Piano Lessons- What Does It Do to the Brain?

Have you ever wanted to build more brainpower? Have you ever wanted your brain to multitask in ways you never thought possible? Then look no further, because the piano is the answer! Piano builds brainpower in so many ways! There are so many components that go into playing the piano. You have to learn how to discipline your mind to the intricate and beautiful styles of keeping beat while keeping time, moving both hands independently, and more ways that build strength in the brain.

Learning piano at a young age helps develops discipline, so it’s a great introduction to music. It can also help develop self-esteem and academic skills. The piano is such a good exercise for the brain, especially at such a young age when it is still developing. By learning how to read music and apply it to the instrument, it strengthens the bridge between the right and left side of the brain and makes connections to the frontal lobe more efficient. (I’m not a brain doctor, but that still sounds really cool and interesting to me.)

But not everyone learns the piano at a young age, and that is ok! There are so many benefits to learning the piano as an adult, too! Adults learning how to play the piano usually find that it can help decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as lower fatigue! It can also increase your memory, helps with verbal communication, and gives you a better feeling of independence! Learning piano also helps alleviate symptoms of dementia, PTSD, and stroke. It improves your cognition, dexterity, and reduces stress! How cool is that?

Pianists’ brains are literally structured differently from other brains. Most pianists find that they have better problem-solving skills. It helps with spontaneity and decision making. Some pianists even think that it helps with their social behavior. All skills that are very important for life outside of music. Pianists are the people who are more likely to think outside the box. They can come up with more creative solutions to solve the problem. They call it “divergent thinking” to be able to think on a broader scope of how to solve a problem.

Learning how to play the piano will exercise your brain, as stated before, in so many ways. Piano improves your logical, creative, visual, auditory, emotional, and motor functions! In a better term, it just improves your ability to multitask. There are so many parts of your brain that are being used when playing the piano. Your brain has to control every part of your body that comes in contact with the piano. Your eyes are busy reading the music so that your brain can translate what you see. A great practice exercise for “flexing” this part of your brain is to sight-read. This works the visual cortex and the occipital lobe of the brain. Your ears have to listen to the notes you are making and relate it to your fingers. This exercises your auditory cortex and the temporal lobe. Your two hands have to play two different rhythms at the same time, working independently. Your brain has to be able to keep them on separate tracks but makes sure they are going to the same place, this exercises the primary motor cortex, prefrontal cortex, and the cerebellum. On top of both hands working together, you also have to work all ten fingers! Piano is one of the few instruments that require you to use all ten fingers. Each finger needs to hit a certain key at a certain time. This exercises the primary motor cortex, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum, just like with the hands. Playing the piano also requires you to keep time, making sure you keep count and also stay on the beat at the same time. This really exercises the prefrontal cortex as well as the cerebellum. Then to add even more things that playing piano teaches you is spatial awareness. Most pianists play without looking at their fingers and don’t miss a beat. Your brain has to remember where the notes are without looking which exercises the parietal lobe, the cerebellum, and the right hemisphere of the brain.

There is so much brainpower being used when playing the piano. It is really only beneficial for brain health and dexterity. At Omaha School of Music and Dance, we have plenty of teachers who have the strongest brains to help you or your child (or both!) learn how to play the piano. They will be your brain’s personal trainer! Give us a call today, check out our online registration, or come into the studio and take a tour. We will gladly help you start on your brain empowerment through piano goals!

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