Piano is a musical instrument with a large keyboard, a wooden case enclosing a soundboard and metal strings.
It is played using a row of keys that the performer presses down with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
The strings’ vibration is stopped by dampers when the keys are released and can be regulated for length and volume by two or three pedals.
The pedal on the right is called a damper, stepping on this causes all the keys to vibrate or sustain.
Stepping on the pedal in the middle causes only the keys currently pressed to vibrate.
Stepping on the pedal on the left creates a muted sound; a single note is produced from 2 or three piano strings that are tuned in unison.
Piano was invented in Italy around the year 1700 by a man called Bartolomeo Cristofori.
Piano Vs. Keyboard
A ‘keyboard’ is an electric instrument which requires a power source and has no weighted keys.
But a ‘piano’ is an acoustic instrument with weighted keys.
A piano needs to be tuned regularly, but a keyboard does not always need to be tuned.
A ‘piano lesson’ usually refers to the type of lesson where the student is taught to read and play notes in each hand, which is vastly better than what is often taught in ‘keyboard’ lessons.
Benefits Of Having Piano Lessons
Playing musical instruments especially the piano comes along with numerous benefits.
Studies have shown that it is truly never too late to start learning piano.
The benefits could be both mental and even physical, and it applies to all ages.
Children and adult can both enjoy these benefits.
That is why it is often said that ‘’it is never too late, for one to explore his/her musical side.
Below you’ll find few of these benefits you can expect to reap and don’t be surprise if you come across some that are entirely new to you.
- Improve School Performance
Studies have found that children who begin learning piano during grade school have better general and spatial cognitive development than their peers, which can help with mathematic skills.
In addition, playing piano can help with concentration and therefore improve students’ overall school performance.
2. Sharpens concentration
When you’re playing the piano, you have to focus on the rhythm, pitch, tempo, note duration, and several other things.
Even though you’re doing something you actually enjoy, this is really a multi-level concentration exercise.
In fact, studies have shown that every time a musician picks up his or her instrument, there are fireworks going on in his or her brain.
Playing a musical instrument is perhaps the only activity during which almost all brain areas are simultaneously activated.
3. Teaches You Multitasking
Learning to play piano means teaching your brain how to work on overdrive.
Think about all the individual tasks your brain has to perform simultaneously: keeping time, following pitch, forming chords, maintaining posture and controlling your breath, all while your right and left hands are operating independently from each other while ranging over 88 identical little black and white buttons.
Also, you might be operating the pedals and reading and interpreting sheet music too.
Every time you sit down to play piano, you’re giving your brain a monster workout, exercising your logical, creative, visual, auditory, emotional, and motor functions.
When you’re first starting to learn how to play the piano, it can be incredibly frustrating to coordinate your two hands each playing something different.
But the more you play and practice, the easier it will get – trust us!
Even simpler pieces can teach you the skills and focus you’ll need to improve your skills.
Split concentration is not just a physical ability; you can also use the skill for listening.
If you’re taking lessons with a piano teacher, you’ll likely learn how to listen to the sound of your playing as if you were both in the front of the concert hall and to the back of the room.
You can use the mental part of this training in everyday life to improve your multitasking skills.
4. Inculcates perseverance
Learning new songs on the piano takes time and effort.
Until you can actually play a song fluently by heart, you’ll probably spend several weeks practicing it.
As you look forward to being able to play the song, you stay motivated, learn patience, and increase your perseverance.
These skills will always help you when you are confronted with difficult tasks at school, university, or at work.
5. Creates accomplishment
The hard work of learning a complex instrument such as the piano also creates a sense of great accomplishment from the very first lesson.
This positive self-image sets children up for greater success in school and life.
There are practical relations for the piano lesson in education as well.
Students have a greater capacity for spatial cognition, and also score higher in math.
They pick up on concepts such as fractions and ratios quicker due to the musical applications of those concepts already instilled by their music teacher.
6. Instils discipline
Playing the piano can be quite challenging.
However, practicing frequently and working hard will not only teach you perseverance, but also discipline.
Consider the parts of the song you will have to practice over and over again.
There is one “magic key” to successfully playing the piano and that is ‘practice, practice, practice.’
Practicing regularly requires discipline.
Maybe at the beginning it will be harder for you.
Maybe you have to come up with some little treats to get yourself there.
However, slowly but surely, you’ll get used to it and being disciplined about your practice time won’t be hard at all
7. Developed Music Appreciation
Young people who do not take music tend to gravitate to listening only to popular or cultural genres of the times.
Music students have a much wider exposure thanks to teachers opening their minds to a wide variety of musical styles.
They learn to appreciate all types of music from classical and jazz, to folk and rock.
8. Improves time management
Many of us have quite busy schedules.
Unfortunately, scientists haven’t found a way to make one day last more than 24 hours yet.
So to get all your activities and duties done, you need to organize them.
When you get used to practicing regularly, you also learn how to use your time efficiently and how you can use a 20-minute time slot for a quick piano lesson.
9. Improves memory function
Piano students develop many positive attributes from learning to read music from their teacher.
However, students naturally begin to memorize favorite pieces, develop the ability to quickly see patterns in sheet music.
These are all skills that improve both short and long-term memory function that will help them all through life.
10. Improves emotional intelligence
Playing the piano enhances your listening skills.
These are also very important when you interact with other people.
Emotions are not only expressed by facial expressions and body language, but also by the tone of voice, the speed of speech, and the melody of speech.
People who play an instrument are better listeners, and it is not surprising that studies have actually revealed that musicians are more perceptive in interpreting the emotions of others.
11. Teaches dexterity
Although most instruments teach a degree of dexterity in finger management, the keyboard helps students learn how to Work both hands separately in very complex actions.
