There’s a common misconception that once you reach a certain age, it’s difficult—or impossible—to learn to play the piano. The truth, however, is that piano lessons can be beneficial to people of all ages, even older adults. From helping keep your brain healthy to improving your mood, taking up the piano later in life offers a host of benefits.
The Brain Benefits of Playing Music
Many studies show that listening to music can be beneficial for those with cognitive decline issues, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. There’s also increasing evidence that playing music can slow cognitive decline. In one study, people who had no prior music training took piano lessons for six months and subsequently showed improved cognitive functioning, including improved verbal fluency and better reasoning skills. In another study, researchers discovered that playing a musical instrument is one of the leisure activities closely associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia.
Scientists have several theories as to why playing an instrument has such a powerful effect on cognitive function in reducing decline. For starters, playing music appears to improve brain plasticity, making it possible it to continue to make new connections. Playing music also requires using both brain hemispheres and using multiple cognitive strategies at once, which can help strengthen and protect it.
The Connection Between Music & Mood
Taking piano lessons and playing music does more than support brain health. It can also improve mood, stimulate thoughts and memories, and allow for a healthy expression of emotion. Research reveals that playing the piano can stimulate the production of endorphins—hormones responsible for happiness—which can then improve mood. Also, because playing music requires concentration, it can reduce stress.
Finally, learning to play the piano later in life is fun. Playing even a simple song can boost feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence and provide opportunities to meet other people and socialize, helping you feel more fulfilled.
It’s never too late for piano lessons, and the European Piano School in Anchorage, AK, can help you develop your musical abilities with lessons for all ages. Taught by professionally trained pianist Iryna Dunaeva, who has more than 38 years of experience teaching piano, you’ll build your skills in a supportive environment. To learn more about the classes and lessons, visit their website or call (907) 360-2915 to sign up.