Why the Piano is the only instrument worth listening to for beginners
Posted March 06, 2018 08:11:30A new study by an international research group concludes that playing piano is not only the most enjoyable instrument for children, but it is also a very effective way of strengthening the brain.
In their study, researchers from The Netherlands found that playing the piano for at least five minutes a day for five months was associated with a significant improvement in children’s academic achievement.
They found that children who were able to play piano for longer periods of time had improved brain health and a greater ability to concentrate and learn.
The findings were published online in the journal Psychological Science.
“The findings suggest that playing for more than 5 minutes a week is an effective way to develop a strong foundation in cognitive and emotional skills, and that it could also be used for children at risk for cognitive and behavioural problems,” said lead author and psychologist Peter van de Gelderen, of the University of The Hague.
“While it is true that playing a piano can be difficult, I think it’s important to recognize that the benefits are not simply physical, but psychological, as well.”
The study was conducted in the Netherlands, which has the highest rate of childhood depression and a lower rate of autism.
“We have found that, in terms of children’s cognitive and behavioral development, playing the instrument for longer than five minutes daily for five years is beneficial,” said Dr. van de Geolderen.
“The results are important because they show that playing music for more time than five to six hours a day can have a positive impact on brain health.”
According to Dr. Van de Gelder, one of the key components of piano training is the ability to play the piano with a calm, collected voice.
“Children who play piano with the right technique and practice often learn to improvise, and this has a very positive impact in their mental and emotional health,” he said.
The researchers used a group of children aged nine to 13 who had received one of five piano lessons for at a time for the last five months.
The children were assessed on their cognitive and psychological abilities and assessed for cognitive functioning, emotional stability, attention, impulse control and social behaviour.
The findings indicate that playing at least 5 minutes per day for at most five years improves cognitive functioning and improves the cognitive and psychosocial development of the brain, Dr. R. E. van der Hoorn, the lead author of the study, said in a statement.
Dr. van De Geldere said the results are especially important because these studies are observational, and it’s not known how long the effects last.
“These findings have important implications for the development of new therapeutic strategies for cognitive-health conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder,” he added.
“However, the important thing is that we found a benefit that lasts at least three years, which is an indication that playing and training piano can have long-term health benefits.”
The researchers suggest that the use of music as a means of learning, particularly when children are young, is important, as it can help them to better understand the nature of their brain, and also to engage with other aspects of their lives, such an appreciation for art and learning new skills.
“Music can be a powerful tool to engage the child’s attention, to engage their curiosity, to help them learn new skills,” Dr. Peter van der Wahl said.
“It is important that music can be used to enhance their brain function and enhance their cognitive health and well-being.”
The authors of the paper say that the findings show that children should not be excluded from the piano playing game because they lack the musical skill.
“A healthy brain requires playing piano and music,” Dr van der Hoeven said.
“Music and pianos are both part of the human brain, so playing piano with children and young people can be beneficial for their cognitive development.”