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10 Benefits of Learning the Piano

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When most people decide to take up the piano, they do so for a simple reason: they like how the piano sounds and they want to play it. However, in addition to the joy it brings, playing the piano is known to benefit us in a variety of other ways. For this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 benefits of learning the world’s most popular instrument.

 

1. It Teaches You to Multitask 

 

Practicing piano is one of the greatest multitasking activities there is and activates your brain like no other instrument, gadget or game can. Playing the piano requires all of the following:

 

       Your eyes: When sight-reading piano music, you must read two lines of music simultaneously, each in a different clef.

       Your ears: You must also listen to the notes you’re playing and adjust your playing accordingly.

       Your two hands: Both hands often play complicated rhythms, and independently from one another. 

       Your ten fingers: Piano is one of the few musical instruments that require you to use all ten fingers.

       Your two feet: Your left foot operates the una corda (soft) pedal, and your right foot operates the damper (sustain) pedal.

       Keeping time: You must synthesize and synchronize all motor activity and sensory input to keep time accurately. You must also know how to subdivide the beat in many different ways.

       Spatial: You must be able to hit all the keys without needing to look at the keyboard.

       Artistic interpretation: You must use techniques like articulation, dynamics and expressive timing to capture the style and mood of a piece. 

       Touch: You must use touch to figure out the amount of force required to press down the keys and pedals. 


When playing piano, you’re simultaneously exercising your visual, auditory, logical, emotional, creative and motor functions. In other words, it’s the total brain workout!

 

2. It Makes Music Theory Easier to Understand

 

When students learn music theory concepts like scales, intervals and chords, they usually do so by visualizing a piano keyboard. When piano students learn to play their first chord or scale, they are simultaneously  learning about music theory. 

 

3. It Broadens Your Cultural Knowledge

 

In 2016, a study was conducted involving men and women from a remote Amazonian tribe who had little or no exposure to Western music. The subjects were played a series a chords, some consonant and others dissonant, and were asked after each chord whether they liked or disliked it. The result? They liked the consonant and dissonant chords just the same.

 

The findings of this study suggest that musical preferences are not innate (as was previously assumed), but rather a result of exposure.

 

The researchers also support learning the piano as a way to expose people to a variety of different sounds and styles of music. Especially for young students, exposure to a wide variety of musical styles is a great way to encourage an open-mindedness to cultural differences.

 

4. It Boosts Your IQ   

 

Research also suggests there is a connection between playing piano and IQ. In a study conducted at the University of Toronto, a large sample of children was given either music lessons (keyboard or voice), drama lessons or no lessons, and their IQs were measured before and after the classes. The researchers found that the group that received piano or voice lessons showed larger increases in full-scale IQ after lessons than the other groups.

 

5. It Increases Your Ability to Understand Speech in Noisy Environments

 

The inability to understand speech in noisy environments is a common problem among older adults and often leads to social isolation and depression. However, according to a 2011 study conducted at Northwestern University, if you study music, you’re less likely to suffer from this impediment when you’re older. The researchers found that musicians aged 45 to 65 could better understand speech in noisy environments than their non-musician counterparts.


6. It Can Relieve Stress and Even Treat Depression 

 

Some of the world’s most gorgeous pieces were composed for piano, but the piano does a lot more than just move us emotionally. A 2013 study shows that learning piano can actually alleviate stress and decrease depression. Researchers found that taking piano lessons helped lower depression, induce positive moods and improve the physical and psychological quality of life for eldery subjects. In other words, playing piano is an excellent, drug-free method for boosting mood. 


7. It Boosts Your Self-Esteem

 

If you’re feeling apprehensive and timid, learning piano is a great way to boost your confidence. It’s like public speaking in that it helps you to overcome your shyness, but unlike public speaking, you won’t have to speak or even look at your audience! 

 

When learning the piano, your confidence will grow every step of the way, including when you play your first melody, first start using both hands, learn a more difficult song, and first perform in front of an audience.

 

8. It Improves Dexterity and Hand Strength

 

Playing piano is sort of like taking your fingers to work out at the gym — with regular practice, your fingers will undoubtedly strengthen and be able to move faster. An even greater benefit of regular practice, however,  is that your fingers will become more dexterous and nimble on the keys. 

 

9. You Don’t Have to be Young to Learn it! 

 

Many people are sadly under the impression that learning the piano is nearly impossible as an adult. But what many don’t realize is that adults actually have an advantage when it comes to many aspects of learning the instrument, which include:

 

       Adults have more developed critical thinking skills. While some consider music to be a purely creative activity, interpreting music requires analytical skills. Students must understand the harmonic vocabulary of music and the intent of the composer, which is easier for adults than children.

       Adults can more easily understand technical explanations. One of the most difficult (and most dreaded) aspects of learning piano for young learners is music theory and analysis, which can get quite technical. Adults also have the advantage here.

       Adults have longer attention spans. The attention spans of children, on the other hand, is often no more than a couple minutes at a time. Learning piano requires careful concentration, which is something that comes much more easily to adults.

       Adults are more emotionally developed. Piano music features a wide spectrum of feelings and emotions, which can only be fully comprehended and expressed by those who have experienced those feelings and emotions themselves.

       Adults have fully grown fingers and palms. Unlike many other instruments, pianos only come in one size, so children often lack the hand span to play larger intervals. Most adults, on the other hand, have no problem.

 

In summary, the piano is an accessible instrument to beginners of all ages. It’s never too late to start learning!

 

10. It Will Help Your Grow Your [Real Life] Social Network

 

If you feel like you spend too much time staring at a screen, learning the piano will provide a gratifying escape from the virtual world. It’s a kinetic and sensory experience in every way. You’ll be making real music using real keys.

 

It will also expose you to other real people in real time and real space. You’ll interact regularly with an instructor, fellow students and, whenever you perform your music, with your audience as well.  

Professional In-Home Piano Lessons in the South Bay

Are you interested in taking piano lessons but don’t have the time or patience to brave the Bay Area’s notorious traffic? Musicians Mobile brings experienced, background-checked music instructors straight to your home. With Musicians Mobile, you can spend less time in the car and the waiting room and more time doing what’s important: learning the instrument you love.

 

We serve the South Bay cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell and Cupertino and offer piano, guitar, voice and drum lessons. To schedule a free trial lesson, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (408) 960-1100.


Resources:

 

  1. https://www.lindebladpiano.com/blog/benefits-of-playing-piano
  2. http://www.musicandhealth.co.uk/articles/WatsonReview06.pdf
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110511170931.htm
  4. https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/living-longer-learning-musical-instrument-protects-brain-memory/story?id=15482696
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3814522/
  6. https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3psygs/MusicLessons.pdf
  7. https://pianu.com/blog/learning-piano-benefits-your-brain
  8. https://www.musikalessons.com/blog/2016/10/benefits-of-learning-piano/
  9. https://www.key-notes.com/blog/adult-piano-lessons
  10. https://richardsinstitute.org/Default.aspx?pg=42#https://richardsinstitute.org/brainarticles.htm
  11. https://www.musiciansmobile.com/contact/
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