The benefits of a piano (and how to get a beautiful piano for free)
Pianos are one of the musical instruments most often given away for free on Kijiji (there are currently over 600 pianos across Canada offered for free), likely due to the cost and effort of moving one. There are some amazing deals to be found on an instrument that not only provides many benefits, but also creates an instant focal point in whatever room they are placed in. Whether for yourself, or for a child or even as a very generous gift, it might surprise you to learn that playing the piano isn’t just for wowing guests when they come over to your home.
Here are 5 surprising ways that playing the piano can make your life better:
Improves Cognitive Thinking
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Piano has been proven to stimulate the brain by connecting neurological pathways while you play. Think of it like a muscle- the more your brain is trained to operate this way, the more naturally it’s going to be able to do it whether you’re playing the piano or not. In turn, high-level cognitive thinking transfers over to academics as well as work.
Helps You Learn New Languages
There is research that shows that people who play instruments such as the piano are able to learn language much easier and quicker than people who have no musical background. It may seem like an odd connection, but what happens is playing piano helps train your brain to pick up sound patterns in the midst of noise, which is similar to how we pick up a new language. When a language is new to us, we focus more so on sound than on meaning before it begins to register and make sense.
Teaches Important Life Skills
Learning to play the piano requires an extraordinary amount of positive character traits that can carry over to all other aspects of your life. At any age, people who learn to play the piano are infused with a sense of determination, structure, and discipline. From learning the keys to the intervals, from building dexterity in your fingers to building strength, and from practicing scales to full length sonatas- the time and patience it takes to really learn how to play the piano is immense.
Playing the piano as a leisurely activity once you’ve learned the skill is actually known to reduce stress and lower the chance of burnout. Much like running, biking, painting, or other common hobbies, playing piano allows your to zone out from the outside world and just focus on what you’re creating with your music.
Develops or Enhances Coordination
This benefit not only helps younger children but adults as well. For kids, playing the piano builds on the coordination and motor skills that they’ll need throughout their lives. They need to learn how to control the force in which they press the keys and they have to be able to play different notes with two hands while going up and down the piano keys. For adults, playing the piano keeps your fingers from getting stiff, which is a natural part of aging. Think of it as exercise for your fingers- with regular playing as an adult, you keep your fingers loose and dexterous which your hands will thank you for later on in life.
- if purchasing a second-hand piano, always get a professional to come check the piano out with you
- ask the seller how often the piano is tuned or maintained
- check carefully inside the piano as well as outside the piano for dents, scratches, parts that may be loose, etc.
- if you choose a free piano, don’t forget to consider the cost of piano movers and any maintenance that has to be done to it
- negotiate: if the seller isn’t willing to tune the piano or have the regularly scheduled maintenance done to the piano before you purchase, see if you can get the price down a little lower to make up for what you’ll be spending on the tuning and fixing-up