This morning to avoid the Bristol traffic I arrived very early for work at The Piano Shop Bath. Taking advantage of the quiet of the morning I settled in for some pure uninterrupted piano playing.
We have some stock in the shop which I particularly love to play at the moment. Being able to take my pick of upright pianos, grand pianos and secondhand pianos with all ranges of character and sound over four showrooms across two floors, it feels like there’s always something new to discover. While I was playing, it occurred to me that we’re not conveying enough about the stock that we have here in Bath.
In just one showroom we have a great selection of upright pianos from brand new Kawais to a beautifully restored Bechstein piano and even a vintage Steinway grand piano. I finally settled on a classic 1984 Yamaha U3 piano and took the time to learn a new piece of music. An hour later I felt calmer, more alert and at peace with the world. I have always found playing the piano brings great physical, emotional and cognitive benefits, it is a reward in and of itself. A complete experience that is personal, creative and inspiring. Of course we humans have known and recognised this intuitively throughout our history. It was Plato who said;
‘music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and everything’.
More recently science has contributed to our understanding of how playing the piano can be of benefit to everyone, from lifelong players to adult beginners. Some of the proven outcomes of playing the piano are;
Cultivates self discipline
Encourages healthy cognitive development and helps connect neurological pathways. Many research studies demonstrate that making music is a uniquely beneficial activity.
Fine tunes hand – eye coordination.
Enhances fine motor skills. This is true regardless of the age of the player or the size of their hands.
Aids relaxation. Being in a relaxed physical state promotes better health and increases our ability to assimilate new information. This is a lifelong gift that is of universal benefit.
Calms the mind, reduces anxiety and stress and can even lower blood pressure.