5 Ways to Benefit Your Brain By Playing The Piano

April 23rd, 2018 - 14 Comments

When you have gotten to the point of being able to sit down at your keyboard or piano and finally play a tune you know and love, you experience no better feeling.  However, what you may be unaware of is that not only have you accomplished the immense task of learning to play and enjoy a song, but you have also made your brain stronger and healthier!

In this article, I’ll dive into 5 mental health benefits you get by playing the piano, and why your brain will forever thank you for doing it!

Reshape Your Brain

For those who practice piano, they are able to reshape their central sulcus, which is the part of the brain that determines one’s left or right handedness. By overcoming this natural tendency, you have “a demonstrably more symmetrical central sulcus than everyone else — though [you are] born right or left-handed, [your] brain barely registers it.” Through practice, you are literally reshaping your brain for the better – how cool is that!

 

Helps Stave Off Memory Loss

As we grow older, the ability for us to retain memories becomes harder and harder.  However, for those who “tickle the ivories,” you can actually help avoid losing neural connections in your brain, which improves ones memory and keeps the region of our brain that manages memories happy and healthy!

 

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

By making practicing the piano a small part of your day, you can successfully help fight off stress and anxiety.  I know after particularly hard days, playing a tune, even for just a few minutes, allows me to take a couple mental “deep breathes.” An article published by the National Library of Medicine actually found that piano practice has been proven to help treat depression and alleviate stress in elderly adults!

 

Increase Your Creative Thinking

Through the use of divergent thinking – using both sides of your brain for a particular activity – piano players are naturally increasing their creativity.  Constant stimulation of both sides of the brain keeps it from becoming sluggish, and instead, allows it to be more imaginative in everything it does!

 

You Can Learn To “Speak” Through Music

Speaking of creativity, In some of the later Piano In A Flash courses, I teach you how to improvise on the piano and truly make music in your own unique way.  It turns out, when you develop the ability to improvise, you are actually developing your own form of “communicating.” According to Mic.com, “When pianists improvise, the language portion of their brain remains active — like any musician, playing music is fundamentally an act of communication. But the big difference for pianists is that their communication is about syntax, not words…when pianists solo, their brains respond as if they were responding in a conversation, but they pay attention to phrasing and ‘grammatical’ structure instead of specific words and phrases.” Who knew you could become bilingual by playing the piano? Ha!

 

Happy playing!

 

Scott

P.S. If you are interested in “dipping your toes in the water” and learning more about my method, check out some of my resources below:


Try our FREE Introductory Course below:

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What to learn more about our full Courses? Check out the Course 1 syllabus below:

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Sources: 

Mic.com

lindebladpiano.com

psychologytoday.com


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14 responses to “5 Ways to Benefit Your Brain By Playing The Piano”

  1. Steve DeLong says:

    Hi Scott
    Couldn’t agree with you more! When I retired in 2014 I told my family that my #1 goal was to be able to play Christmas carols for the family at our annual Christmas gathering. I bought several Xmas song books and even took private lessons for a year but still wasn’t comfortable playing. Now that I’m learning your Piano in a Flash method I already feel more confident and look forward to practicing every day. Thanks Scott! You make playing fun again!

    • Ryan Eldridge says:

      Hello!

      My name is Ryan and I work with Scott here at Piano In A Flash. That is such a great story Steve! I’ll make sure to pass it along to Scott!

  2. Cathey Cook says:

    Wow! I had read that those who played the piano were affected in a positive way in their learning academic skills, but I didn’t know the other benefits.

  3. Jocelyne says:

    Hello, I’ve took the Piano in a Flash course a while back. I’ve had to interrupt my courses for a while since I helped my mother move and then I had a move of my own. I will resume my course in a few weeks when I am completely settled in and more relaxed. I’m currently in the middle of lesson 3 & am loving the course immensely. I’m actually playing now. As I get along I find it gets easier and easier. With the notes spelled out in Gig Books I & II – this helped me so much to get down to playing instead of memorizing the notes. When I went to play in the Favorites and Holiday Fake Book I noticed that I knew the notes without thinking about it since my brain was now used to connecting the note to the piano automatically. Wow! Wow! Wow! I am so happy – can’t wait to get to the improvisation part. Will let you know how that is going once I reach it. Thank you so much for helping me actually play the piano and not just fumble around on the keyboard.

    • Ryan Eldridge says:

      Hello!

      My name is Ryan and I work with Scott here at Piano In A Flash. Thank you so much for your story. I’ll be sure to pass it along to Scott! We are all happy to hear that Piano In A Flash has had a positive impact!

  4. Roger says:

    One additional benefit is the emotional effect of playing songs. Music is all about invoking specific feelings in the listener. And when you are also the maker of the music you enjoy, you get a double dose of the feeling.

  5. I read briefly about being ambidextrous, which you need to be if you are to play the piano with two hands. It is not always easy to play both hands at once with complicated pieces, it might take more than being a good typist.

    • Ryan Eldridge says:

      Nancy,

      My name is Ryan and I work with Scott here at Piano In A Flash. You don’t necessarily need to be ambidextrous to play the piano. For instance, I myself am ambidextrous, but still struggled early on with getting my right and left hand to play together – it is a universal struggle, but one that can be overcome through consistent practice. Scott likes to use the old adage “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” And it’s the same with getting your hands and brain connected and reshaping that central sulcus.

  6. I think you got it about being ambidextrous. Practicing this left and right handedness may be needed with more than piano playing for your brain (the central sulcus?) to register this feat.

  7. Frank Barcelona says:

    Interesting I’m lefthanded and was told many years ago that lefthanded people have a harder time learning to play piano. But chords were much easier in my left. My right hand felt awkward when playing two notes or more of the melody. Eventually with practice it can be accomplished, chords in my right have become easier. It’s fun going through the stages of learning. I’m farther along than I ever thought I would be , but so much more to learn.

  8. Maggie McInerney says:

    Love the creative approach you demonstrate to making music!! I have played classical for many years but now I’m having fun!! I agree with the things you mentioned in your letter here!!

    Thanks, Scott.

  9. Carol Edwards says:

    I have many of your teaching tools. I am so happy to read your communication today

  10. Jim Mathews says:

    I am 83 years young and was advised by my Doctor to take up the Piano for finger and brain exercise. I take your course (Piano in a Flash) since April 2018.
    I am not in a hurry to be a Scott Houston but am enjoying the journey. This program will give me much to do this Winter as my Golf will be suspended till warmer weather. Thanks for giving me the lessons. I have never played a musical instrument but am determined.God Bless!

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