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Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness to Piano Playing

Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness to Piano Playing

As most people are aware, Yoga has many health benefits. Most of those benefits related the physical health of those that use it. But did you know that Yoga has more than just those physical advantages? There are mental benefits as well!  

Yoga is partially known for being on of the most accessible and effective exercises for the mind. It elicits relaxation resulting in more efficient breathing and increased memory. Yoga is also closely tied to the concept of “mindfulness” which reduces anxiety and stress. Mindfulness and bodily awareness are both crucial skills for a musician. In a course of piano study, many are finding it advantageous to incorporate the concept of mindfulness. If one has an interest in Yoga or Zen meditation, “stillpoint” techniques are particularly relevant and engaging. These techniques create balance between mind and body which is essential to an excellent pianist.

The “stillpoint” concept originated from gentle hands-on therapy where the brain is shifted from a state of alertness to one of “calmness”. There is a sense of inner tranquility and peace where the fight-or-flight responses is set aside. A “stillpoint” technique has a significant role if it is integrated into yoga and meditation. How does all of this tie into piano playing? For some, it may never be a connection, it may even be unnoticeable at first. However, most admit you will come to witness and feel these benefits as you continue your study.

  1. Playing the piano with pure focus can sometimes be tricky. There are a lot of distractions that can arise from anywhere – most especially If you’re waiting for some alert from your phone a few inches away! Yoga can help practice concentration while practicing. You must find a way to support that concentration by setting aside all the possible forms of distraction. You can put your phone to airplane mode or switch it off – or better yet, in another room.
  2. Yoga helps overcome stage fright and nervousness before a stage piano performance. Players tend to be a bit worried about making mistakes – hitting wrong notes or forgetting transitions. Yoga helps you focus on understanding the masterpiece through keyboard patterns. Focus on what you can do, and the rest will come swiftly. It’s all in the mind.
  3. Proper posture is also one of the physical benefits of Yoga. It is extremely helpful because players sitting for too long can cause tension to the upper and lower back part of the body. Stretching the arms prevents tension and cramps in the neck, shoulders, wrists and lower back and are all helpful for pianists.

 

We have discovered that yoga and other relaxation techniques have a profound effect on the body. We strive to eliminate the stress and anxiety we encounter in the outside world when playing the piano. However, these distractions will always exist so it is great to learn techniques to lessen the effect of them. We encourage you, in your studies with Cadenza, to find the techniques that work for you!  

Cell Phone problems? Piano is the solution!

Cell Phone problems? Piano is the solution!

It’s summer and your child is on their vacation, taking a pause from the rigorous school year. But instead of relaxing and playing there are alone most of the time, scrolling through their cell phone in their own room. We of course want them to spend their time doing something they enjoy, but we as parents also want to help guide them and encourage them to do something worthwhile. How about letting them play by the guitar hanging on the wall or that untouched piano in the corner. Playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain and has many health-related benefits and  well-documented psychological effects. Playing music helps develop a person’s social ability. The ability to play an instrument has the power to attract a lot of people creating conversations and friends.

One of the effective ways to enhance the interest in playing the piano is to enroll your child in a music school. With the guidance of a music teacher, your child can begin this journey by taking up lessons in a fun, supportive, learning environment. Learning doesn’t only happen at school, we must also teach our children to continue practicing and learning no matter what they do. It’s also effective to do it at home, watch piano lessons through videos and practice playing by themselves. Allowing them to also learn them at their own pace, and to explore their own creativity, results in growing independence.

Intellectual and Physical Benefits

As a child spends time with his/her peers, they learn to interact thus developing a sense of cooperation and nuances of communication. Piano players are known for being efficient thinkers with higher than average memory and decision making skills. Piano study in particular increases your creativity and has shown significant improvement in a child’s intellect and academic performance.  Studies also reported that playing the piano improves reading comprehension and vocabulary. As anyone can notice, you must understand the notes in a musical piece and translate them to the keys while you play – the eye-hand coordination is impressive!

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Playing the piano promotes creativity that improves imagination which has been shown to reduce stress and depression which is becoming more common in teenagers. Learning to play the piano or any kind of instrument produces endorphins – and we need this hormone to fight the isolation and heaviness of the world around us. The happiness from playing the piano will never change. As your child grows older, both  will cherish this skillset. It can be a source of entertainment for a lifetime and they can then possibly pass on what they learned to their own family and future children. And it all started with you!

Get off the cell phone or the video games and learn an instrument at Cadenza today! Call to set up your first lesson now!