that taking their children for music lessons can also have numerous activities. In these music classes, these children are taught among other things on how to play the piano (Sorensen,2007). This is an exercise that the child can undertake when lonely, sad or even happy and it is an exercise that makes a lot of difference in the child's personal life. Playing of the Piano can have so many benefits not only to the child but to other people as well and hence it's a exercise worth trying (Stanley & Williamson, 2001). The Piano is a very popular instrument in music. It is also a very powerful tool (educational) that can be applied in the life of a child to accelerate the rate of development and to the adults, this educational tool can be used to uphold as well as gaining benefits in an aging brain (Gilbert, 2004).
Playing the piano is a lot of fun and one can be able to reap a lot of benefits from this particular exercise. One get's self confidence, earn concentration skills, memory skills, confidence, dexterity, focus, coordination of hand and eye, and some social skills among other major benefits. In a piano lesson one is taught to read music lines, use of the two arms, ears, legs, all the fingers and brain making majority of body parts active. In regard to this, it is obvious that despite all the benefits that one stands to gain out of the exercise, it is a challenging one and not many can be able to succeed in it based on the fact that it needs a lot of concentration and dedication too. However, it is worth trying this particular exercise especially for the young people based on the fact that no other exercise gives someone an exercise of the skills mentioned in such a productive manner (Sorensen,2007).
As mentioned earlier there are so many benefits that one stands to gain out of engaging in him or her in a piano lesson. Engaging oneself in a piano lesson, one is not only learning on how to play the instrument, but the mental capacity of the learner expands as well based on the fact that this is a challenging activity. One is also able to improve his or her motor skills as well as coordination, it increases the self esteem of the learner, one is able to gain an appreciation of the works of art, the learner experiences a great emotion outlet and one can be able to develop as well as improve his or her self discipline (Sorensen,2007).
Musical training has been identified by a lot of scientific research as an exercise that yields a lot of benefits in relation to the human brain. Among some of the important things that have been mentioned in regard to this topic is that, it can help a lot in boosting the circuitry in the brain as well as increasing a number of functions of the brain (Mayer, 1998). A research conducted on children demonstrated that, children who incorporated music study in their learning activities; demonstrated better skills in reading, had a higher creativity level and acquired better grades in their schooling life. It has been observed by some psychologists that children who engaged in music lessons such as the playing of the piano demonstrated high levels of self confidence as well as high personal esteem (Sorensen,2007).
As mentioned earlier, learning to play the piano is a very challenging exercise and as a result becoming an expert in this particular field is not an easy task. There different kinds of knowledge that one needs to acquire in order to become an expert in this field. Such knowledge include; propositional, procedural, meta-cognitive and dispositional knowledge. In the normal life people usually says that somebody knows how to do or to carry out something. This state of knowing to do something is referred in the usual language as possessing some know-how. For instance, we can say that somebody knows how to play a piano or similarly this person may be termed as having the know-how to play the piano (William et al, 1994). One particular acquaintance that is relevant in this exercise is the procedural knowledge or the knowledge on how to do a certain thing. When somebody says that he or she knows how to play the piano, the person is stating that he or she has the procedural knowledge. For one to be able to play the piano in a more consistent and outstanding manner, procedural knowledge is very important (Baars,1993).
However, it is worth noting that the word know-how has been outshined by propositional knowledge. For one to succeed in playing the piano it is necessary that they acquire the propositional knowledge (Gilbert, 2004). This is the knowledge concerned with facts, knowledge that a thing is what it is and will not change. In music there are a number of facts or unquestionable truths. There some things that do not change in music or the piano and they remain that way and this is where the propositional knowledge applies (Sorensen,2007). It is possible for someone to be acquainted with all the relevant theories in regard to playing the piano (possessing propositional knowledge) and fails to know how to play the piano (possessing procedural knowledge). A combination of these proportional knowledge and procedural knowledge is important for one to become an expert in playing the piano (Baars,1993).
