Learning to play the piano, no matter how old you are, will enrich your life for years to come – and there’s scientific research to support it. Read on to learn the top 10 ways being a pianist can improve your quality of life.
It improves your hearing.
As you get older, your auditory cortex (the part of the brain that’s responsible for your hearing) begins to age, leading to hearing problems. Older musicians typically don’t suffer from this quite as severely.
It improves test scores among students.
In two separate studies from the University of Sarasota in Georgia and East Texas State University, results showed that middle school and high school students who practiced instrumental music scored noticeably higher than their peers that did not. These researchers also found that there is an obvious connection between the number of years of instrumental instruction and academic aptitude.
It alters your brain chemistry.
At Northwestern University, scientists compiled research into how learning to play music affects humans. They found that music does more than provide entertainment, it actually changes our brains by creating new neural connections – in effect, priming our brains for other forms of human communication. These results found that music has a positive impact on speech, language, memory, attention, and our ability to convey emotions.
It can improve your language skills.
A number of studies also noted that musicians are much better than non-musicians at learning to incorporate sounds found in a new language into words, and are better able to comprehend speech in a noisy environment. Additionally, they discovered that children with learning disabilities that make it difficult to focus in noisy environments could greatly benefit from music lessons. In fact, music training helps to strengthen the same neural processes that are typically deficient in children with developmental dyslexia or those that have a hard time distinguishing speech from noise.
It keeps your brain in shape.
Children who practice piano have a larger vocabulary and are better readers than their classmates who haven’t. In fact, when researchers at Northwestern concluded their findings, they made the case for music being included in school curriculums.
It increases your chances of success.
Aside from the lovely mood it creates, piano playing also provides you with the skills needed to be successful in life. These benefits include establishing strong discipline, patience, coordination, and dedication – along with a really sharp memory. Additionally, a study from Michigan State University cited that Americans who play piano reported that they were much less likely to experience depression and anxiety.
It’s good for your health.
Piano players often experience a marked decrease in loneliness, likely due to the impact the music has on their brain (known as music cognition).
It helps to relieve stress.
It helps to boost your mood.
Making music can improve your outlook on life, reducing job burnout and improving your mood. These findings are based on results from a study that exposed long-term care workers to recreational music-making sessions, which included group drumming and keyboard accompaniment.
It positively impacts hormones.
It’s been noted that playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH) in active older Americans. In an independent study, researchers found that a test group that regularly took piano lessons has significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group who did not play.
According to several accredited research studies, playing the piano can help to reduce stress at a molecular level.