The Benefits of Playing the Piano...
Playing the piano has many health benefits, both physical and mental. Not only does playing provide you with a fantastic skill to enjoy and share with others, it relieves stress, stimulates the brain, improves language skills, enhances split concentration and increases neural connections- just to name a few. It takes commitment and perseverance to learn, but continue reading below to find out why it is so worth it!
Learning to play the piano is a complex activity that requires many different skills to be understood and learnt. It requires pattern recognition, memory, visual and auditory perception, and kinesthetic control. As such, there are many cognitive benefits for learners of all ages, supported by several groundbreaking studies...
Technology such as MRI scans have shown that multiple areas of the brain light up when playing music- so much more than when undertaking other activities. Playing strengthens the brain, improving our ability to focus and apply knowledge. It is like a whole body workout, just for the brain! Watch a short, animated video on TED to hear more about this fascinating research. It isn't surprising that playing the piano triggers increased concentration, patience and discipline in other areas of our lives such as school work.
Research has also provided evidence that playing an instrument has a positive impact on the aging process; those who play suffer less from memory and inner ear hearing loss in later life compared to non-musicians. You can read more about this research on ABC news.
Playing helps students develop coordination, in particular hand-eye coordination, as they learn how to use both of their hands in entirely different ways, at the same time as reading two different lines of music simultaneously; this helps sharpen the nervous system and aids in keeping children's brains developing further.
A study has shown that playing the piano reduces stress more so than other creative art activities! Many adult learners find being able to sit and express their emotions through the piano really rewarding, and knowing that cortisol levels are being reduced too is even better! Read more here.
Playing the piano is a great way to boost self-esteem! Performances and exams may be nerve-wracking but give a great sense of accomplishment and make the whole process worthwhile. If a student maintains their piano lessons, and continue to move ever higher on the difficulty ladder, their recitals can take on even greater significance, perhaps even leading to a life-long career in professional music.