Are there any benefits of learning the piano? Definitely, in fact there are several very important ways that playing an instrument can improve your life. Many of them are quite surprising.
Read on to find out about 10 of them.
10 unexpected benefits of learning the piano
Learning the piano will improve most aspects of your health and well being. The body of scientific evidence, that shows that learning to play an instrument brings lifelong benefits, is growing every year.
The fact that it is no longer necessary to put someone in a medical scanner to watch brain activity has allowed researchers to study the changes in the brain that occur when somebody plays the piano. This has enabled them to come up with hard data that proves learning to play the keyboard, organ or piano is very good for you.
Playing the piano improves your cognitive abilities
There are many scientific studies, which show that playing the piano enhances brain function.
This is the case regardless of how old you are. It does not matter whether you are young or old when you play your levels of brain activity increases significantly.
However, learning to play a musical instrument brings particular benefits for the development of the brain in the young. In fact, one recent Canadian study showed that taking music lessons prior to the age of 14 improved cognitive powers by about 20%.
Playing the piano reduces stress
The fact that playing the piano relaxes the mind means that is is also a great stress reliever. Even thought the mind is busier than normal when playing, it is busy in a good way.
All of your focus is on playing, which switches off some of the negative things that may be happening in your head. The more you enjoy playing the keyboard, organ or piano the more effective it will be at relieving stress for you.
Learning the piano helps you to build muscle
Now I can see some of you scratching your head at this one. It surprised me when I first read about it, but playing the piano really does help you to build muscle.
This is because the level of human growth hormone in your body is increased when you play the piano. A research team working out of the University of Miami were the first to discover this strange phenomenon.
It is even more surprising when you consider the fact that the study was looking the impact playing a musical instrument had on the elderly, and the aging process. It came as a surprise to everyone to discover that those in the piano playing group saw their HGH levels rise by a whooping 90%.
Given the fact that Human Growth Hormone is one of the components you need to gain muscle, playing the piano really can help you to keep the muscle you have. With exercise, your body will use HgH to put on more muscle.
Play the piano to improve your concentration levels
Piano lesson helps to improve your concentration levels. While playing piano, you are concentrating on several things at once. You are reading the music, playing the notes, listening to the sound you produce, as well as thinking about what comes next.
Not to mention the fact that your hands are actually doing two things at once. Sure, they are both pressing the keys, but normally they are playing two different sets of notes. Often, your feet are involved too.
Without a doubt to play well you have to learn how to focus. Which means that piano players concentration skills always improve.
Playing the keyboard aids creativity
Surprisingly, there is strong evidence that playing the piano or keyboard develops your creativity. Psychological studies have found that people who are experienced piano players use both sides of their brain at the same time. They have to do so in order to listen to the tune they are playing and co-ordinate their hands.
The fact that both sides of the mind are used means that the creative side of the brain is stimulated in a way that it is not normally in day to day life. For this reason, people who play the piano regularly, often become more creative.
Piano playing improves hand eye coordination
If you read sheet music, when you play the piano, your hand eye coordination will also be improved. This is because what you see on the page has to be quickly interpreted and turned into action by the hands.
Naturally, if you play by ear you do not get this particular benefit. However, you will be improving other abilities. For example, your listening, and observational skills will increase greatly.
Playing music eases loneliness
Playing piano music is a great way to cure the social pain that is loneliness. Loneliness affects you mental health badly, so if you are feeling lonely it is very important to do something about that situation.
Making music with others is a great way to ease loneliness. It gives you a common purpose that brings you together and gets you socializing again. If you join a local club, band or orchestra you will likely be invited to trips out or will travel with others to perform.
Even if you cannot get out of the house you can still use your piano playing skills to reach out to others, and find the company you crave. For example, you can give piano lessons over Skype or even join an online collaborative orchestra.
Helps you to become more empathetic
Sadly, in the modern world we spend quite a bit of our day in an irritated state. We get impatient standing in queues or sitting in traffic. The noise of the person next to you on the train drives you nuts. That persistent ad you keep getting on your phone has gotten more than a bit annoying…..you get the picture…. so I am going to stop listing the annoyances now, before I start getting on your nerves too.
The problem is that this agitated, irritable, impatient state becomes our norm. We spend so much time in that state that it becomes who we are. The fact we spend so much of our day in this state of mind makes us harder as people, less caring, less empathetic.
Playing the piano is a great way to lift yourself out of that state. When you play you engage with the music and start to release some of that negative pent up emotion.
In addition, you start to express some positive emotions through your playing. When you play a light, bright piece, you feel happy and joyful. Whereas, if you play a sad piece you feel a little sorrowful.
Playing helps you to express and experience a range of emotions that you would not otherwise feel. It broadens your emotional horizons, and can make you a more reflective person. If you let it playing music can give you the ability to better understand how others feel, and become a more thoughtful and empathetic person, as a result.
Studies, show that children who play in an orchestra or band are generally more empathetic than those who do not. There is research going on to find out if letting prisoners play music can improve how they feel, and respond to others.
Playing the piano improves language skills
Studies show that children who learn to play the piano have a broader vocabulary than those who don’t. This is definitely the case if they start to learn to play before the age of 7. Adults that have piano training have also been shown to be able to learn a second language than those who do not play.
This is thought to be because the areas of the brain that are stimulated when you play are those that are used to learn a new language. Studies into this connection are ongoing, so expect to see this page updated once we see more results published.
Playing keyboard improves hearing
As we already mentioned, playing an instrument improves your listening skills, but did you realize that it can also help those that suffer from hearing loss? In 2013, Nina Kraus, a highly qualified professor of otolaryngology, and several other connected disciplines, carried out an interesting study. She found that musicians with hearing loss were able to better cope with noisy environments than those who could not play an instrument.
Musicians, who suffered from hearing loss, were better able to filter out background noise, and focus on the spoken word than the non-musicians were. They had the ability to recognize which part of the general hubbub were important and hone in on it, so they could follow what was being said. They were only able to do this because that is what they had been doing with music, for years.
The professor, and several other hearing experts, are exploring whether adults with hearing loss who start to learn to play the piano or other instruments could improve their ability to cope. Of course, the act of learning to play and instrument will not reverse the physical damage that led to the hearing loss. However, playing an instrument does exercise the parts of the brain used to take what is heard, and translate it into something the brain understands. The net result being that the ability to understand more of what is going on is improved. Studies into this are ongoing, so we will update you when we see more of the results.
The other benefits
As you can see the benefits of playing the piano are many, and varied. If you have not yet started to learn to play we strongly urge you to do so, the sooner you start the faster you will benefit.
A great way to get started
If you want to learn piano, just click the link. You will be taken to an innovative way to learn to play piano called Playground Session, and begin to reap the benefits of doing so.
The great thing about this particular piano learning resource is that it is fun. You get to learn to play using modern music. Popular songs that you already know well, which helps to speed up the learning process.
It is one of the most innovative ways to learn to play the piano. The creators of this program have used new technology to provide you with lessons that can be tailored to your skill level. You learn at your own pace, and the program checks progress and tells you how to improve fast.