Learning to play the piano has significantly improved the cognitive abilities of adults

(ORDO NEWS) — Practicing the skill of playing such a complex musical instrument as piano and piano for just one hour a week has been able to improve brain function in almost all areas of activity.

Even those that are not related to music. In addition, such activities reduced stress levels, anxiety, and reduced depressive symptoms.

It is known that listening to music can bring joy. However, playing musical instruments itself requires not only long learning, but also considerable mental effort.

Therefore, scientists from the University of Bath (UK) decided to find out how this activity affects our brain. They chose the piano as their final musical instrument.

The study involved 31 people, some of whom learned to play the piano (for one hour a week), others listened to the same music, and others were included in the control group, which either also listened to music or did various homework for an hour. The experiment lasted 11 weeks.

An analysis of various cognitive and behavioral responses of the participants showed that in just a few weeks after the start of the experiment, those who learned to play the piano improved visual and auditory information processing – the so-called multisensory processes, useful in almost any activity in which we we participate, from driving a car to finding a person in a crowd or watching TV. That is, such improvements went beyond musical abilities.

“Learning to play an instrument like the piano is a difficult task : it requires the player to read the score, generate movements, and monitor auditory and feedback, correcting their further actions.

This process integrates visual and auditory cues, resulting in improved multisensory abilities,” explained Karin Petrini, a psychologist at the University of Bath.

Improvements affected not only cognitive abilities, but also reduced the manifestation of symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Such excellent results were not obtained either in the control group of participants, or in the one where people simply listened to music.

Therefore, scientists concluded: learning to play musical instruments can be useful for people with mental and mental health problems. It is noteworthy that we are talking about adults, who, as you know, have reduced brain plasticity compared to children.

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