October 27, 2016

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert manages the London Piano Institute, a premier destination for adult piano learners seeking individualised instruction and progress towards their musical goals. He believes anyone can learn to play regardless of age or ability!

Stress can kill you! That is why you need to learn to play the piano and get rid of work related stress!

We all feel stressed at times as we go about our daily lives and try to juggle different aspects, whether it’s the pressure of a demanding job or a hectic home life that’s causing stress levels to rise. However, stress can have a negative effect on our health and it’s vital that we take some time to relax and unwind, and turning to the piano could help.

Did you know that stress accounts for over a third of all work related ill health cases? During 2014/15 UK workers took 9.9 million days off work due to stress, with workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support being the biggest reasons Brits are stressed at work. If stress isn’t tackled it can lead to people feeling burnt out, unmotivated and simply exhausted. Studies show that playing the piano is one of the most effective ways of helping to reduce stress levels.

In fact, simply listening to classical music has been found to have a whole range of stress relieving benefits. A study from the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science found that it physically reduced stress, with audience members of a classical show experiencing a reduction in levels of stress hormones cortisol and cortisone after the performance. Research from Oxford University further backed up these findings. A study suggested that some pieces of classical music, including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Nessun Dorma by Puccini, could even lower blood pressure. The findings indicated that musical therapy to help calm people can be effective and doesn’t need to be tailored to each individual.

Playing the piano can bring even more benefits. A Japanese study measured the positive effects of different creative activities – playing the piano, moulding clay and calligraphy. While all activities were found to help reduce levels of stress, playing the piano was the most effective.

Aside from the stress reducing benefits backed up by research, simply doing something that you enjoy can act as a stress relief. Taking some time each week to attend a piano lesson means you have something extra to look forward to even at the end of a busy day. In order to improve your skills and develop as a pianist you’ll also need to fully focus during lessons, helping to push stresses out of your mind while you concentrate on playing correctly.

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