Why You Should Learn Piano As An Adult
It’s a common misconception that piano lessons are just for children. In fact, many adults take up the piano nowadays, and they make excellent students. Unlike children, whose parents have to force them to sit down at the piano every day, adults practice willingly and make the most of their efforts. Learning piano in adulthood can be very rewarding for the following reasons.
Reason 1: Learning Piano Is Good For The Brain
Learning piano stimulates the brain and improves cognition. The mental and physical demands of playing the instrument affect the structure and functioning of the brain in positive ways. For example, pianists have to read the notes, translate the information on the page into movements of their hands, and evaluate the sound of the music. All of this multi-tasking affects the brain in several ways. For one thing, piano players tend to have more gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with sight, hearing, and touch. Research also shows that learning piano stimulates neuroplasticity, or growth, in the brain throughout life.
Reason 2: Learning Piano Boosts Short-Term Memory
The ability to recall new information naturally declines with age, but learning to play the piano as an adult can actually reverse that process. Studies show that older adults who learn piano are able to improve their working memory on tasks unrelated to music, including reading comprehension. One explanation for this improvement is that the cognitive demands of learning piano tend to improve executive functioning, which includes abilities like planning, organizing, and strategizing. These abilities enhance the efficiency of memory storage and the speed of retrieval.
Reason 3: Playing The Piano Can Improve Your Social Life
Another benefit of learning piano in adulthood is a better social life. First of all, adult piano students join a community of musicians when they start taking lessons, working with a teacher and sometimes with fellow learners. As their skills improve, many piano players can take their music out of the classroom and into the world, playing at parties, at church, or with other musician friends. Playing the piano can even improve interpersonal skills because musicians tend to be better listeners and more aware of others’ emotions than non-musicians.
Reason 4: Learning Piano Is Excellent Role Modeling For Children
Taking up the piano can be a great way for parents to demonstrate their values to their children. When children see a parent practicing the piano, they see that their parent considers music valuable and worth learning. They also see that mistakes are part of learning and practicing leads to improvement. Showing children how to persevere is much more effective than just telling them to keep trying when they face a challenge.
Reason 5: Playing The Piano Relieves Stress
The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the concept of flow as the condition of being completely absorbed in an activity. When people are in a state of flow, they are not thinking of any concerns outside of the activity itself, and they tend to feel deeply relaxed. Creative pursuits, like playing the piano, are especially conducive to this experience. Many adult piano players find that they can lose themselves and get rid of stress when they focus on practicing, performing, or even composing a song.
Reason 6: Playing The Piano Is Good For Your Health
Not only is learning piano good for the mind, but it’s also good for the body. For one thing, piano players tend to have stronger fingers, hands, and arms than non-piano players. Along with strength, pianists also have highly developed fine motor skills. In addition, playing the piano can lower the heart rate and blood pressure and boost the immune system. The stress-relief benefits discussed above can also help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other stress-related conditions.
Reason 7: Playing The Piano Is Fun
Most adults who take up the piano do it because it’s fun. It’s incredibly satisfying to be able to play music you love, whether it’s a beautiful classical piece like Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” or a moving pop ballad like Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Often, beginners can learn very simple versions of their favorite songs that they can play and sing along to right away. Many adult learners say that learning piano has made them feel more connected to music and introduced them to new songs that they might never have heard.
Finding A Piano
Piano students need a good instrument to practice with. Before buying a brand new piano, which can be quite an investment, it may be a good idea to see if any family members have an old piano that no one is currently using. If nothing is available to borrow, consider shopping for a used piano from a local seller. Whether you buy a new or used instrument, bear in mind that you need a piano mover to relocate a piano safely. Make sure to choose a professional, experienced piano mover. A piano is a delicate instrument, and improper handling could affect the sound or tuning of the strings.
If space or thin walls are a consideration, a digital piano can be an excellent alternative to a traditional instrument. Modern electronic pianos mimic the feel and response of piano keys, but they allow musicians to practice silently with headphones.
Finding An Instructor
The next step is to find a teacher. Music stores frequently offer piano instruction on-site or provide recommendations for local teachers. Nowadays, it’s easy to find piano teachers online who give lessons through videoconferencing platforms like zoom. Besides checking a potential teacher’s credentials, students should make sure to find a teacher who will help them reach their goals. For instance, some teachers have a traditional approach and teach mainly classical music, while others focus more on ear training and improvisation.
There are many reasons to learn piano as an adult. Besides the points mentioned above, learning piano can improve concentration, boost self-confidence, and enhance mental health by relieving stress and providing a creative outlet. Adults of all ages can experience these mental and physical benefits, so it is truly never too late to learn to play the piano.