Omar Vilalta, pianist and teacher


"There are teachers and there are teachers. Some impart knowledge and some impart a whole way of being in creative expression. Omar is the latter. His teaching style is tangible and effective as he provides a way of learning that brings immediate gratification. Which in turn stirs the creativity for working on your own. The fact that he is a working musician in the industry brings a different and relevant energy to any teacher student interaction. Who ever learns from him will, with hard work find their own musical, creative voice."

The relationship between a pianist and their piano is a unique and special one, characterized by intimacy, personal connection, and emotional expression.


Insight Studio


21 October 2023


Music, Teaching, Art

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Why play the piano? And what are the benefits of playing piano?

The piano requires a fair amount of concentration to learn and master, so is great for those who are quiet, conscientious and intelligent. Social people who want to share their love of music with others usually won't love the piano, as it takes several years of practice to get to where it can be played with others. The bond between a pianist and their instrument is a deeply intimate and profound connection. Playing the piano not only produces beautiful music, but it also creates a personal relationship with the instrument. This connection can bring solace during difficult times, providing a sanctuary to retreat to and find inner peace. The relationship between a pianist and their piano can be a source of strength, a way to cope with life’s challenges, and a means of expressing emotions. Playing the piano can be a powerful tool for combating sadness and melancholy. The act of creating music can be therapeutic, providing an outlet for emotions and a way to connect with one’s innermost thoughts and feelings. For those who struggle with depression or anxiety, playing the piano can be a way to alleviate symptoms and improve mental well-being. While performing for an audience can be a rewarding experience, playing the piano is also incredibly fulfilling when done in private. The intimacy between a pianist and their piano allows for self-expression and personal growth, without the pressure or scrutiny of others. This can be particularly enjoyable for introverted personalities who may find comfort in the quiet companionship of their instrument.

What are the benefits of learning to play the piano? Cognitive scientist Dr Jennifer MacRitchie believes that learning piano for even a short time can lead to improved working memory function and dexterity. How does playing piano improve memory? Throughout their lives, pianists will learn thousands of musical patterns. These patterns are then retrieved with lightning speed when the performer sits down to play. With time, pianists can add their own nuance to the patterns, finessing them to provide the exact expression they want to convey. They can even improvise with musical patterns, putting different ones together on the spot. To MacRitchie, this is all evidence of excellent working memory function, the same function we use when we recall words in conversation, or hold numbers in our head during calculations. How does playing piano improve coordination? The coordination required to perform everyday tasks like writing a note or preparing food tend to deteriorate with age. Playing piano might help maintain this dexterity into older age. It is certainly the case that pianists develop the coordination of their non-dominant hand to a point that is detectable using brain imaging. Where our dominant hands are usually represented in our brain more strongly than our non-dominant hands, pianists' brains will have a more equal representation of both hands. In other words, they develop ambidexterity, the ability to use both hands equally well.