How To Unwind At The Piano

Lisa Witt  /  Improvisation / May 21

Playing the piano has scientifically proven, stress-reducing powers. I’m not even kidding. You could get lost for hours in all of the research that has been done in regards to music and the healing effects it has on our minds and bodies.

The Piano Is Extra Special

When you play the piano ALL the areas of your brain are in action. Not just the left or right side, the whole thing. On top of that, playing the piano grows and strengthens the corpus callosum which is the bridge between the two sides of the brain. This means that information will travel faster and more efficiently through your brain, making you smarter and faster!

What If You’re Not In The Mood

So playing the piano is proven to be good for you, but if you have a bad day or are too exhausted to practice you likely won’t feel as though playing scales and working on your sight reading will help you to feel better. It was from that state of mind that this lesson came about.

Jordan and I were discussing lessons for the Pianote members’ area and found ourselves looking for a way that a total beginner could play the piano, make beautiful sounds, relax and enjoy the instrument without having to think very hard about it. Jordan ended up guiding me through an improv based on just the black keys of the piano with a few little bonuses added in and the result was AMAZING!

So that is what this lesson is about. You will be guided through a way of playing that will get you into the “flow state” where you aren’t thinking about what you’ve played or should play, but rather simply enjoy the piano and allow it to help you unwind and relax.

Why This Works

There are theoretical reasons why this lesson works. We are essentially playing with the F# major scale. All of the black keys form the F# major pentatonic scale, which is why they all work. 

But in this case, I’d encourage you to forget about the theory and just allow yourself to enjoy the playing.

Watch the video and let me know what you think!

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 19 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.

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