How Learning to Play the Piano Effects the Brain

Scientific evidence has proved that learning to play a musical instrument like the piano effects and even makes changes on an individual's brain.


Various research studies have shown that learning the piano (as well as other musical instruments) has an effect on the auditory cortex, which is a part of the brain that is responsible for the processing of sound.



According to the findings, pianists tend to show more brain activity on this part of the brain. Other studies have also shown that preschoolers with musical training exhibit larger brain responses on various sound recognition tests.


Individuals with early childhood piano lessons tend to have enhanced motor and auditory skills. They also exhibit improved verbal ability as well as nonverbal reasoning. Such training enhances a person's acoustic responsiveness.


In musicians like us, the brain structure that is associated with auditory processing is larger in the left hemisphere and smaller in the right. They also have a thicker nerve-fiber tract between the left and the right hemisphere. This increases the speed of communication between the two hemispheres.


Music stimulates both sides of the brain as well as the area that contains the memory and emotions.

Piano Lessons and the Effect on Memory


It's been shown that undertaking piano lessons has an impact on a person's memory. A study by Agnes Chan of the University of Hongkong proved that those individuals who had received musical training before the age of 12 had a better memory when it came to the spoken words than those who had never received such training.

Therefore, piano lessons have a long term effect on someone's verbal memory. It affects their attention and memory which in turn leads to better learning.

8 Health Benefits from Playing Piano


In our constant search for ways to improve our lives, we forget that it can be the things that we enjoy doing most which enrich us mentally and benefit our physical health.  For instance, it has been scientifically proven that playing a musical instrument like Piano doesn’t only enhance your skills but also contributes to your health throughout your life.


These eight health benefits of playing the piano listed below will make you add it to your bucket list:

1. It Relieves Stress

     The fact that music from piano soothes the soul is known to us all but it also acts as a stress buster. Even if you give just a few minutes of your busy day to playing the piano, it can lower the blood pressure and make you feel much more positive. In fact, just being a part of piano recitals or playing in front of a few people can drive stage fright out of people.

2. Enhances Split Concentration

     Since piano requires using both your hands doing different things for playing it, you might not be able to deal with it at first. Gradually, the art of split concentration becomes an integral part. This further helps you in coordinating your eyes and hands while playing. Thus, your concentration skills get developed, making you sharper.

3. Stimulates the Brain, improving Neural Connections.

     Scientific studies show that music stimulates the brain in a way that no other activity does. Thus, playing a musical instrument like piano adds new neural connections developing some higher tiers in the brain. These improved neural connections have their fair share in benefitting at studies and other daily life chores of a person.

4. Strengthens Hand Muscles.

     By maintaining the correct posture of hands and using the proper hand position while playing the piano makes your arms stronger. Even as you grow up and get older, your hands have stronger hand muscles compared to others. The piano is a great way of developing dexterity among children as well.


5. Improves the Language Skills

     The aural awareness that is developed by playing the piano makes it easier for you to understand the sound patterns of foreign languages. It works wonders for kids who have trouble hearing in a noisy background and can fight dyslexia while it is still developing.

6. Improves Vocabulary and other Classroom skills
     Learning to play the piano broadens the vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills of students. Since they are exposed to more words than the kids who do not learn music, their reading also improves automatically. All these factors lead to an overall better performance in the classroom.


7. It stimulates the growth hormones

     The Human Growth Hormones or Hgh in the human body has been found to have an altered growth in children who play the piano. These growth hormones keep a person energetic and prevent issues like body ache and pain in the old age. Studies showed that students who took keyboard lessons had increased levels of human growth hormones than those who did not.


8. Helps Children accept Criticism Gracefully

    Children who take piano lessons get continuous feedbacks and constructive criticisms from their teachers. This prepares them to accept criticism in a positive way, building them into individuals with stronger and better mental health. However, if a child does not take criticisms positively, it can lead to depression. In a way, piano lessons prove to inculcate important values that stay with people for their lifetime.

Top 10 Ways Playing Piano Makes You Healthier & Smarter




It’s music to my ears and to my heart. Playing the piano can make you healthier and smarter. There’s scientific research to prove it. Here’s the TOP TEN WAYS being a piano player can improve the quality of your life.


1. Music keeps your ears young

     Older musicians don’t experience typical aging in the part of the brain (the auditory cortex) that often leads to hearing troubles. It’s never too late to start taking piano lessons and prevent these age-related changes.

(The r – Michael Roizen, MD and Mehmet Oz, MD)

2. It boosts your test scores

    Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than those that didn’t in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts. (University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent)


3. It alters your brain

     Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music — specifically, learning to play music — does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than entertain us by playing the piano, for example. On top of that, it actually changes our brains.

The paper, published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a compilation of research findings from scientists all over the world. According to the Northwestern scientists, the findings strongly indicate learning to play music adds new neural connections and that primes the brain for other forms of human communication. The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally. (Natural News)


4. It helps with language skills 

     Researchers also found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to comprehend speech in a noisy background.  Moreover, children with learning disabilities, who often have a hard time focusing when there’s a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by music lessons. Music training (like piano lessons Atlanta) strengthens the same neural processes that often are deficient in those with developmental dyslexia or those who have difficulty hearing speech in noise.


5. It keeps your brain “fit.”

     Children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability than youngsters who haven’t had any musical training. The Northwestern researchers concluded their findings making a case for including music in school curriculums: “The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development.”


6. It breeds future success

     Besides the joy piano playing brings, there is a strong link between playing the piano and the development of skills needed to be successful in life. Some of the benefits of playing the piano include developing strong discipline skills, patience, coordination, and dedication as well as an increased ability to memorize. According to a Michigan State University research project, piano-playing Americans reported that piano lessons significantly reduced their incidence of depression and anxiety.


7. It’s good for your well-being

     A piano player will also note a marked decrease in loneliness.


8. It’s a stress reliever

     Science says there are good medical reasons to play a musical instrument. It can reverse stress at the molecular level. (Studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems; Medical Science Monitor)


9. It makes you feel good

     Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing long-term care workers to recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (Advances in Mind-Body Medicine)


10. It affects hormones

     Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH production among active older Americans). Findings of a study revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group people who did not play. (University of Miami)

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