Do you remember the moment you rode your bike without training wheels for the first time? How about the moment you realized you could read or had learned to do some other skill? Those are perfect moments when there’s a joyful click in your heart as your body and mind sync up perfectly.
Think about one of those moments right now. If you allow it, that same amazing feeling will come back to you in all its glory! Try it right now, and then check yourself for anxiety. There’s probably not much there, is there?
That’s because learning new things is incredibly effective in reducing anxiety in the mind and body, especially if what you learn has to do with music.
Benefits of Playing Piano
We already instinctively know how powerful music is. How often do we turn to music to alter our mood? If we want to lift our spirits, or calm ourselves down, or just have a good cry, music is there for us. And it really helps!
Studies have shown that listening to music can significantly reduce stress and pain. When you listen to music you enjoy, your chemistry immediately shifts.
Your brain releases those wonderful ‘feel good’ chemicals—endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine—flooding your body with wellness and overpowering the damaging effects of stress.
Music could also be considered a sort of time machine. Bringing back vivid memories of other times and places, music can help you remember important moments and wonderful emotions you may have forgotten.
Research conducted in nursing homes and VA hospitals has also revealed the power of music to temporarily restore memories in people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia related maladies.
And if listening to music is so good for us, just imagine how beneficial playing music can be!
Anxiety is a very real threat to your well-being. Reported issues related to anxiety have been on the rise for the past few decades. The uncertainty of just about everything in these days has amped these numbers up even higher.
Sadly, a staggering number of humans struggle with anxiety every day, and maybe you’re one of them. What can you do to help yourself?
Immersing yourself in learning a new skill, like learning to play the piano, can help you keep anxiety in check by boosting your confidence and relieving stress.
Tickle the Ivories and Tame the Blues
Remember that joyous bike ride from earlier? That feeling of accomplishment and all of its benefits are increased tenfold when you begin to learn an instrument.
Just committing yourself to learn a new skill kicks your brain into go-gear! Your ability to focus becomes sharper and stronger as your mind prepares the way for new input.
When you add the component of absolute pleasure that comes with making music with your own hands, you are already in a better place psychologically. All people are born creators and are happiest when creating!
Well Worth the Effort
There is no question that learning requires discipline, concentration, and patience. So you must really have a desire to learn because if you’re not getting any enjoyment from learning, you’re defeating the purpose altogether.
You must be willing to go easy on yourself and take pleasure from the process. If you approach learning the piano from this standpoint and stick with it, you’ll begin to reap benefits that will serve you throughout your lifetime.
Besides for significantly reducing anxiety, learning to an instrument improves math and language skills, hand-eye coordination, and muscle memory.
A study done by the National Library of Music revealed that practicing the piano is also a very effective, natural, and drug-free treatment for depression and other mood disorders.
‘I’m Too Old to Learn’
If you’re thinking this, know that it’s not true! One of the many beautiful things about learning the piano (or any instrument) is that it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can start at any age. The brain has plasticity, which means it is expandable. It is capable of learning, growing, and changing all your life.
Yes, younger brains learn easier and faster than older ones, but don’t let that deter you. Once your brain warms up to your new practice routine, you’ll discover it gets easier with each passing day.
Choosing Your Instrument
Once you make the choice to learn to play the piano, you’ll have to choose your instrument! The good news is modern keyboards come in so many sizes and price points that your biggest concern will be choosing from all of the options!
Prices can range from $54 for the Casio 44-key mini personal keyboard to all the way up to $65,000 for the HBIAO professional digital upright home model, and everything in between.
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money, there are a lot of inexpensive options available. You only have to do a little research and you’ll find the instrument that’s just right for you.
If you have the space for a full-sized upright piano but don’t have thousands to spend, there are always free giveaways in the classified ads. Hop on Craigslist and do a search. You’ll probably have to find your own way of transporting the piano, and it may need repair. However, the expenses to restore the instrument would pale in comparison to the purchase price of a new one.
Finding a Teacher
One good way to find a teacher is by simply visiting your local musical instrument shop and asking around! There are also ratings online that can help guide your choice.
Take your time. You’re going to want a teacher that you feel comfortable with and who appreciates your learning style and taste in music.
Another option if you are good at teaching yourself is shopping around for instructional books and videos that can give you the basics and get you started. Of course, there’s always You Tube where people are always willing to share their craft!
Goodbye Anxiety. Hello Happiness!
So does playing the piano help with anxiety? Absolutely!
Research in the areas of science, psychology, and physiology have proved over and over again that if you struggle with anxiety, whether mild or severe, learning to an instrument will help you overcome it and live a happier, healthier life.
Why not give it a try?
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