Until recently, knowledge of music and musical instruments was considered a pillar of classical education. The power of music to elucidate emotional and psychological responses has been understood for millenia. Furthermore, the fundamental nature of music as a mirror to reflect on the mysteries of the universe and grasp the meaning of existence itself has been recognized by civilizations across history.
The gradual removal of music education from the general public school curriculum is producing generations with limited knowledge of the depth, power, and history of music, as well as robbing children of many of the key developmental strengths that music education provides.
So what exactly are the benefits of music education? Apart from the joy and gracious applause you will surely receive from a performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”, studying music is extremely beneficial for cognitive and social development. Music has the power to improve both memory and mood. Studying musical instruments strengthens hand muscles and improves hand-eye coordination, which in turn has profound effects on the brain.
There is a great deal of information available on how taking music lessons may increase IQ and boost academic performance. And finally, practicing music can instill a sense of self-confidence and achievement and learning to play music in groups can help us to develop richer and more fulfilling social lives. With all these benefits, what are you waiting for?
Does Mozart make you more intelligent?
The Mozart Effect refers to the discovery that listening to Mozart temporarily increases spatial intelligence. According to research, learning to play the piano actually exercises certain parts of the brain which can lead to an increase in IQ for both adults and children. The good thing is, these benefits begin to accrue immediately. There is also research to suggest that learning piano as an adult, especially as you age, is an effective antidote to memory loss and other sorts of mental deterioration that come with aging. You can literally change your mind by practicing piano for the brain! So start playing the piano today if you want to get sharp!
Surprise! Music is a language!
It’s true, music is known as the universal language. Middle C on the staff is middle C in every language on Earth. Every culture and civilization has some form of musical expression. Studies show that there is a direct relationship between music and a child’s language development which helps them learn to read, write, and socialize. Playing the piano also increases brain activity that can assist in learning a foreign language. So, as you begin to study the language of music, you are opening the doors in your brain to learn many other languages on Earth as well!
From music master to multi-tasker
One of the most difficult parts of learning to play the piano is developing coordination between your left and right hands while reading the sheet music in front of you. Of course, with time and patience you will master this skill and the associated benefits are well worth the work. Not only will you be able to put on breathtaking performances for your friends and family, but your new found piano hand coordination will also develop the ability to effectively split your concentration. Long story short, we all multi-task so you may as well get good at it! Additionally, developing a piano practice routine in the midst of a hectic lifestyle can help lend an organizing hand to the chaotic lives we all sometimes lead!
Studying music generates growth!
Some studies reveal that people who practice piano have higher levels of human growth hormone. A study done at the University of Miami found that the test group of people who took keyboard lessons had significantly higher levels of HGH than the control group that did not. Higher levels of HGH in a person translates into increased energy levels and prevents body issues such as aches and pains that come with old age. This means that practicing piano will help reduce your blood pressure, ease your heart both physically and spiritually, strengthen your immune system, and generally help your body repair and replenish itself. You can literally play your way to better health and longevity!
Calm the heart and soul
Music has an innate power to soothe the spirit. One of the oldest metaphorical stories in human history is that of music taming the beast. In our times, we can use the power of music to take a break from our crazy, stress-filled lives and relax with a little piano. You can reduce your stress without having to break a sweat! Piano practice has been proven by experts to lower blood pressure and take you right back to your happy place. So get lost in the music instead of getting lost in your thoughts! Additionally, beginning piano lessons for kids is a wonderful way to teach these important relaxation skills!
Are you running to the piano yet?
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Author of this blog post
Eddie Bond is a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, and music instructor currently based in Seattle, Washington USA. He has performed extensively in the US, Canada, Argentina, and China, released over 40 albums, and has over a decade experience working with music students of all ages and ability levels.