The Benefits of Playing Piano

Making music is good for you and your whole family.

Being able to play the piano is a wonderful talent. Every party needs a willing pianist who can sit down at the keyboard and take requests. But, researchers are discovering the rewards of learning to play far exceed the ability to entertain. There is growing evidence that learning to play music actually improves your ability to:
• Think
• Learn
• Solve problems
• Fine tune the senses
• Focus
• Remember
• Relax
• Enjoy life

Music May Make You Smarter.

In a March 1, 2010 article appearing in the Los Angeles Times, the author, Melissa Healy, quotes Laurel Trainor, professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior, and director of the auditory development lab of McMaster University in Toronto, “There is evidence that music changes the brain in positive and permanent ways.” A study cited by Trainor in the article found that “…music instruction may indeed make you smarter.”

It Trains Kids to Accomplish Things.

A team led by Trainor found that, “…in kids chosen randomly to get a tightly structured instrumental training called the Suzuki method, brain responses were two to three years more mature on average than those in children not taking music lessons.” In the same article Healy quotes again Trainor who summaries her findings with, “What happens in music lessons is they’re fun. But at the same time, they’re very demanding. The child has to hold an instrument, position his hands, listen to the sound the teacher’s making, reproduce that sound, hold in mind the sound and compare it, assess pitch and sound quality, and change that if necessary. All that takes a tremendous amount of attention. It trains kids how to accomplish things, and it trains memory as well.”

Not For Kids Only.

Even if you are far beyond the possibility of becoming a child prodigy, learning to play the piano can benefit your life at any age. Learning and developing new skills sharpens the cognitive process and brings a new vitality to mature brains. Melissa Healy quotes Dr. Antonio Damasio, director of USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute in another Los Angeles Times article also dated March 1, 2010. According to Dr. Damasio, “Just the simple act of absorbing music may help keep older minds healthy, active and resilient against injury and illness.”