How Learning The Piano Could Be Good For Your Mental Wellbeing

We are all much more aware of protecting our mental health, and aiding our mental wellbeing, especially in these times of COVID, looking after our mental health has never been so important.

There are many things we can do that we know help keep our mental well being more healthy, such as eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, exercising and mediation.

But, did you know that learning the piano is also beneficial for your mental health? Well, it is, and many studies have shown that this is so.

Let’s have a look at why.

Helps Relieve Anxiety

Many people suffer with some form of anxiety, in this fast paced, stressful world. Learning and playing the piano has been shown to do wonders to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety.

When you are anxious, you often struggle to focus due to the overwhelming amount of thoughts running through your head at any one time.

To learn and to play the piano takes a great deal of concentration and focus, so practicing almost forces you to focus on only one thing, and this can be just what your brain needs to have a break from thinking about everything and anything.

Learning and playing the piano will also help to improve your levels of concentration, which will go on to help you in your life outside of piano playing, like at work for example.

Playing the piano has also been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rates, which in turn can help with reducing feelings of stress, and lead to you generally feeling much better in yourself.

Depending on the piece you are playing on your piano, it can also help you release some pent up anger from whatever has stressed you that day. If you are playing a more impressive, loud piece of music, it requires almost forceful playing and this can help with that stress level, as well as using up some energy to help you relax.

Helps Improve Confidence And Self Esteem

Having low confidence and low self esteem are more very common problems that many people suffer with.

There can be many reasons for this, although there seems to be a correlation between the rise of social media and people feeling less satisfied with themselves and their lives.

Low self esteem can then lead on to further problems like depression and anxiety, so finding a way to improve both confidence and self esteem can be extremely beneficial.

Playing the piano can really help in both of these areas. Learning the piano and subsequently learning how to play different pieces of music will give you a huge sense of achievement.

Learning to play the piano takes a lot of dedication and practice, as well as time management and organisational skills. So, when this all comes together and you finally manage the scale you’ve been struggling with, or you can seamlessly play the piece of music you’ve been wanting to play for some time, the sense of achievement you feel will be huge.

This will then make you feel great about yourself, and that lift in self esteem will carry into other areas of your life.

Playing any instrument, in this case a piano, will involve some playing in front of an audience. Whether that audience is small and just consists of your family and friends, or even just in front of your tutor, or whether your audience is larger in the form of a concert or in front of your peers at places like LVL Music Academy over here: https://www.learnviolinlessons.net/piano-lessons/, there will be some form of playing to an audience.

This can be quite scary, and building up to it will be slightly nerve wracking, however doing this and completing a show in front of an audience of any size will give your confidence it needs.

Helps Improve Social Connections

Humans are naturally social beings, and being isolated leads to feelings of being lonely, which we know is extremely detrimental to our mental wellbeing.

Music is very bonding, and whether you are going into learning an instrument as a child or an adult, you are bound to widen your social circle.

Learning or playing an instrument is a real conversation starter, and gives you something to fall back on if you find social interactions a little tricky.

There are often clubs or events for those that enjoy playing instruments, and you will meet others who share the same passions as you, and make more friends and acquaintances, which is very good for our mental health.

Helps With Aging Brain Health

Learning a musical instrument creates new connections in the brain, many scientific studies have shown that.

It is thought that people who have learnt an instrument before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia, have a lower risk of developing either of these.

It seems that having the knowledge of playing an instrument slows down the progression of these two diseases also.

Patients who are suffering with dementia who are playing music also seem to be able to access memories they thought were lost.

Learning an instrument is a skill unlike any other, and no matter what age you start to learn, you will keep your brain sharp and create new neural connections which will help to keep your brain younger for longer.

It’s Just A Nice Thing To Do!

Regardless of all the benefits of learning the piano, and there are physical benefits too, playing an instrument is just simply a nice thing to do.

When you are playing the piano, it is something that you can do for yourself. There’s no pressure, it’s something you are doing for yourself, with no expectations from anyone else.

It gives you some time away from all the serious responsibilities of life like working, paying bills and cleaning the house, it’s a form of self care.

We all need hobbies, and there are so many mental and physical benefits to learning the piano, and it’s something you can do at any age.

Enter to Win “Grand Piano” on Blu-ray [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of “Grand Piano” on Blu-ray on May 20th, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the film on Blu-ray. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Elijah Wood film to date. This giveaway will remain open until May 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is the most talented pianist of his generation, but has stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public for a long awaited concert in Chicago. In a packed theater, in front of an expectant audience, Tom finds a message written on the score: “Play one wrong note and you die.” In the sights of an anonymous sniper (John Cusack), Tom must get through the most difficult performance of his life and look for help without being detected.

 

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Film Review “Grand Piano”

Starring: Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Bishé, Alex Winter
Directed By: Eugenio Mira
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Elijah Wood is Tom Selznick, a pianist who gets to rare chance to participate in the musical score to his own hostage situation in Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano. Mira takes a fairly silly setup–think Speed or Phonebooth on a night at the theatre– and turns in a fun, stylish thriller that would not be out of place in The Twilight Zone.

Selznick is a piano prodigy returning to the stage for a concert honoring his mentor after a crippling public failure sent him into hiding five years before. He’s understandably nervous and it seems in a sea of people expecting him to choke again, his only support is his wife watching from the boxes. Everything is going smoothly in preparation for the concert, much to the chagrin of the anxious Selznick. He wouldn’t mind if, for example, his mentor’s flawless custom piano hadn’t been successfully shipped to the venue that evening. But no, it’s all fine until he flips open his sheet music to find scrawled in red ink “PLAY ONE WRONG NOTE AND YOU DIE” (Here is where I half expected Rod Serling to come in smoking for a recap, alas…) Understandably, Selznick views this as a prank until the sniper gets into radio contact and provides some proof. Wood, with his wide expressive eyes and array of nervous ticks, makes for a compelling hostage drawing us in as he grasps the gravity of the situation and then little by little steeling himself as attempts to regain the upper hand and keep everyone safe.

Meanwhile John Cusack is appropriately villainous as the menacing voice on the other end of the phone. He gruffly hints at the bitterness fueling this particular heist but the film wisely avoids backstory in focusing squarely on Selznick’s predicament. Also lending a hand on the side of the baddies is a shady theatre security guard played by Alex Winter who provides the muscle to the distant sniper. He’s great as a twitchy henchman who’s not quite as invested in the concert as Cusack’s caller is.

Taking place almost entirely in the concert hall, Mira composes some gorgeous shots often in the deeps red of the theatre upholstery to pile on the tension. Occasionally the cinematography, and the film itself really, drifts into campy territory but it seems fitting within the structure of this over-the-top cat and mouse setup. After an opening credits sequence that gives a horror house ride-like tour through the inner workings of the eponymous piano, you really don’t expect anything less.

Grand Piano opens theatrically on March 7th

 

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