Greatest Benefit of learning Piano: Entize Concentration
Some of the more commonly highlighted benefits of learning to play piano include:
- Boosts self-esteem
- Increases self-discipline
- Provides a medium for self-expression
- Helps with learning at school
- Makes you smarter
- Gives you a life-long social and leisure skill
All of these are of course true. But perhaps the greatest benefit of all is one that is rarely if ever mentioned — the development of split concentration.
I first become aware of it in my younger days when I was a student learning to play Chopin’s first Nocturne in B flat minor.
What is unusual about this piece is that for every six or twelve notes played by the left hand, the right hand moves with freedom in patterns of seven, eleven, twenty, and twenty-two notes.
For students attempting to play the two hands together for the first time in a piece like this, it is simply not possible to slowly play with both hands step by step in the usual fashion until you have figured out which hand or hands play at which times.
In a piece of music, after learning each hand separately, one must enter a Zen-like state of “no mind” where each hand, though utterly different from the other, is able to play in perfect coordination.
Ever wondered why some concert pianists appear to be concentrating so much when playing a seemingly simple passage of chords? This is, at least in part, because they are not only focusing on each chord, but on the multiple melodies within the sequence of chords.
Learning piano is simply one of the best forms of mental training there is. Dr. B’s encourages the development of split concentration through pieces that are designed to challenge the student’s coordination in different ways.
Often, I hear from parents or musicians for that matter that their concentration level has changed. Learning and playing piano or any other musical instrument will change your life for the better.