Playing the piano or keyboard is hugely beneficial to your physical and mental health in many ways.
Even the simple act of sitting in front of your piano, stilling yourself, and concentrating on the task at hand is a mindful activity that brings calmness, lowers anxiety, and relieves stress.
When I sit in front of the keys of a piano I also feel a deep and very real connection to history. Think about this; Every piece of music ever written or performed, from the first humming cavemen to aboriginal didgeridoo players, from the melopoioi of ancient Greece to the troubadours of medieval England, from the marching songs of the American civil war to Dame Vera Lynn, from Beethoven to the Beatles.
Every melody ever conceived throughout human history sits there within the keys waiting to be unlocked by your fingers. And by doing so you are, in a way, traveling through time and bringing the past to life.
If your home is busy with family, the piano itself can be a wonderful hub for bringing everyone together. This, of course, was almost the norm in the days before television where families would sing and play together around the piano. Quite wonderfully some of the modern digital pianos have all sorts of fun and engaging features (karaoke machines, follow-the-lights etc) in them to encourage this type of activity. (See my video below)
For all ages but particularly important for the extremes of the age scale (the very young and the very old) playing the piano or keyboard often is very good for your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. And many studies have shown that for older people playing piano encourages increased human growth hormones which can actually slow certain effects of aging like osteoporosis. Not to mention lower blood pressure and increased immune response brought about through stress relief.
For children, playing the piano can be beneficial for brain development which in turn can be helpful with other academic achievements like higher grades and passing exams, which is crucial for building their confidence and self-esteem. Amongst music teachers, there is general agreement that the earlier a child can begin taking formal lessons the better. “Playing an instrument changes how the brain interprets and integrates a wide range of sensory information, especially for those who start before age 7”.
In summary, it’s actually rather difficult to find any negative effects of playing piano or keyboard. Although from long personal experience of playing the piano, I’d say that it’s certainly better for your health to have friendly neighbors or ones that are hard-of-hearing!
But seriously, having a piano in your home presents an opportunity to achieve and sustain better physical and mental health for the whole family. It can become a companion through difficult times and will return the investment you make in it by bringing joy, laughter, and happiness to your life. And that is priceless.