08 Oct Top 3 Mental Health Impacts of Playing Piano
How’s your head? No, I’m not asking if you feel warm or are suffering from a migraine (though I hope not!)—I want to check in on your mental wellness. It’s so important to be there for yourself and give yourself grace, especially when you’re not having the best “brain day.” There are countless activities to keep your moods regulated and to help you and your brain bounce back from a bad day—from mindful breathing, to physical exercise, meaningful conversations and connection with friends, and of course… creative activities. That’s where music, and you guessed it, piano comes in! It is well known that listening to music we enjoy releases dopamine, the happy chemical, in the brain. And within the last ten years, there has been much exciting development in the research of playing music and brain health. Turns out, playing music promotes efficient brain functions leading to disease prevention and reports of increased mental well being. Here’s how.
Right brain, meet left brain.
Modern imaging studies have proven that piano players benefit from strengthened connections between right and left brain hemispheres and in the frontal lobe, leading to increased efficiency in all cognitive functions from decision-making, to problem solving and social interaction!
A different type of prescription.
Need a pick me up? A Prescription for Music found that adults who play music report improved self-esteem, greater independence, and fewer feelings of isolation. In particular, the study found that adults learning to play piano experienced a decrease in psychological distress, depression, and fatigue, compared to a non-playing control group.
Better than a crossword.
The research also provides evidence to suggest that musical training in adults increases working memory and executive function—creating multi-sensory activity that is more successful in preventing age-related cognitive decline compared to adults who read, write, or do crossword puzzles.