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“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” they say.
Really, it’s the most self-defeating phrase we’ve ever heard. Learning new tricks is key to maintaining a healthy mind as you get older, and learning to play the piano is a great way to do it.
Not convinced? Let’s break down the reasons why adults have every incentive to learn to play the piano.
It’s Good for Your Brain
Numerous studies show that continuing to learn new skills is great for your brain.
New skills help your brain stay elastic. Mental exercise is as important for your brain as physical exercise is for your body.
Learning new skills might even help stave off dementia and other age-related mental conditions.
Not only that, but learning something like the piano creates a flexibility of thought in your brain. It makes your brain work in different ways, expanding your mind creatively.
It’s Good for Your Body
So we’ve explained why it’s good for your brain, but how can it be good for your body?
It’s true. The piano has been shown to increase joint flexibility along with enhancing blood vessel function.
Particularly as you grow older and your joints stiffen up, playing the piano can help stretch and loosen them, giving you back greater flexibility.
Unlike a lot of other instruments, the piano isn’t taxing on the body. You won’t have to worry too much about callouses, the strength of your arm, or the power of your lungs. So long as you can sit up straight for a reasonable length of time, you should be able to play the piano.
Reduce your Stress Levels
Learn to play the piano, and you may find your stress levels drop almost immediately.
Piano, like most musical instruments, requires a zen-like concentration on what you’re doing. It slows down a busy mind to focus on the task at hand, relieving stress in the process.
The physical motions in play are calming, to say nothing of the calming effect of the resulting music.
While learning a new skill can be tricky in its own way, the mental engagement is great for lowering stress levels. You’d be surprised how much stress originates from boredom or sameness in your day.
The sense of achievement as you get better also reaffirms your self-worth and confidence, giving you an extra spring in your step.
You Can Impress Anyone
We all want to seem impressive to our peers, and playing the piano is a great way to do that.
A huge percentage of adults wish they could play an instrument. The difference between a daydream and a skill is simply doing.
Yet all of those hours of practice will seem like natural talent to someone who doesn’t understand how much work you’ve put in!
Have you ever not been impressed by someone who can play the piano fluently?
Unlike, say, being the best at your sport, playing the piano is an accessible social skill, one appreciated by pretty much everyone. If you’re looking for a skill with which to impress, or even just one you can share, then the piano is a brilliant choice.
They’re Nearly Universal
The piano is ubiquitous in music, almost always tucked away somewhere in an ensemble. Even when they’re not, they’re likely replaced by their close cousin, the keyboard.
By picking up the piano, you’re choosing an instrument that goes well with anything.
You Can Play Almost Any Song
Quick task for you: head over to YouTube and search for a song title followed by the word “piano”.
We bet you found it! Almost every tune imaginable, all the way up to the poppiest of pop hits, can be boiled down to a piano version. Unlike many instruments, the piano also lets you play multiple notes simultaneously, meaning you can accompany yourself.
Often, the piano version of a memorable song can be memorable in its own right.
Transforming a popular tune into a piano counterpart instantly gives it a touch of understated class and wow factor.
It’ll Help you Play Everything Else
As far as music theory goes, learning the piano is a fantastic way to start out.
The piano gives you an appreciation for notes and scales, which map easily to other instruments.
Although playing other instruments can be a very different experience, knowing how to play the piano will give your brain an “in”. It’ll look for the similarities, not the differences.
You’ll Gain a Better Appreciation for Music
Learning to play an instrument is like learning a new language.
You may appreciate, for instance, the sounds of the French language, but you can’t gain a true appreciation for what’s being said until you understand it.
There’s a similar argument to be made with music. Although music is easy to appreciate for the listener, a musician gains a deeper understanding of how the song is constructed and can connect with it on a deeper level.
In turn, you may find that songs start to inspire your own playing.
You Can Choose your Genre
Some instruments are better suited to certain genres. While Jazz bagpipes aren’t unheard of, for instance, you’ll rarely hear an argument that the two are a natural fit.
By contrast, here’s a non-exhaustive list of genres you can tackle once you learn to play the piano:
And many, many others!
It’s Never Been Easier to Learn to Play the Piano
Take a moment to appreciate the age we live in. The knowledge of experts is a few Google searches away at all times.
Search online and you’ll find vast libraries of how-to guides, sheet music, hints, and tips, as well as answers to your frequently asked questions.
YouTube is also a brilliant platform for video tutorials. They can give you a much more intimate, guided instruction at any level of expertise. They’re the next best thing to having a tutor in the room with you.
The wonders of modern manufacturing also mean that owning a piano has never been more affordable. Keyboards and pianos are now available at a whole range of price points to fit your budget.
So there you go, ten good reasons why you should learn to play the piano starting today! The sooner you start, the more you can learn!
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