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  • Zoe Lim

Benefits of Playing the Piano as a Senior

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

Most people would have begun learning the piano when they were a child or young adult. However, it is never too late to start playing the instrument even if you are aging towards 70 or 80 years of age. There have been studies conducted which have shown results of health benefits, suggesting that learning to play music can keep one mentally fit.

Northwestern University has actually proven the above statements when they conducted research on the effects of piano and seniors. The experiment had two groups of participants. One group received daily piano training while the other group took part in leisure activities such as painting and computer lessons. They found a significant improvement on the piano training group in terms of executive function, inhibitory control and divided attention. It is also known that music is commonly used and taught in nursing homes as it has shown improvements in the moods of the patients.

We often see videos on the internet where people who have dementia being able to perform a whole piece on the piano. The beneficial effects of playing the piano or any other instrument are definitely indisputable at this point. Below are some of the health benefits that comes along with practicing music :

  1. Improves hand-eye coordination - Sight-reading while playing the piano requires concentration and trains your muscle memory. Thus, improving hand-eye coordination in the long term.

  2. Stress reduction - The enjoyment that comes with playing music helps one to relax as it promotes a stress-free environment.

  3. Improves cognitive functions - Playing music increases neural connections which improves the brain functions overall.

  4. Increases creativity - Of course, learning and creating music trains your creativity skills as it requires originality and divergent thinking.

So, if you are an elder reading this article, you might want to start thinking about learning a song or two on the piano! Not only does a musical journey enriches your life, it can also build healthy relationships as music is meant to be loved and shared by everyone.

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