Most people learn to play the piano due to their love of music or the desire to acquire a new skill, but that’s not all. Below, Austin Alexander Burridge explores the many health benefits and important life skills that develop from playing piano. If you have just begun playing, expect more than what you bargained for.
Playing the piano makes you a more capable person. You will improve your confidence and ability to interact and collaborate with others.
1. It helps you overcome stage fright
When you play the piano in front of an audience, whether large or small, you gradually learn to overcome stage fright. Initially, you may be a little nervous, but as you start playing, the fear dissipates. Eventually, stage fright stops and becomes less bothersome. Facing stage fright improves your ability to handle anxiety and overall stress in life.
2. It improves your ability to handle criticism
During childhood, taking criticism is commonplace, such as from parents and teachers. You take criticism in stride and learn to accept it as an essential part of the learning process. Things start changing when you became a teenager. Your ego begins to get the better of you and criticism became increasingly difficult to handle. Some of this rebellious attitude carries into adulthood.
However, playing the piano subjects you to criticism from teachers and listeners. Ultimately, you become a humble student and learn to accept criticism positively. The humility and the willingness to learn will help you in all aspects of life.
3. You learn to handle success and failure correctly
Success and failure are two sides of a coin, but many people have a hard time handling either. They get carried away with success and get disheartened by failure. When you take part in piano recitals, you start taking a more balanced view of success and failure. You understand the euphoria of playing well and that the end of the world does not occur and if you don’t. You begin preparing for the next opportunity to show your talents. Participating in recitals, and possibly competitions, will teach you how to celebrate successes without getting carried away and will teach you to learn from your failures.
4. It reinforces essential qualities for success
As you work hard with dedication, discipline, and patience, you are reinforcing these qualities in yourself. The habit of setting goals and remaining true to it will impact on all areas of your life. This improves your chances of achieving goals.
5. It makes you a better problem solver
You need creative thinking to solve problems. While playing the piano, you are using both hands and reading music at the same time. This requires divergent thinking and the use of both hemispheres of your brain. This improves your ability to look at problems from new angles and come up with innovative solutions.
6. It enlarges your social circle
While attending piano classes, recitals, and competitions, you will meet other people with similar interests. You will make new friends while collaborating and discussing music with fellow students. Such friendships often last a lifetime.
Health benefits of playing the piano
Playing the piano regularly improves your physical and mental health.
1. It makes your hands stronger
Depending on whether you are left or right handed, one hand will usually be weaker than the other. When playing the piano, you use both hands and that makes for stronger muscles. It also improves dexterity, especially in children. However, to get these benefits, you must play with the right posture and hand position. A teacher’s guidance is essential, especially during the initial stages.
2. It keeps your hearing sharp
Most people experience a loss of hearing during old age. Musicians fare better, and their hearing remains sharp for a more extended number of years. This could be due to the impact music has on the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that is crucial for hearing.
3. It improves the HCG level
Levels of human growth hormone (HCG) fall as people grow older. The aches and pains that come with age are believed to be linked to lower HCG levels. Studies have shown that a higher level of HCG slows down the progress of diseases like osteoporosis, which are more common in older people. A higher level of HCG is believed to help increase muscle mass and boost energy levels. Studies also have shown that people who play the piano have higher levels of HCG. Thus, playing the piano could make you stronger and more energetic.
4. It reduces the risk and severity of depression and anxiety
Learning to play musical instruments helps people break the thought patterns that cause or reinforce mental problems like depression and anxiety. According to a study by Michigan State University, piano lessons appear to reduce the incidence of depression and anxiety. It also gives a sense of achievement, which is usually lacking in people with depression.
5. It improves your mood and reduces stress.
Learning to play the piano puts you in a friendly state of mind. This keeps your mood upbeat and reduces loneliness. Music also takes your mind away from work and personal problems, which reduces stress and increases happiness.
If you think that piano classes are only for kids, think again. Learning to play the piano can help irrespective of your age, and it’s never too late to start.
About Austin Alexander Burridge:
A recipient of Winona State University’s President Honor Scholarship and an avid student. When not studying or exploring the field of environmental science, Austin Alexander Burridge enjoys traveling, scuba-diving, music, and spending time with his family and friends.