Playing piano may be good for mind! 4 ways music benefits mental health
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
Music has long been a source of comfort, inspiration, and entertainment for people all over the world. But did you know that it can also have a profound impact on your mental health? Recent research suggests that learning to play a musical instrument, such as the piano, can be beneficial for your mind. So, whether you’re a novice or an experienced musician, it might be time to dust off that keyboard and start making some beautiful music. Join us as we explore the fascinating ways in which music can benefit your mental well-being.
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How Music Influences Mental Health
A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath has shed light on the positive effects of learning to play a musical instrument. The study revealed that individuals who took up piano lessons for just one hour a week experienced significant improvements in their ability to process auditory and visual stimuli. What’s more, these participants reported lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.
To delve deeper into the connection between piano playing and mental health, we reached out to clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj. According to Raj, playing the piano can stimulate the brain in unparalleled ways. Each time you strike a musical note, new neural connections are formed, priming your brain for enhanced communication skills. The benefits extend far beyond the realm of music, including improved memory, increased brain speed, heightened concentration, and reduced stress levels.
The Chemistry of Music
Music has a remarkable impact on brain signals and chemistry. Raj explains that listening to music can release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, as well as oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone.” Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that music can lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
1. Enhances Focus and Productivity
There’s a reason why classical music is often recommended for studying or working. Raj highlights that numerous studies have shown the positive effect of classical music on concentration. Specifically, music with a tempo of around 60 beats per minute can enhance the brain’s ability to process information and thoughts. So, the next time you need to buckle down and focus, turn on some Mozart or Beethoven to boost your productivity.
2. Expressing Thoughts and Emotions
Sometimes, words are simply not enough to express our deepest thoughts and emotions. In these instances, music becomes our voice. It serves as a powerful medium to convey complex feelings without uttering a single word. Whether it’s playing a heartfelt melody or composing a soulful composition, music acts as a non-verbal language that speaks directly to the heart.
3. Elevates Mood and Positivity
When you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, uplifting tunes can work wonders. The brain is highly responsive to music, and by listening to positive and inspiring songs, you can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones. So, create a playlist filled with your favorite uplifting tracks and let the music lift your spirits.
4. Promotes Relaxation and Well-being
The soothing melodies of piano, nature sounds, or string instruments have an incredible ability to induce a state of relaxation. Calming music has an emotional effect on us, improving our mood and inducing a sense of tranquility in both the mind and body. So, the next time you need to unwind and destress, press play on a playlist of peaceful tunes.
Armed with this newfound knowledge, it’s time to harness the power of music in your own life. Whether you decide to take up piano lessons, share your musical talents with loved ones, or simply sit back and savor your favorite tunes, rest assured that you are nourishing your mind and enhancing your well-being through the enchanting world of music. So go ahead, press play, and let the healing melodies wash over you.