Another knowledge that will be necessary in learning how to play the piano is the meta-cognition knowledge which can be referred as 'knowing about knowing'. This kind of knowledge appears in multiple forms such as knowledge on how and when to apply particular strategies in learning or carrying out problem solving. There are basically three forms of meta-cognitive knowledge; personal knowledge, task knowledge, and strategy knowledge. All the three forms of energy are necessary in ensuring that one succeeds in learning on how to operate the piano perfectly (Clark et al, 1999). The personal knowledge is essential in realizing ones potential and cognition as well as understanding other people as processors on cognition. The task knowledge gives one the knowledge that diverse tasks need to be tackled and approached with different and unique skills and this does not exempt the learning of how to play the piano. Finally, the strategy knowledge deals with almost all of the meta-cognitive strategies and as a result this is the most used knowledge by learners and in this case the piano learners based on the fact that it enables on to plan, monitor and evaluate the entire process of learning the piano (Sorensen,2007).
In general, the meta-cognitive knowledge refers to the process of monitoring ones memory as well as self-regulation. It assists someone to maximize the potential to think, to learn and evaluate some of the moral rules. Taking for example the exercise of learning how to play the piano, it will take meta-cognition knowledge for one to realize that he or she has the potential to be able to learn music and how to play the piano (Clark et al, 1999). This is because not everyone can be able to understand the different rules and procedures that one needs to know in order to succeed in playing the piano (Gilbert, 2004). Through meta-cognition, one will be able to realize the points in which they have trouble or challenges learning and hence they will put more emphasis on these areas over the rest. For example, one of the challenges that people face when playing the piano is coordination of the two hands based on the fact that they are simply images of one another (Gilbert, 2004). It is also important to note when playing the piano the most active of all the organs is the brain because it needs to incorporate the music before communicating it the fingers for them to play the necessary keys (Baars,1993).
In life there is no single way to learn based on the fact that life is faced with a lot of experiences that one can learn from. There those experiences that have made a better impact on the lives of different people than others. At one point in our personal life and especially during our tender age, we have had experiences of new things that we are unable to comprehend the essence or the significance of such things (Hawley, 2003). At such an age there are things that do not make sense to us and it is through the assistance of our parents, teachers and other guardians that we start to develop a step by step process to assist us to understand better the meaning of such experiences (Baars,1993).
Cognitive theory assists someone in processing things or drawing things closer together through the different theories that it proposes (Hetherington, 2002). This is a theory that is concerned with the thoughts of an individual as the determining factor of their behaviors and emotions and hence personality (Strauss, 1997). According to most of the cognitive theorists, lack of the thought process would translate to non-functioning system based on the fact that there would be no behavior as well as emotions (Restle, 1977). By transforming the way we think, we can transform our mood, reduce our anxiety or progress our relationships among other things. We can transform our lives by engaging in things that benefit us (Sorensen,2007).
Piano theory refers the use of the piano and this entails the application of the instrument and this involves production of sound and this is all what music is all about. One common mistake among students is learning theory of music exclusively on paper (Gilbert, 2004). Hearing the music in ones ear before it is played on the piano is most important because the person playing the piano hears the music in his mind and this is communicated to the fingers which play the music that entertains the rest of the people (Restle, 1977). The piano theory is one of the most challenging things and the reason why this exercise is not common among many people in the society (Koethe, 2001).
It is one major reason why not so many people who play the piano are illiterate. Processing this theory is very challenging based on the fact that one needs to master certain rules in music and this needs a smart mind to do this (Nooteboom, 2009). The piano theory is one of the sections of this particular activity that can be explained in a good manner using the cognitive theory based on the fact that it requires some thought processes and creativity in coordinating different aspects needed to become an expert in this field of music (Restle, 1977).
The human brain navigates naturally towards what is assumed the easiest way of accomplishing any particular task (Strauss, 1997). This is the reason why the piano is not liked by many and as a result it is not a simple activity to undertake and emerge as an expert. It is very hard to learn music if at all you have never heard rudiments play in the ear of the mind (Nooteboom, 2009). Recognizing the harmonies is a crucial thing in learning the music and one way of carrying out this is through ear training (Restle, 1977). The playing of the piano involves a collection of different skills that are necessary all of which compliment as well as harmonize one another. One needs to master a number of these skills to play the piano by ear (Restle, 1979). This implies that the fingers are guided by the ears as one plays the piano and this is as a result of mastering all the scales of the piano making it to come automatically. One does not have to think about which notes belongs to which scale, the entire process comes automatically just like the way one learns to ride a bike (Sorensen,2007).
One may also use melodies to master the notes in the piano and as a result, the ears will be programmed in such a way one can play the piano without even thinking much about it, the ears are already coordinating properly with fingers and as a result the music comes (Gilbert, 2004).