Can Playing the Piano Make You Smarter?

June 11, 2024
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Listening to your favorite music without question is fun, and playing your favorite instrument is even more fun, but it turns out, it also increases your intelligence, and we now have the science to prove it.

Brain Power

When you learn to play an instrument, it requires your brain processes to engage the central nervous system and all of its major parts, which exercise the left and right sides of your brain together. Playing the piano also teaches you how to use your peripheral nervous system as your hands perform separate tasks (i.e. the left hand plays its part while the right hand plays its part), which is an effective way to improve motor skills.

The Focus of Performance

Anyone who plays an instrument has to also practice how to focus on many of the elements in the piece, such as time, notes, volume, changes, and style, so your brain’s executive function helps you concentrate. This process normally happens when you have to play one thing while simultaneously preparing for what comes next, and that means the executive function becomes even stronger.

Brain functions strengthen the more you use them and in the case of the executive function, it controls your ability to make decisions, so that is why many musicians are able to handle stress better.

Sense of Awareness for Every Age

Your brain gets a total workout when you utilize its functions to play, and it boosts your sensory input to enhance your visual, auditory, and emotional responses to each situation. These responses will help you in other areas of life as well because you are more perceptive to things that happen around you.

And perhaps the best part is the positive effects of playing an instrument for your brain are immediate and they set the foundation for a whole lifetime of healthier cognitive abilities for every age.

Research shows that children who took piano lessons carried the brain benefits with them into their later years and throughout the rest of their lives. People who were in their 60s or older who took piano lessons showed that it helped to decrease memory loss and increase verbal fluency, planning, speed of processing information, and other cognitive functions after only six months. 

The research points out that children who play piano tend to have better scores for many school subjects too, including reading comprehension, word pronunciation, math, and overall high aptitude for their retention of information.

As you can see, playing the piano makes you smarter, but even more importantly, it helps you enjoy your life more, and of course, it’s fun, so that’s a huge win for everyone!