How Does Playing The Piano Boost Your Brain?
Music does a lot more than offering mere entertainment. It soothes your soul and refreshes your mind. When you’re playing an instrument like the piano, you may think you’re solely seeking your favorite getaway and expressing your inner creativity. However, playing the piano has a lot more scientifically proven physical and mental benefits, some of which we have listed here. Read on to find out!
How Playing The Piano Boosts Your Brain
Developing Higher Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to identify and acknowledge emotions in yourself as well as in others and using them to think. Before you learn and play the piano, you have to listen to a piece of music carefully to understand its shifts and changes.
Such meticulous listening also makes you more aware of your surroundings. You become conscious while having conversations. You notice the subtle change of tone in your friend’s voice. All of these observations enable you to become a more empathetic person by having a positive impact on your emotional intelligence.
Better Mental Health
When you sit to play the piano, you block out everything around you as you delve into the world of notes and keys. It takes you to a different universe where you’re solely absorbed in the flow of rhythm, losing track of time and space. This state of mind is well-connected to good mental health and increased well-being.
Not all music compositions have that power, though. Some pieces are stronger than others. While one piano piece may strike you as lively and cheerful, another may take you into a world of calmness.
Composed by Ludovico Eunadi, ‘Elegy for the Arctic’ is one such composition with a relaxing tone and soothing melody. Once you learn and master this piece, you’ll experience what muscle memory feels like as your fingers remain in perfect control.
According to studies, playing the piano helps mitigate stress. People playing the piano tend to face relatively less anxiety than people who don’t. Try to play the piano every day, even if it is for a few minutes. You’ll notice how you feel more positive about everything happening in your life.
Playing the piano can also help lower your blood pressure and improve self-confidence. Oh, did you know playing the piano is used as a common type of therapy for patients suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)?
Developed Multitasking Skills
Regularly playing the piano makes you better at multitasking. Here’s how.
When you’re learning the piano, you master something called split concentration or divided attention. This ability helps you hone your concentration skills. That is because while you’re reading sheet music, using both hands, and listening to the chords you’re playing, you’re doing a lot at once.
All of it increases your multitasking ability and not just while playing the piano. With practice, you’ll gradually notice how your split concentration abilities extend beyond the world of music.
Neuroplasticity refers to the capacity of the neural networks in your brain to create and rearrange synaptic connections, which generally occur in response to a certain experience or learning. Simply put, the brain adapts to the changes in your surroundings by forming new neural connections stimulated by physical activity. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity.
According to studies, music plays a huge role in stimulating the brain. So, while you’re playing the piano, your brain is constantly adding new neural connections. This prepares your brain for several other types of communications. As a result, when you’re practicing a particularly difficult piece, you’re improving your focus, honing your muscle memory, and also working on speech and language.
By the way, did you know that practicing the piano from an early age can form permanent structural changes to your brain that help you improve your overall concentration?
Developed Mathematical Ability
Music theory is essentially based on mathematics. Therefore, counting music rhythms and reading sheet music requires mathematical skills.
Various studies report that students playing an instrument generally perform better in quantitative tests as compared to students who don’t. So, while playing the piano may be fun and engaging, it can also sharpen your mathematical expertise.
Increased Human Growth Hormones (HGH)
According to WebMD, the pituitary gland produces a substance called human growth hormone (HGH), which is responsible for children’s growth. Moreover, HGH also helps control sugar level, body fluids, body composition, bone and muscle growth, and fat metabolism.
Several studies report that students partaking in piano lessons have increased amounts of HGH in their bodies. HGH helps keep your energy level up and improve cognitive functions.
Playing The Piano - Bonus Benefits
Now that we have firmly established that playing the piano does, in fact, help to boost your brain, you might still wonder what other benefits there are in this beautiful art form. Guess what, we’ve listed those, too.
Improved Academic Performance
Did you know children who learn the piano for 2 years (or more) can retain 20% more vocabulary words as compared to their contemporaries?
Studies report that middle and high-school students who partake in playing the piano have better spatial cognitive development as compared to those who don’t. Students who were involved in instrumental music were also seen to score higher on standardized tests. Therefore, if you take piano lessons as a child, you’ll be able to retain information in your head longer than your peers do.
Moreover, in this oddly turbulent world, the value of concentration is increasing by the minute. Playing the piano improves your concentration skills by helping you focus.
Enhanced Reading Skills
When you first looked at the English alphabets as a child, they sure didn’t look like symbols you could read and write. Similarly, learning to read sheet music takes time. You would require patience and dedication to train your reading skills and take it a step further. Consequently, you focus and become adept at one more language, thus enhancing your overall reading skills.
Improved Aural Awareness
Before playing the piano, you have to listen to and recognize different melodies, chords, intervals, and arpeggios. Regardless of when you start learning, listening carefully is a prerequisite. It also doesn’t matter if you’re tone-deaf because playing the piano can significantly develop your aural awareness.
Moreover, aural awareness can make it easier for you to recognize different sound patterns and helps you concentrate amidst background noise.
Improved Physical Health
Playing the piano regularly offers a number of physical benefits. It hones your finger dexterity, develops coordination between hands and eyes, and sharpens your motor skills. Consequently, studies show that music reduces cardiac complications, reduces heart and respiratory rates, and increases immune response. Playing the piano also makes your hand muscles agile and strong.
Ability To Take Constructive Criticism
Piano students receive plenty of feedback and constructive criticism from their piano teachers. Of course, listening to criticism is never enjoyable, but when your piano teacher offers those gently and helps you overcome your mistakes, it primes you to take constructive criticism positively.
This ability not only helps you improve your piano skills but also enables you to take constructive criticism positively in other aspects of your life, such as school, friendship, family, and work.
Alright, playing the piano has the ability to make you a happier person, but this is very subjective and varies from person to person.
However, music is extremely powerful and therapeutic. Piano music, in particular, can induce strong emotions in people, whether you’re listening to the music or playing it yourself. It’s natural to react to piano tunes with joy and wonder because the piano was designed in a way that reflects human emotions.
Moreover, what’s beautiful about piano music is how it brings people together, regardless of barriers of gender, age, ethnicity, etc. You can play the piano in front of your friends and family and create a lively environment. Playing the piano thus helps you become a happier person in general.
Besides bringing you joy, playing the piano can, indeed, have a positive impact on your mind and boost your brain. If you’re all convinced of the good things about learning the piano, wait no more. Find a piano teacher that meets your needs and get started today.
The Best Piano Teachers is here to help you with just that. As a student, you can sign up absolutely for FREE and find a piano tutor who will guide you in your journey. Join us today to get started!
What did you get from learning the piano? How did it affect your mental well-being? Let us know in the comments below!