All the amazing things that playing piano does for your brain and body, in one graphic

12 July 2022, 17:41 | Updated: 12 July 2022, 17:44

This cat has found true happiness inside a PIANO

Classic FM

By Classic FM

All the emotional, cognitive and physical benefits of music-making – in one helpful infographic.

This handy infographic shows all the wonderful benefits that come with learning a musical instrument – specifically, the piano.

Created by Encore Music Lessons in 2014, the infographic cites several scientific studies which point towards music lessons being good for your cognitive development.

From spatial awareness, to emotional intelligence, to brain power, here’s how piano-playing might be doing more than you think...

Click here to see the infographic in high resolution.

How piano lessons help
How piano lessons help. Picture: Encore Music Lessons

One of the studies referenced in the infographic, is the ‘McGill Piano Project’ which took place in 1999.

117 children aged 9 or 10 who had never participated in formal music instruction, did not have a piano at home, and whose annual family income was below $40,000 Cdn (approximately £25,880) participated in the study. A control group and an experimental group was formed.

Each child in the experimental group received a piano and three-years of individual piano lessons at no cost to their families. At the end of the three years, the experimental group had significantly higher spatial cognitive scores than the control group, and the experimental group also saw a significant increase in self-esteem levels.

Read more: Music lessons make children smarter, new study reveals

The infographic also claims that adults who play the piano are less likely to experience anxiety, loneliness, or depression – a statement echoed by legendary piano manufacturer Steinway, whose website reads: “Studies show that time spent at the keyboard improves mental health: people who make music experience less anxiety, loneliness, and depression.”

New research in 2022 from the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) found that music takes 13 minutes to ‘release sadness’ and 9 to make you happy. BAST tested 7,581 participants and found that 89 percent believed music to be essential for their health and wellbeing.

Professors at the University of Pennsylvania have previously said that music could replace sedatives for treating preoperative anxiety.

Comedian and writer, Stephen Fry even credited the music of Beethoven for helping him overcome his depression.

Proof that music really can change your life. Now, go practise...