Playing the piano can make you healthier and smarter and now there is an abundance of scientific research to back that up. Here’s the top 10 ways being a piano player can greatly improve your quality of life.
1. It changes your brain
Northwestern University scientists have worked through a review of research into what music — specifically, learning to play music — effects humans. The result shows music training is doing far more than merely entertaining us by playing the piano, for example. But, more importantly, it actually changes our brains.
The paper, published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a collection of research findings from scientists all over the world. According to the Northwestern scientists, these findings strongly indicate that learning to play music adds new neural brain connections — which then primes the brain for other forms of human communication. The one thing to take from all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other human skills including speech and language, memory attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally. (NaturalNews)
2. It raises your test scores
Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music education scored significantly higher than those that did not have training in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found a significant correlation between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts. (University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent)
3. Music keeps your ears young
Older musicians don’t experience typical aging in the part of the brain (the auditory cortex) that often leads to hearing troubles. It’s never too late to start taking piano lessons and prevent these age-related changes. (The Record.com – Michael Roizen, MD and Mehmet Oz, MD)
4. It helps with language skills
Researchers also found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to discern speech in a noisy background. Moreover, children with learning disabilities, who often have a trouble focusing when there’s a lot of background noise, may be especially helped through music lessons. Music training (like we offer at Alamo Music) strengthens the same neural processes that are often deficient in those with developmental dyslexia or those who have difficulty hearing speech in noise.
Children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and higher reading levels than those who haven’t had any musical training. The Northwestern researchers concluded that their findings make a strong case for including music in school curriculums: “The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development.”
6. It leads to future success
Besides the joy piano playing can bring, there are strong links between playing the piano and the development of skills that are needed to be successful in life. Some of the many benefits of playing the piano include developing strong discipline skills, patience, coordination, and dedication as well as an increased ability to memorize. According to a Michigan State University research project, piano-playing Americans reported that piano lessons significantly reduced their incidence of depression and anxiety.
7. It’s good for your well-being
A piano player will also note a marked decrease in loneliness.
8. It relieves stress
Science says there are good medical reasons to play a musical instrument. It can reverse stress at the molecular level. (Studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems; Medical Science Monitor)
9. It'll make you feel good
Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing long-term care workers to recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (Advances in Mind-Body Medicine)
10. It affects hormones
Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH production among active older Americans). Findings of a study revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group people who did not play. (University of Miami)