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Why You Should Learn To Play Piano

August 31, 2017

The piano is something I’m convinced almost anyone can pick up on. In fact, according to a survey by the ABRSM, over 34% of adults in the U.K currently play the piano. Why is this the case? Because as perhaps one of the simplest skills to pick up, it can open doors to an immense amount of other experiences.

Learning piano is the building blocks to not just music, but a more creative way of thinking in general. And while you might find it a little silly to learn a new skill later on in life, I assure it’s something numerous folks do every day. Here’s why:

It’s An Excellent Outlet For Relaxation

While some folks might find exercise, cooking, or even reading as their outlet, a lot of people find music to be one of the most therapeutic activities out. In fact, according to statistics compiled by NAMM, in a review of 23 studies of over 1,500 patients, playing music was noted to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. The act of creating something can be widely beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, as well as something you should consider implementing your routine.

Even if you consider learning something new frustrating, I assure you that piano might break the norm on that. There’s no one to judge your progress but you, and the additional factor of learning whatever you want provides an outlet that gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself. Plus, once you’re in the flow of things, you’re not going to want to stop, noting both the emotional and mental benefits that provide a tremendous upside.

It Helps With Cognitive Function

One of the biggest reasons we tell adults to take on challenges like the piano is it’s a clear cut mental exercise we can quantify. While it’s somewhat silly to say that learning a new instrument can provide you with things like more intelligence or a better understanding of other subjects, it does practice crucial elements to your cognitive function. As noted by Dr. Nadine Gaab of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience in Boston’s Children Hospital, playing piano does increase executive function, a primary element of learning:

“Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications.”

Remember, music is an entirely different language, one that’s interpreted in numerous ways via the instrument it’s performed on. This means that we’re processing how to understand and implement what we’ve learned via muscle memory, cognitive recognition, and even improvisation. All of these simultaneously moving parts will not only tap into parts of your brain that you might not normally use on a day-to-day, but will also give you a sense of satisfaction/accomplishment, boosting your self-esteem. Oh, and the best part? The piano is one of the easiest instruments to start learning.

Piano Is Easy To Pick Up

If you’ve ever wondered why we have children learn piano as one of their first instruments, it’s because it gives us the best sense of how music works. Quite simply, all of the notes, scales, and pitches are laid out perfectly, which makes it much easier to read and comprehend what’s going on. Having this foundation not only makes it simple to learn but will give you a solid acumen that can translate to other instruments.

Regarding where to get started, there are plenty of routes you can go down. If you’re just getting your feet wet, my best recommendation would be to either try out online lessons or even just look up tutorials on YouTube. This will help you save quite a bit, as well as let you see if the instrument is even your fit. Additionally, taking lessons online allows you to pick and choose the style and songs you’re interested in learning, which will help keep your interest up while you’re still learning. However, if this idea still scares you, then perhaps try looking into private lessons in your area.

During your search for a teacher, remember to have an end-goal in mind for your lessons. Are you learning in hopes of being able to play a particular genre? Do you want to learn production? Being able to answer these questions will help make lessons more enjoyable, as well as significantly more engaging.

As you begin to ponder if the piano is right for you, remember, this is the foundational instrument most of the music is based on. Plus, even if you don’t like it, you still walk away with a new skill…so what do you really have to lose?

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