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Sharon Bernson

private lessons near Ashburn

Six Benefits of Private Music Lessons on Teen Mental Health

Six Benefits of Private Music Lessons on Teen Mental Health 1920 1280 Sharon Bernson

In addition to the urge to conform, hormonal surges, and increasing academic and extracurricular pressures, today’s teens face stressors their parents never had to deal with. Teens often lack the skills or coping mechanisms to handle these stressors healthily. There are incredible mental and emotional benefits to learning an instrument. The Music Loft offers private lessons near Ashburn which can provide many of these benefits.

Immediate Stress Reduction

Teens require outlets for emotional expression to feel understood. Learning to play an instrument can serve as an ideal means to express feelings and release pent-up tension. Similar to a cathartic cry, playing music can evoke a much-needed release of stress and emotions.

Enhanced Cognitive Development

Exercising your brain is crucial for maintaining mental sharpness. Learning and playing an instrument provides a cognitive workout that can enhance memory, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and attention span. These skills are particularly valuable for handling challenging academic demands effectively.

Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence

Part of the challenges teens face includes the need to build confidence and a sense of capability. By dedicating themselves to mastering an instrument, teens can learn to overcome obstacles. This achievement often boosts self-esteem, positively influencing their social interactions and school performance. Our private lessons near Ashburn can help instill self-esteem and confidence in teens to help them be successful.


Learning an instrument demands regular practice, which builds resilience by overcoming its inherent challenges. This resilience, in turn, boosts confidence and self-esteem. Music lessons set off a chain reaction of positive mental health benefits!

Emotional Regulation

Playing music can assist teens not only in expressing emotions but also in regulating them. Research indicates that teenagers participating in music therapy often exhibit a deeper understanding of their emotions compared to their peers. Moreover, they develop effective skills to manage these emotions. This ability becomes particularly crucial during turbulent teenage years when emotional regulation is essential.


Music lessons foster community and a sense of belonging that every teen seeks. Establishing a mentorship with a skilled teacher can boost a teen’s confidence to join a band or take part in a recital. Having a supportive environment outside of school, where they can connect with a trusted adult and share common interests with peers, is invaluable for fostering a sense of belonging.

Private Lessons Near Ashburn

If you are looking to learn a new instrument or enhance your skills as a musician, The Music Loft is here to help. Please contact us at (703) 956-6563 or to schedule a free trial lesson.

Why Good Piano Technique is Important

Why Good Piano Technique is Important 1920 1280 Sharon Bernson

When we learn a new skill, be it a sport, craft, or driving, we begin by mastering good technical skills, allowing us to progress quickly and confidently. Traditional methods of learning the piano are sometimes thought of as not enjoyable or tedious. However, if good technique is not learned properly, it can either cause learners to quickly hit a plateau and feel stuck in their progress or it can cause pain-related injuries in the player’s hands. It is paramount that students embrace the development of technical skills such as correct hand position and posture. The Music Loft offers piano lessons in Ashburn for children and adults who would like to learn this popular foundational instrument.

Benefits of Developing Good Technique

Focusing on developing good technical skills from the very beginning offers significant benefits. While proper technique can feel challenging at first, it becomes easier and more like second nature over time. If you don’t have proper technique in the beginning, you won’t have a solid foundation to build upon, so it’s worth taking the time to learn the right technique to set you up for success. The Music Loft teaches piano lessons in Ashburn that can help provide students with good technique alongside the fundamentals of piano. 

What are Good Foundations in Piano Technique?

When learning a musical instrument, physicality is key. Here are some tips to keep your body in an optimal playing position:

Hand Position

Press the keys straight down with your fingertips, keeping your fingers curved. You can also imagine curling your fingers around a ball and using the side of your thumb to hit the keys. Maintain a neutral wrist position with a supported knuckle bridge or arch shape, and ensure your forearms are level with your wrists.

Posture and Bench Height

Sit up straight and comfortably on the front half of a piano bench, centered to the width of the keyboard and facing the piano squarely. Relax your shoulders, arms, feet, and wrists while keeping your back straight. Your elbows should be slightly in front of your center line, and your feet should touch the floor.

Playing with Dynamics

Vary your touch and volume to create shades and contrasts in your playing, adding depth and emotion. Experiment with playing hard and holding, raising your finger slowly, or playing soft and long to achieve different dynamic effects.

The initial focus should be on helping pianists gain freedom of movement across the entire keyboard. This approach keeps all the joints flexible and allows the exploration of more musically satisfying pieces. Once acquired, these skills become lifelong assets.

Piano Lessons in Ashburn

If you are looking to learn a new instrument or enhance your skills as a musician, The Music Loft is here to help. Please contact us at (703) 956-6563 or to schedule a free trial lesson.

Benefits of Learning Music

Benefits of Learning Music 1920 1280 Sharon Bernson

There have been numerous studies that have linked music to healthy brain development, academic success, social skills, self-esteem, physical health, and emotional intelligence. The Music Loft is the best music school in Northern Virginia and can help you reach your full musical potential. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these benefits.

Brain Development

Exposing music to your brain stimulates various areas of the brain, including those responsible for language processing, spatial-temporal skills, and executive functions. Engaging in any musical activity helps to strengthen neural connections, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities and improved problem-solving skills.

Motor Skills Development

Learning an instrument develops both fine and gross motor skills. The fine motor skills you use to hold a pencil or tie your shoelaces are strengthened as playing an instrument develops your hand-eye coordination and ability to make connections between placing fingers in the correct place on your instrument.  Gross motor skills allow people to walk, run, and dance. Playing an instrument requires balance, hand-eye coordination, and motor sequencing.  Drummers, for example, use all of their arms and legs to play which uses all of their motor skills. 

Academic Development

In an 2019 article published by the American Psychological Association students who played a musical instrument throughout High School scored significantly higher on exams compared to students who did not participate in music.

“On average, the children who learned to play a musical instrument for many years, and were now playing in high school band and orchestra, were the equivalent of about one academic year ahead of their peers concerning their English, mathematics, and science skills, as measured by their exam grades.”- American Psychological Association. 

Article: “A Population-Level Analysis of Associations Between School Music Participation and Academic Achievement,” by Martin Guhn, PhD, Scott D. Emerson, MSc, and Peter Gouzouasis, PhD, The University of British Columbia. Journal of Educational Psychology. Published online June 20, 2019. The Music Loft is the best music school in Northern Virginia and our curriculum is designed to provide the musician with the highest caliber of instruction on their chosen instrument.

Social Development

Participating in a vibrant music community is imperative for students’ well-being and emotional growth. A shared musical experience bisects language barriers, cultural differences, and socio-economic differences to create a community. Students come together to create music which requires a common effort, both emotionally and technically. Students can be at various levels of achievement however ensemble playing gives all students some level of responsibility for themselves, for one another, and the greater good of the ensemble. Ensembles require children to engage by allowing themselves to embrace personal and group goals and challenges. For preteens and teenagers, being in an ensemble during this crucial period of development can be an important anchor. An ensemble that is a good fit for a child becomes a safe shared place for them emotionally, and being in music, especially with friends and peers, helps them become positive, healthy young adults. 

Best Music School in Northern Virginia

If you are looking to learn a new instrument or enhance your skills as a musician, The Music Loft, nominated for the Best of Auburn awards in 2023 and 2024, is here to help. Please contact us at (703) 956-6563 or to schedule a free trial lesson.

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