Scientific research shows that there are numerous benefits of music. Music can improve your mood and mental state, enhance your attention and memory, and boost your intelligence and problem-solving ability.
Additional health benefits include decreasing pain and anxiety, helping heal, reducing blood pressure, and improving sleeping quality.
As the advice from Johns Hopkins Medicine: “If you want to firm up your body, head to the gym. If you want to exercise your brain, listen to music.”
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Benefits of Music?
- 2 Benefits of Learning to Play the Piano
- 3 To Wrap Up…
What are the Benefits of Music?
In The Power of Music, we discussed how our brains process the music sound waves.
While the processing of music in our brains is an exceedingly complex activity involving many areas and associated links, the result provides a multitude of benefits.
What are the benefits of music? Let’s take a closer look at them.
Music Boosts Heart Health
Research has shown that music impacts heart rate and blood flow. Listening to music may also improve the health of patients living with heart disease. Past studies have found that not only can music reduce pain and anxiety, but it also helps lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Music Brightens up Your Mood
Listening to music can increase the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. Music is processed directly by the amygdala, which is the part of the brain involved in mood and emotions. For the same reason, music relieves symptoms of depression.
So the next time you need a mood lift, listen to your favorite music for 15 minutes. You will be happy that you do.
Music Stimulates Memories
Harvard research suggests that music helps activate the brain and improve recalling information. For example, even though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, music therapy has emerged as an effective way to relieve some of its symptoms.
Music Helps People Eat Less
A study from Georgia Tech and Cornell University shows that having soft lighting and relaxing music during a meal can help people slow down and enjoy the meal more, and ultimately consume less food in one sitting.
Music Enhances Learning Ability
Meta-analysis reviews that there is a consistently strong and reliable association between music and learning in other subject areas.
Meta-analyses suggest not only that the effect of musical training in conjunction with mathematical and spatial-temporal studies may benefit greatly, but also in language studies including reading and verbal intelligence.
Research has shown that preschool children taught with early exposure to music through games and songs showed an IQ advantage of 10 to 20 points over those children taught without exposure to the songs. In the same study, students at age 15, had higher reading and mathematics scores in comparison to children without musical experiences.
Benefits of Learning to Play the Piano
Both listening to music and playing a musical instrument allow you to obtain the benefits of music. Although playing any instrument will have many similar benefits, we are using the piano as an example in this post.
First of all, the piano is a very good instrument to start with, because it is relatively easy to learn. The beginner will experience success quickly. Additionally is it easier to teach the music theory using the piano keyboard because all the notes are visually presented.
The most amazing thing is that the benefits of music can happen over a relatively short time period and you do not need to be young to learn how to play. You can start learning at any time.
Develops Hand and Eye Coordination
Playing the piano requires your brain to coordinate multiple systems at once. We need a really strong connection between your eyes, your ears, and your hands just to play one note, never mind several notes in a sequence or several lines using different hands.
Consistently practicing piano will greatly enhance your eye-hand coordination.
Because playing the piano requires such complex fine motor skills to move your hands and your fingers independently, that is a really good exercise to prepare your hands for daily tasks, such as writing, cutting, etc.
Builds Cognitive Advantages
Playing the piano enhances memories. Especially in older adulthood, people are able to retrieve words faster, using their working memory a bit better.
Over the practice of many piano passages and patterns, what you are really doing is training to recall and reproduce the music quickly with the exact expression that you want to convey. That is a wonderful exercise for your brain.
Now we know that learning and practicing the piano comes with many benefits such as enhancing eye-hand coordination, boosting memory, etc. However, practicing regularly requires discipline.
In the beginning, it could be hard for many people. Maybe you can start small, but consistent. For instance, start with 15 minutes every day and gradually increase your practicing time. Slowly but surely, you’ll get used to the practice routine and develop the discipline. Then your practice will become even more enjoyable.
In young children, this developed discipline enhances their concentration and focus, giving them a work ethic that they can carry over into their studies and, later, their careers.
To Wrap Up…
So it does not matter if you listen to your favorite music or learn to play the piano, just enjoy the music whichever way you choose. That is going to give you the benefits of music. Repeated listening or practicing favorites will really give you the best boost of the benefits.
In addition, having the opportunity to play music with other people opens up a whole door to social benefits. Anyone can start learning the piano regardless of their age, from 6 to 60, it does not matter.
Moreover, in this digital age, digital pianos provide more fun to practice with music apps and onboard functions.
Enjoy listening to music and playing the piano!!!
Related: Listening to Music Series