5 Benefits of Learning the Piano
If you or your children are interested in learning how to play the piano, then you probably already love music. You envision the joy and magic that happens when you start to make your own beautiful music! But did you know that there are other benefits of learning to play the piano that go far beyond musical appreciation? There are five fascinating physical and mental advantages that musicians of all ages can appreciate!
Benefit #1: Improves mental health
Music has the power to reduce negative emotions. Not only can playing music be calming and relaxing, but music has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. This has been shown in studies, especially among those aged 65 and above. One study found that older people who played music reported greater independence, feeling less isolated, and higher self-esteem. Another study examined the amount of anxiety, loneliness, and depression that senior citizens experienced. Those who participated in piano classes were measurably less lonely, depressed, and anxious.
Benefit #2: Enhances speech and language
Reading music can enhance language development. One major study has indicated that piano lessons affect language development. The children in the study showed “improvements in word discrimination, particularly for consonants.” This essentially means that the children were better able to distinguish pitches and discern between spoken words. The authors of the study concluded that piano lessons are at least as valuable as extra reading lessons, if not slightly more valuable.
Scientists also believe that music can help children with dyslexia improve their ability to learn and process speech.
Benefit #3: Increases brain function
Music uses and stimulates every area of the brain! Students — both children and adults — who receive music lessons have been shown to raise their IQ and test scores. In adults, playing music also increases neural connections in the brain, increasing overall brain function.
This is especially important for senior citizens. As we age, we experience certain losses in how we function, including cognition and motor control. These changes can also deeply affect mood. Musical training has been found to protect against such age-related issues by reducing cognitive impairments and auditory declines and even reducing the chances of experiencing dementia. An author of one study found that six months of piano lessons improved the brain’s functioning and memory in older adults.
Benefit #4: Cultivates social opportunities and self-esteem
Students who are accustomed to playing piano in front of others generally develop increased social confidence. Plus, knowing how to read music lets students share in other social opportunities like bands or music groups.
For older adults, music is a great way to combat loneliness and increase happiness by finding new friends with this shared interest. It’s also believed playing the piano can make it easier for seniors to get out, which reduces isolation. Playing music improves visual memory, which makes it easier to complete activities like driving and walking through crowded areas. Since isolation and loneliness cause significant mental and physical health problems, the ability to be around others cannot be underestimated.
Benefit #5: Improves concentration
Playing the piano is a brain workout! Children who play an instrument generally spend 20-30 minutes each day, and this practice not only enhances their ability to concentrate, but it transfers to other areas of their education and lives as well.
Even adults experience improved concentration, as playing the piano is a terrific brain “workout” that enhances concentration and focus. People often experience losses in brain function as they age, and playing the piano is thought to be one way to protect against such losses. Working out the brain can create positive results by altering the brain’s neural pathways and creating plasticity effects.
Play a piano you love
Are you ready to embark on a new adventure? Experience how bringing a piano into your home can enrich your life in so many ways. For hundreds of years, the piano has served as the foundation of families and communities thanks to its deep cultural and historical traditions. Carry on these customs while creating new traditions in your home.
At Classic Pianos, our team of experienced piano specialists are ready to guide you through our vast selection of new and used pianos until you find the one that’s right for you, no matter where you are on your musical journey! Contact us online or call 503-239-9969 today.