The dual hand work required while playing piano is a difficult skill to perfect, and is much like learning how to rub the belly and patting the head at the same time.
This supple handy-work makes learning other skills such as touch typing much easier later in life.
While most instruments help students learn control over certain areas of their bodies, most notably finger movement, the piano is a demanding instrument that involves foot movement on the pedals, as well as hand-eye coordination as the notes are read and then played.
12. Increases memory capacity
Playing the piano stimulates your brain.
While you learn and play songs, the stimulated areas of your brain become larger and therefore more active.
The areas that are responsible for the storage of audio information, particularly, are more developed in musicians then in non-musicians.
So when you play the piano, your ability to memorize audio information increases.
The chance of saying something like: “I’m sorry! Maybe you told me, but I really don’t remember…” most likely will occur less often.
13. Increased Social Participation
Taking a music lesson is a practice in socialization.
The student and teacher must learn to communicate effectively.
As a student progresses and joins other musicians to play ensemble pieces, they must learn to work together in a group and with their teacher at the same time.
They learn to appreciate their roles in a joint production as well as to be appreciative of other musician’s parts in creating a successful performance.
The ability to play in front of a group is an important social skill.
It’s a great way to share your talents with others, and you may find yourself expanding your network as you put yourself out there in the musical community.
Discussing your piano playing with other musicians is a wonderful way to improve your understanding of the instrument – plus, you never know how your connections can help you later in life!
14. Piano teaches Patience
People of all ages who study music gain a greater degree of patience.
They learn to accept the time it takes to develop the skills necessary, and piano studies teach delayed gratification.
In a world where we have all become accustomed to getting information and satisfaction quickly at our fingertips, the lessons music teaches in discipline are a true lesson in living.
Multiple areas of the brain light up when playing music.
Scientists studying the brains of musicians as they play music have found that the discipline of playing music is the equivalent of a full-body brain workout.
Strengthening multiple areas of the brain, including our ability to concentrate, focus and apply knowledge, playing music allows us to exercise our brain similarly in other areas.
So, it should not be surprising that starting to play piano will trigger increased patience, concentration and discipline in other areas of your life.
15. Strengthens Hand Muscles & Hand-Eye Coordination
It is no surprise that learning to play piano requires hand-eye coordination, but a recent study on hand motor control in musicians suggests that piano performers have actually changed the cortical mapping to increase finger speeds.
For children and adults with reduced motor skills, learning to play the piano can challenge these brain connections to motor movement and even strengthen coordination.
16. Improves reading skills
Learning rhythm is essential to mastering piano, but it also has been shown to have a positive effect on reading skills in children.
It has been confirmed that, children exposed to a multi-year program of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.
17. Provides an Outlet and Entertainment
Limiting electronics is something many parents and even adults need to be doing more and more.
The effect of excessive time spent on electronics is linked to increased brain atrophy, impaired cognitive functioning and even increased cravings due to impaired dopamine functioning.
Learning to play piano is an activity for kids and adults alike to move away from “screen time” and have an unplugged outlet for entertainment.
18. Builds Brain Power
The mental demands of piano are so significant that players’ brains are structured differently than other people.
Breakthroughs in brain imaging have shown that playing piano strengthens the bridge between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and makes the connections in the frontal lobe much more efficient.
This means pianists may have a serious leg up in terms of “problem solving, language, spontaneity, decision making and social behavior.”
19. Improve Health
While learning piano at a young age is a great way to develop discipline, self-esteem, and academic skills, it’s never too late to benefit from the power of playing.
Adults who learn to play piano experience a decrease in depression, fatigue, and anxiety and an increase in memory, verbal communication, and a feeling of independence.
Playing piano can also help alleviate symptoms of dementia, PTSD, and stroke, by improving cognition and dexterity, and reducing stress.
Tickling the ivories may not give you superpowers, but it’s clear that learning to play piano is one of the most powerful ways to exercise your mind, and soothe your soul.
The ability to process auditory signals usually slows down as we age.
However, participants of a recent study who continued to play music throughout their lives had helped reverse the decline of brain processing, memory and inner ear hearing loss.
20. Boosts Self-confidence
Playing the piano will definitely help you gain confidence as it requires you to make decisions on your own.
It is always extremely rewarding to hear what you have created yourself.
In the early days of learning and playing, your teacher will definitely help you with decision making, but the process becomes more autonomous as time goes by.
The process of learning a new piece of music is fantastic.
You start from nothing, practise, improve, and finally get the fruits of your hard work, as farmers do during the harvest time.
The progression is fascinating and getting an assured reward after putting the effort will certainly boosts your self-confidence and sense of achievement.
21. Relieve stress
Playing the piano is a terrific way to relieve stress.
Firstly the complexity of learning forces you to focus, and eliminate any other thought in order to succeed.
Secondly playing the piano has the ability to take you to a world that you would not be able to access otherwise.
Playing the piano is very similar to watching a captivating movie.
As soon as you start, you get into another dimension that allows you to forget any concern or issue that you could face in your daily life, and immediately help you relax and change your mind instantly.
One key benefit of learning to play the piano has been to promote physical rehabilitation in people of all ages, especially for older adults, this helps them to stay mentally active and even protect them against certain illnesses.
Studies also suggest that children as young as four years old can enjoy a lifetime of benefits from early exposure to piano, singing, guitar and other types of music lessons.
Do you know that, when a child begins learning piano, or takes up any type of musical instrument, this stimulates certain areas of the brain that controls their fine motor skills, memory and speech?
If you have been unsure about taking up piano lessons for yourself or your child, think about all of these benefits of playing the piano.
Isn’t it amazing what playing the piano can do for you?
If you’ve always been looking for an excuse to pick up that tricky piano, well, here — now you’ve got more than one.
Leave a comment below so we know what you think.