Piano and Mental Health

Had you asked me back in February if I was stressed, I would have told you, “Absolutely!”. 

And then the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

Many of you, like me, started quarantining and social distancing as much as possible. You lost most of your connections to the outside world. Some of you were, and still are, a little on edge. You’re uneasy when you think of what the future might hold, and you aren’t sure who or what is safe to be around right now. The safest place for your health is staying home, but you might feel stuck or stir-crazy staying home for so long. 

I’m right there with you. I’ve been adhering to social distancing practices as best I can, and I believe it’s important that we all do our part to stop the spread of COVID19. However, I know staying at home can be detrimental when it comes to our mental health. Many of us are looking to do something to improve ourselves, like making exercise a daily habit, or learning how to cook instead of relying on freezer meals. 

Piano can be that new hobby for you. Below, I’ve outlined a few reasons why taking a few minutes to play piano can be a great mental break for anyone: 

Piano improves your physical health:

Not that it is as noticeable as a lot of other fitness measures, our fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination probably aren’t what they once were. Learning how to play piano in our chord based approach can help with that, as these skills help create new connections between your muscles in your arms, hands, eyes, and brain. Music has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and cardiac complications, and increase our bodies’ immune response. 

Piano relieves stress:

There’s more than enough stress to go around, especially lately. We all have some sort of negative pressure in our lives, but I’ve heard of more and more people who play piano or another instrument to relieve stress and clear their head for a while. Playing for a few minutes a day can lead to a boost in self-esteem and a positive outlook, and during quarantine, it’s important to stay positive! Piano lessons and playing are also becoming a new trend in therapy. 

Piano leads to split concentration: 

Playing piano requires split concentration skills– you read and interpret what the lead sheets say, play the notes with your fingers, and use the sustain pedal at your feet. It may be a challenge at first, but you will find that your multitasking skills in other areas will greatly improve. 

Piano improves aural awareness:

Practicing piano trains your brain to recognize intervals and chords while simultaneously developing your sense of pitch. This perk applies whether you’re 25 years old or 85 years old! 

Aural awareness is important outside of music too. It allows us to recognize sound patterns in foreign languages and helps us focus on one sound when there is lots of noise around us. 

Are you wondering if adult piano lessons are right for you? Are you curious to see if learning to play the piano for fun could help with your everyday stress levels? Click the button below to watch a free webinar and learn more about Scott’s method of teaching piano.

3 Comments
  • Cheri Goodman
    Posted at 15:46h, 27 July Reply

    I began your program in the last week in May 2020. I have a lot of time due to social distancing. It’s also good for me, a clinical Mental Health Counselor, to set an example for managing stress for my clients. I have maintained my practice online and share how I manage stress: taking piano.

    I had taken piano for 2 years about 30 years ago when going through a difficult time as a young adult. I really am enjoying sitting down to my keyboard to learn, distract, refocus every minute I can. It has made all the difference for me in managing a new career focus via telehealth and prepping for retirement in a couple years by opening up a whole new way to manage and express my feelings! Thanks!

    • Hannah Derleth
      Posted at 17:07h, 10 August Reply

      Hi Cheri,

      We LOVE hearing stories like this, where piano has such a positive effect on you and your stress levels. We’re glad we’ve given you something to focus on while social distancing. Keep working at it!

      — Hannah

  • Gilbert Crampton
    Posted at 13:50h, 05 September Reply

    I completed the 6 courses before the pandemic struck. However, I have used my post pandemic self quarantine time to go over the courses again to enhance my playing. Learning to play piano through Piano in a flash has given me the confidence to attempt to learn to play other instruments, to learn to cook and to believe in the learning process. I am 82 years old and have played through 6 volumes of Real Books this year.
    Would like to have more live interaction with instructors in future courses if presented.

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