Can Playing The Piano Make You Happier?

Jordan Leibel  /  Musicianship  /  UPDATED Jan 16, 2023

Anyone that has sat down at the piano and banged around on the keys knows that the piano is (arguably) the greatest invention devised by man. Regardless of your ability, the piano can really help out your stress levels, self-esteem, and focus.

These benefits will trancend into your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. So exactly how does playing piano affect you in these areas? Read on to find out!

1. Playing Piano Is Fun

This one should be obvious, but playing piano (any instrument, for that matter) is a total blast. Whether you’re just starting out on the keys or mastering a song you’ve been tackling for a few weeks, if you know how to frame your practice, then you’ll be smashing through your goals every time you practice, which feels great!  

2. Playing Piano Decreases Stress

Having a structured practice session is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Feeling frustrated by your day? Maybe you had an argument with a friend or family member. Take those troubled emotions of yours and lay them out on the piano. It’s an amazingly cathartic experience.

3. Playing Piano Will Make You Smarter

Now, there’s a lot of ways you can measure this but simply put, playing piano is good for your brain in a lot of ways. It has been shown to improve your memory storage and concentration ability away from the piano, and even your IQ!  

This article from the Telegraph cites research that learning the piano can boost both children and adult’s IQ by seven points, and that …’even in people over the age of 65 after four or five months of playing a instrument for an hour a week there were strong changes in the brain.’  It will also boost your ability to think creatively in your daily life, and enhance your ability to understand music as a listener. So not only will you get better at playing music, you’ll get better at listening to music as well. It’s a win/win!  

4. Playing Piano Improves Hand-Eye Coordination

Ok, so playing the piano isn’t gonna turn you into an expert athlete, but it will do wonders for your hand-eye coordination, which has a ton of benefits in your life at large. A study done by the American Music Conference concludes that ‘playing an instrument senthens hand-eye coordinationa dn fine motor skills, as well as concentration, memory and attitude.’

When you’re learning a new piece of music, you’re having to read music while also familiarizing yourself with the notes on the keyboard.  It’s a tricky process that requires you to build connections between your hands and your eyes. But as you become more accustomed to it, your hand-eye coordination is going to go through the roof!  

5. Playing Piano Builds Confidence

It’s no easy thing to learn to play an instrument. It takes a great deal of time, discipline and dedication. There are plenty of challenges to overcome along the way, but as you overcome those challenges, you’ll learn the importance of applying yourself in daily life.

You’ll learn how to deal with criticism better because you know that making mistakes doesn’t mean failure, it just means you have another opportunity to try again. And if you’re taking your piano playing into a band context, you’ll be developing some great communication skills at your rehearsals!               

So there you have it. You probably already have some idea of what I’m talking about here. I’m sure you’ve had experiences at the piano where you come away from playing in an elevated, refreshed mood. We all grow as individuals when we deepen our relationship with our instrument.

So what are you waiting for?! Get yourself in front of the piano today. Your brain will thank you.

Jordan Leibel is passionate about songwriting, improvisation, and helping you become a creative musician! He’s worked as a composer for film, commercial, and theatre projects as well as a session musician and producer for recording work.

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