New Music Facts 101 Blog Alert – The Benefits of Studying Piano for Seniors is hot on the heels of our earlier blog, The Benefits of Studying Piano for Kids. Did you hear? Studying the piano has positive, outlasting effects for Seniors as well as for kids!
Although some people avoid learning instruments in their senior years because they think they are unable to learn them if they didn’t start as a child, studies have broken this thinking as they have proven we can still learn new skills as we age.
While it’s important to stay physically fit, it’s equally vital for Seniors to stay mentally sharp, and piano is a fun, unique way to do so.
Studies conducted at Northwestern University found that playing the piano helps to build neural connections, improving memory and clarity. Even a small amount of musical training will have long-lasting effects on the brain.
Studying the piano increases neural connections, increasing overall brain function. Neurons are responsible for transmitting and processing information. So, playing the piano essentially makes you brighter! Pretty cool, huh?
Piano helps to reduce stress by teaching the mind to relax. Playing piano helps Seniors to focus on one thing instead of other factors including health problems. Music has also long been employed by nursing homes everywhere as a way to keep their residents relaxed and soothed. Patients with dementia who can’t remember much from their past have been known to sing along with all of the lyrics when certain songs are played. Music has a way of staying with us, it seems.
Improves Motor Skills
When you play the piano, you must read the music. As you read, you train your hands to continue working at the same time. Improving hand and eye coordination will strengthen several parts of the brain, as well as muscle memory. Both hands play different notes, so they have to work independently. The eyes look at the notes for both hands at the same time, and the brain distributes the right order to each hand. The brain can intuitively develop these simple motor skills with some practice.
Increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Human growth hormone (HGH) helps to reduce muscle pain and inflammation. Seniors tend to have additional aches and pains, which makes HGH an important hormone in the body to reduce such problems. Studies have shown individuals playing piano have a higher level of HGH than others. HGH has been show to decrease osteoporosis and increase energy levels, too. Win-win!
Piano helps to improve creativity as you need to use divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is when you use both sides of the brain, which directly correlates to creative thinking.
Jennifer Burgos has studied the impact of piano lessons on adults above the age of 60. An Assistant Professor of music education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Burgos found that after six months, the Seniors who had taken piano lessons had a notable level of superiority in their capacity for memory and their verbal fluency when compared to those who did not take the lessons. The Senior musicians were also shown to be able to process information more quickly on top of an increased planning ability.
Improves Psychological Health
Tickling the ivories relaxes you both mentally and physically. It causes your brain to release beta endorphins and dopamine, which in turn, gives you a sense of mental well being. Thus, by playing the piano regularly, you can improve your psychological health considerably.
If you’re hitting your golden years, you may be on the lookout for hobbies or ways to keep busy now that you’re done slaving away in the office and the kids are all grown-up. Naturally, it’s nice to have some free time to finally kick back and relax but it won’t be long before you start itching for something to do. Why not learn the piano?
Veteran piano instructor, Linda Wehrli’s fun and informative curriculum will surely inspire you. Linda and her hubby, Barry Wehrli co-wrote their piano books with a unique curriculum that takes students on a musical journey, step by step. It is is designed to bring out the inner musician in each and every student. Their program blends musicianship and technical skills with creativity and expression. The goal is to provide a comprehensive piano education while making learning to read and play music an adventure for the student. This strong musical foundation will last for years to come!
Their engaging style presents topics in language that is simple, straight-forward and student-friendly. This is ideal for students new to the piano as well as students who are resuming their piano studies.
Ready to enroll? I’m glad to set up a free consultation with Linda Wehrli either safe in-studio or on Zoom. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with best days/times. Glad to help you get your musical journey started or rebooted.
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