Piano lessons protect against dementia and make you happier

17-01-2014. It has long been known that the brain changes continuously throughout life, depending on how we shape our lives. Learning a musical instrument is also possible into old age.

A study from Spain now shows that music lessons in old age have many positive effects. In a comparative study from Barcelona, older people practiced on the piano every day for over 4 months. A second group did other leisure activities (physical exercises, PC games, painting ...)

The piano group improved significantly in mental performance compared to the comparison group (measured with the Stroop Test). The depressive and negative mood also decreased significantly.

Piano lessons in old age - according to the authors - can help to improve the physical and psychological quality of life.

This is significant for the rehabilitative treatment of people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's or  Stroke.

Seinfeld et al. (2013). Effects of music learning and piano practice on cognitive funciton, mood and quality of life in older adutls. Front Psychol 4: 810

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