Piano Playing, Mental Health, and Self Care

Piano Playing, Mental Health, and Self Care

This past year, self care has taken on an entirely new life. Stress is a part of our everyday lives. It’s here in ways we never thought possible, and it’s impacting all of us in new ways. 

While staying in place had an impact on all of us, it did make us look at ourselves and try and find ways of bringing peace and calm to each new day. People picked up new hobbies at record-breaking speed. Making bread became a new norm. 

But once we settled into our homes, and realized we’re home to stay, we started finding new opportunities that passed us by before. 

Is piano playing a new hobby for you? Congratulations. Studies show it’s one of the best activities you can take on for your mental health. It’s not just good for living through a pandemic; it can help you with stress relief for life. 

Piano playing relieves stress – when you sit down to play the piano, you can’t bring your problems to the keyboard. It requires full concentration, which makes you leave your cares behind. It gives you something else to focus on while you’re creating music. It’s also a booster to your self-esteem, as well as gives you a more positive outlook on life. 

Piano improves concentration – had brain fog this past year? A lot of people have. It’s difficult to concentrate when the world is changing at break-neck speed, and you’re doing everything you can to keep up. When you sit down to play the piano, it regulates you to split your concentration to read the music, interpret the notes, and move that down into your hands to take action on the keys. Don’t forget about your foot to tap the sustain pedal as needed. You can’t have other things on your mind and play well. Playing allows you to push “stuff” away for a while, and focus only on what’s important now. 

Piano improves language – when you’re playing the piano, your listening skills automatically gain a boost. You listen for intervals and chords while playing, and develop voice and a sense of pitch. This transfers into your language skills as well as your memory. It helps you pick up the fine tonal qualities that make you better at listening, as well as hear sounds and differences in a new way. This helps kids become better at school, learn foreign languages faster, and do better on tests. It continues throughout life, assisting seniors to remember better and be more concise with their language skills. Hand-eye coordination also improves as you connect with the keyboard with all of your senses intact. 

Sometimes taking control over your mental health starts with stress relief. Whether you’re just starting to play the piano as a new hobby, or have played for years, it’s the one activity that you can carry with you through life, and have it inspire you every time you sit down.