Learning to play music creates far-reaching benefits that support student learning in other subjects. Playing an instrument requires a combination of skills that are simultaneously developed, like both fine and gross motor skills, for example.
These benefits are not just for children either. Older adults may also improve their cognitive function, mood, and quality of life through music instruction. The piano is one of the most popular instruments to start with.
To learn more about the impressive benefits of playing the piano, check out the list below.
- It Improves Math Skills
Music cannot exist without math. Even for young learners, the counting required to play piano helps improve their number sense and fluency. Musical counting becomes embedded in their mind and can be carried with them to the math classroom.
- It Supports Language Skills
Music has its own language. It even has its own system of writing — musical notation. It’s also no surprise that the ear training involved in learning to play piano helps young learners with auditory processing and word discrimination in English class.
- It Enhances Creative Skills
When people learn to play piano, they are engaging a different part of their brain. In one study, jazz musicians played keyboards inside an MRI machine as a neuroscientist observed their brain activity. They showed less activity in their lateral prefrontal lobes, the area responsible for self-monitoring.
- It Aids Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is an elusive quality that can easily destroy a person’s potential. Learning to play the piano is one way to boost confidence and give someone a better sense of self-efficacy.
- It Exercises Motor Skills
Although the cognitive benefits of learning to play piano are numerous, it does even more than that. For example, young children or people with motor skill difficulties can benefit from the fine and gross motor skill exercise required to play the piano.
- It Helps Mood Disorders
Stress, anxiety, and other mood disorders plague the modern world. The piano is one possible solution and healthy outlet for these feelings. This may be, in part, because playing the piano stimulates parts of the brain associated with emotional processing.
- It Teaches Soft Skills
Soft skills are the most underrated skills in education and society today. These skills include things like discipline and patience. They’re easy to list out but difficult to specifically target and teach directly.
Playing the piano is a holistic, long-term way to develop these skills. As students of the piano dedicate time to learning this new skill, they will slowly exercise other soft skills.
More Benefits of Playing the Piano
The benefits of playing the piano are supported by scientific evidence. Neuroscientists struggling to solve the devastating effects of brain diseases like dementia are increasingly interested in how music education improves brain elasticity. This is one of the best hobbies anyone of any age can choose to do.