Piano Playing

8 Unexpected Benefits of Playing the Piano

Piano PlayingThere are several benefits of playing piano that go far beyond a greater appreciation for music and the acquisition of a new skill. Most of these benefits are applicable to both adults and children – it’s never too late, nor too early, to start taking lessons! If you are still unsure whether it would be advantageous for you or your child to learn the piano, read on to check out some of the long-term benefits you can expect to reap. Some you may never have thought about before!

Better Response to Criticism

To get the most from this benefit of playing piano, it’s important to work with a qualified piano teacher who is able to give you constructive criticism. When younger students see their teacher as an expert in the field, it’s much easier to take their advice and feedback. And this ability to respond to criticism – and learn from it – will typically carry over to other aspects of daily life, such as school and work.

Improved Ability to Handle Stress

Participating in piano recitals, or even just performing in front of a group of friends, can help students deal with the symptoms of stage fright. Plus, all of the practicing leading up to the performance will help them learn about dedication, self-discipline, and the goal-setting process.

Learn to React Well to Successes and Disappointments

This is another skill you will gain from performing, especially if you participate in competitions. Similar to learning how to respond to criticism, you may experience some disappointment along the way. A good teacher will help students learn how to maintain a positive outlook, even when things don’t go their way. And other hand, you can learn how to celebrate your wins!

Increased Social Participation

The ability to play in front of a group is also 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!

Stronger Hand Muscles

Piano playing is useful for developing dexterity in children and for maintaining strength in adult hands. However, in order for your hand muscles to develop properly, you’ll need to learn the correct form and hand position for playing the piano with a professional teacher.

Improved School Performance

Children who begin learning piano during grade school have better general and spatial cognitive development than their peers, found a study conducted by McGill University in Montreal, which can help with mathematic skills. In addition, playing piano can help with concentration and therefore improve overall school performance. (Learn more about how music lessons make you smarter here!)

Aural Awareness

Whether you naturally have a good sense of pitch or you struggle with this skill, piano playing can definitely help you improve. Some of these benefits of playing piano include developing a sense of relative pitch, and training your mind to recognize tones, intervals, chords, and more, which can help with learning music theory later on in your studies.

Split Concentration

When you’re first starting to learn how to play the piano, it can be incredibly frustrating to coordinate your two hands, when they’re 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 play multiple melodies at the same time.

Split concentration is not just a physical ability; you can also use the skill for listening. If you’re taking classes with a private 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 multi-tasking skills, as well as your hand-eye coordination.

Final Notes

If you have been unsure about taking up piano lessons for yourself or your child, think about all of the benefits of playing piano, such as improved social skills, mental health, physical ability, and cognitive skills. However, many people choose to begin piano lessons for the simple joy of learning and playing an instrument or they choose to start their child on the piano to fill their home with music. Whatever your reason for starting to play, remember that you can begin learning at any age. Put in the effort, and you’ll notice the positive feelings you experience when you learn a new skill!

Photo by Tim RT


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