Have you ever thought about the positive effects of playing the piano on your body? We all know that playing the piano will improve coordination and fine motor skills, but have you ever been aware of the link between playing the piano and the human growth hormone? Or the benefits to your intellect?
In our constant search for ways to improve our lives, we forget that it can be the things that we enjoy doing most which enrich us mentally and benefit our physical health. For instance, it has been scientifically proven that playing a musical instrument like Piano doesn’t only enhance your skills but also contributes to your health throughout your life.
1. Human growth hormone
Known as somatotropin, the human growth hormone is responsible for a range of functions including cell reproduction and regeneration. The hormone is essential for high-energy levels and cognitive functions such as memory. Luckily for the pianist, the act of playing the piano has been shown to increase levels of somatotropin!
2. Motor skills
A benefit that you are probably already aware of is an increased level of fine motor skills. Control over the hands and fingers is increased and the ability to coordinate movements is improved. For those who are in their infancy, the opportunity to develop these skills is essential. For those reaching the later years of their life, the piano offers a superb opportunity to help retain the fine motor skills that can be diminished as life progresses.
The piano manufactures Steinway attribute piano lessons to have improved a number of intellectual pursuits. They claim that “children who have had a few years of piano study under their belts can remember twenty percent more vocabulary words than their peers.” In addition, Steinway claims “childhood musicians are better equipped later in life to retain information from speeches and lectures.”
4. Life lessons
The process of learning the piano teaches some vital life lessons. No matter what age you are, the values of perseverance, patience, dedication, and discipline are essential. Playing the piano nourishes these values and teaches you the importance of calm methodical practice.
5. Effects on Dementia
This less obvious benefit is of crucial importance in a world where care for dementia patients will need greater and greater resources. Broadly speaking, music has been shown to drastically improve the ability of dementia patients to communicate and access memories that verbal communication can no longer reach. NHS England describes music as being able to “help reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language, help at the end of life and enhance the quality of life”. The piano is an instrument for accessing music and therefore it can unlock these benefits. The ability to play the piano as a carer or as a patient will bring comfort and joy.
The five benefits highlighted here are incredibly just a fraction of the long list of reasons as to why playing the piano is an absolute must. So, if you are already learning, keep going. If you are reading this article and considering whether to take up the piano, why wait? These five reasons are all you need.
However, if not enough, here is more!
These eight health benefits of playing the piano enlisted below will make you add it to your bucket list:
6. It Relieves Stress
The fact that music from piano soothes the soul is known to us all but it also acts as a stress buster. Even if you give just a few minutes of your busy day to playing the piano, it can lower the blood pressure and make you feel much more positive. In fact, just being a part of piano recitals or playing in front of a few people can drive stage fright out of people.
7. Enhances Split Concentration
Since piano requires using both your hands doing different things for playing it, you might not be able to deal with it at first. Gradually, the art of split concentration becomes an integral part. This further helps you in coordinating your eyes and hands while playing. Thus, your concentration skills get developed, making you sharper.
8. Stimulates the Brain, improving Neural Connections.
Scientific studies show that music stimulates the brain in a way that no other activity does. Thus, playing a musical instrument like the piano adds new neural connections developing some higher tiers in the brain. These improved neural connections have their fair share in benefitting at studies and other daily life chores of a person.
9. Strengthens Hand Muscles.
By maintaining the correct posture of hands and using the proper hand position while playing the piano makes your arms stronger. Even as you grow up and get older, your hands have stronger hand muscles compared to others. The piano is a great way of developing dexterity among children as well.
10. Improves Language Skills
The aural awareness that is developed by playing the piano makes it easier for you to understand the sound patterns of foreign languages. It works wonders for kids who have trouble hearing in a noisy background and can fight dyslexia while it is still developing.
11. Improves Vocabulary and other Classroom skills
Learning to play the piano broadens the vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills of students. Since they are exposed to more words than the kids who do not learn music, their reading also improves automatically. All these factors lead to overall better performance in the classroom.
12. It stimulates the growth hormones
Human Growth Hormones (Hgh) in the human body have been found to have an altered growth in children who play the piano. These growth hormones keep a person energetic and prevent issues like body aches and pain in the old age. Studies showed that students who took keyboard lessons had increased levels of human growth hormones than those who did not.
13. Helps Children accept Criticism Gracefully
Children who take piano lessons get continuous feedbacks and constructive criticisms from their teachers. This prepares them to accept criticism in a positive way, building them into individuals with stronger and better mental health. However, if a child does not take criticisms positively, it can lead to depression. In a way, piano lessons prove to inculcate important values that stay with people for their lifetime.
14. Teaches Discipline
It takes practice, patience, persistence, tenacity to play the piano. Those are the characteristics of discipline. And if you are missing those, it is a great way to develop them through playing the piano. The stimulus is that one song that you want to play.
15. Left and Right Hemispheres Stimulation.
Did you know that your left side of the body is controlled by your right side of the brain and vice versa? Well, they are. And when you are playing the piano, you work with both of your hands and each of their fingers individually and independently as well as your legs. That's right! You actually use your entire body to play the piano!
The countless benefits of meditation for our well being are beyond the scope of this article. The act of practicing the piano becomes meditation itself. Simply by focussing on the present moment and observing it is the simple act of concentration/piano practice/meditation putting one into theta state where we have access to more of our brain potential (usually 12 %).
17. Admiration of Peers
I am always surprised when I meet people that don't know who I am and we have a certain conversation and if I happen to mention at a certain point that I play the piano, I am greeted with "Oh wow! How Cool!". People have a slight idea that it takes dedication and a strong character to play. These are skills that can be developed that we aren't necessarily born with. I wasn't.
Guys, chicks dig guys that play the piano! Period. Parents, your children are certainly going to do better in school and in life and you in those social gatherings bragging about them playing the piano this or that song. Girls, there is something enchanting about the ability to play the piano. Also, you definitely can learn any other instrument easier after you learn the piano. Plus, It makes a great accompaniment instrument if you are or you want to be a singer.
18. Multitasking & Single Focus
It is true that you use your eyes to read music, look at the keys while you are playing. Also, you are using our ears, Your hands and legs and brain calculating. Doing all these things at the same time unified in a song generates the ability to stay focused while you are multitasking in other areas and situations in your life.
19. Mindfulness and Awareness
Many often times we are making it a point that we could be more mindful or aware of things, people and events in our lives. When we are playing the piano, we become hypersensitive to absolutely everything in the process and even if we make a mistake and no one notices, we know it's there, which brings me to the next part.
20. Build for success
You made a mistake and THAT'S OK! It is not important that you fall. It is important that you got up! Successful people have certain things in common - one of them is to accept and learn from your mistakes (failures - not a fan of that word.
Something to think about.