Stephanie Haywood

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Health Benefits of Piano Playing

Health benefits of piano playing

A Natural Affinity: How Music Impacts Human Health

Music is innate to every culture on the planet, an important component in ritual, entertainment, religion, commerce and education. The natural rhythms of the human body give human beings an inborn relationship to music, which endows it with properties that help alleviate stress, relax the central nervous system, heighten mood, and release endorphins in the brain which reduce pain. Per Harvard Health Publishing, “these biological explanations and clinical observations may not do full justice to the effect music has on man and his world.”

To learn more about how music can have a positive effect on your life, Piano Theory Exercises offers the following:

A lifelong phenomenon

Music has many positive impacts on human health. Humans’ innate affinity for music, its pitch, timbre, tempos and rhythms predisposes them to respond positively to rhythm and melody, and has a palpable effect on mood and one’s sense of general well-being. This affinity is a lifelong phenomenon. Music is also a powerful means of self-expression, for venting feelings and frustrations. It also provides accompaniment for physical activities like dancing and physical exercise.

Heart health

The tempo of different kinds of music affects the human heart rate in notable ways. In fact, research indicates that whether one likes or dislikes a particular form of music doesn’t matter. As PsychCentral explains, it’s actually the pace of the music that impacts heart rate. While rap music and certain forms of classical music are capable of increasing heart rate, slower, more soothing music has the opposite effect. Additionally, people with high blood pressure have been successful at using music to help “train” themselves to calm down, thus lowering their blood pressure and keeping it under control, a finding supported by a British research study. Clearly, rhythmic properties of music are closely attuned to the natural rhythms of the human body.

Recovery from stroke

Stroke leaves the brain permanently damaged, with speech, memory and cognitive functioning often suffering the worst effects. Stroke victims who listened to jazz or certain forms of classical music every day experienced a gradual improvement in memory and their ability to concentrate, whereas stroke patients who listened to no music at all experienced no such recovery.

Piano playing in particular offers neurological healing benefits following injury. On top of that, it can improve aural awareness, fine motor skills, and seems to prevent aches and pains in old age.

Strengthens the immune system

The power of music lies in its ability to evoke profoundly emotional responses, producing secretions of immunity-bolstering hormones that help protect against illness. The emotional response humans experience when deeply influenced by beautiful music has been shown to reduce levels of the stress-producing hormone cortisol, which has a long-term damaging effect on the immune system. 

Brain health

Listening to music or playing an instrument has been proven effective at improving the brain’s ability to process information and to acquire new information. Higher brain functioning involving mathematical abilities and spatial/temporal reasoning can be enhanced by listening to and performing music. For example, baroque music has a unique beat pattern that stimulates both sides of the brain, which aids learning and memory. The ability to internalize and remember the rhythms, tempos and pitch of music also improves the brain’s ability to retain information.

A musical space

As you can see, engaging with music at any age can provide a wealth of health benefits, and getting your child involved from a young age can set her up for a lifetime’s worth of physical- and emotional-wellness perks. Whether your child shows musical ability or not, there is great value in creating a private space where she can indulge in musical expression. A soundproof room that is calming and positive allows a budding musician to get the most out of playing an instrument without having to worry too much about volume—or being self-conscious about who else may be listening.

The positive effects of music on human health are both far-reaching and numerous, simple and profound. It’s not surprising given the similarity between the timing and natural rhythms of the human body and the fundamental properties of music. It’s a healing synergy with the capacity for eliminating and mitigating many afflictions and physical conditions. 

Piano Theory Exercises offers music theory lessons, introductory instrument courses, and advanced lessons to people of all ages. Connect today to learn more about how music can make you happier and healthier!

This article was written by Stephanie Haywood from mylifeboost .

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com