It's the most wonderful time of the year to gather around a piano and enjoy some holiday music as a family. After all, music is a great way to reconnect with family and loved ones, and holiday music invariably evokes feelings of hope and charity in those who celebrate.
Additionally, playing the piano can positively impact many areas of your life because, while you may have heard it can benefit children, it turns out that it can benefit people of all ages.
In fact, research has shown that playing the piano can improve mood, memory, motor skills, concentration, focus, reading comprehension, math skills, self-esteem, IQ, and more. It may also decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. So give the gift of music this year and enjoy some of the benefits of piano playing!
Confidence and self-esteem
Learning to play the piano is a long process, with many steps. Progression through each step increases confidence little by little. Progressing from playing with one hand to two hands, moving from one level of difficulty to another, and adding sharps and flats all naturally increase confidence.
Piano playing also often involves performing in public. It might be a formal recital or playing as your family sings together, but each instance can boost self-esteem.
Concentration and focus
Piano playing requires multitasking. Pianists must focus on tempo, hand placement, music reading, rhythm, musicality, and more as they play a simple melody. With time, the capacity to focus on all the facets of piano playing increases the ability to multitask.
This skill can also lead to better performance at school and work.
Stress and anxiety
Despite the focus on music lessons for children, it is never too late to learn to play the piano. As a matter of fact, learning to play the piano can be beneficial for seniors. The National Library of Medicine found that consistent piano practice can help treat depression and decrease stress in the elderly.
How does this work? The repetitive sounds heard while playing the piano activate the neocortex, which helps overcome negative emotions and replaces them with positive ones.
"Reading music and playing a musical instrument is a complex activity that comprises motor and multisensory (auditory, visual, and somatosensory) integration in a unique way," according to the study. "Music has also a well-known impact on the emotional state, while it can be a motivating activity."
A Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems study also found that playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level.
Playing the piano can slow the aging process. The Namm Foundation found that piano playing can prevent age-related hearing loss, sharpen the mind in old age, regulate blood pressure, and increase human growth hormone production.
"We feel strongly that abundant health benefits can be achieved by older adults who learn to make music in a supportive, socially enjoyable setting," said Frederick Tims, music therapy professor at Michigan State University. "We are just beginning to understand the positive effects of making music on our bodies and our physical health."
You can experience the joys of piano playing this holiday season with a piano from Classic Pianos, an authorized Yamaha piano dealer. Located in in Bellevue, they offer pianos for players of all levels and lifestyles, with flexible payment options, including 0% APR financing on select Yamaha models. Visit the showroom, which features three unique galleries, where you can play the world's finest pianos side-by-side and discover the one that's right for you.