Whether someone is young or old or anywhere in between, learning piano is a great way to improve both the body and mind!
Even though it’s (usually) done sitting down, piano-playing truly is an all-body experience. It creates high levels of dexterity in both hands, as well as involving both sides of the brain at the same time. Even better, numerous studies have shown plenty of real-life benefits of piano-playing!
Here are a few of our favorites.
Five Ways The Piano Develops Your Mind And Body
1 – Better reading skills.
Many don’t know this, but music is processed in the same regions of the brain as language. In many ways, it is a form of language. And in much the same way that bi-lingual children are often better at languages in general, music-learning has the same effect.
Children given a year of music training showed significantly higher development in reading and comprehension skills.
2 – Increased dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
The process of translating notes on a piece of score to actual hand movements isn’t easy, and requires a high degree of dexterity. There aren’t many activities, in fact, that develop dexterity so completely – especially in both hands at once.
3 – Better self-esteem.
One of the best things about learning piano -or any instrument- is being able to watch one’s self grow. By having a long-term hobby that takes years to learn, students of all ages get real reinforcement of their own progress. Everyone remembers the difference between their first halting attempt to play a piece, versus their later mastery of it.
This is a great builder for self-esteem because the student gets something truly tangible that demonstrates the work they’ve put in.
4 – Improved spatial-temporal reasoning.
Multiple studies have found significant improvements (PDF) in the spatial-temporal reasoning skills of preschoolers given piano training. These are the mental skills involved with figuring out the intersection of moving objects relative to time.
This is an extremely difficult concept to teach (or even describe succinctly) but piano helps develop it intuitively, because spatial-temporal skills are at the heart of piano-playing. After all, it’s almost entirely about hitting the right note at the right time.
5 – Creating a connection to the past.
It’s frequently observed that people today -especially younger people- seem to lack any real attachment to the past. Floating in a sea of neverending electronic novelty, many simply don’t bother to look backwards at all.
Music is directly tied to culture and history. Whether someone is learning the songs of their own forefathers, or the songs of other lands, piano allows them to feel a bit of history, and make it a part of them.
What lessons have you learned from piano-playing?