Learning Piano Exercises your Brain–Fast!

From a study by Marc Bangert and Eckart O Altenmüller

Changes in cortical activation patterns (DC-EEG potentials) induced by short (20 minute) and long term (5 week) piano learning were investigated during auditory and motoric tasks. Two beginner groups were trained. The ‘map’ group was allowed to learn the standard piano key-to-pitch map. For the ‘no-map’ group, random assignment of keys to tones prevented such a map. Auditory-sensorimotor EEG co-activity occurred within only 20 minutes [emphasis added]. The effect was enhanced after 5-week training, contributing elements of both perception and action to the mental representation of the instrument. The ‘map’ group demonstrated significant additional activity of right anterior regions.

We conclude that musical training triggers instant plasticity in the cortex [emphasis added], and that right-hemispheric anterior areas provide an audio-motor interface for the mental representation of the keyboard.

Gold half notes on a treble staff show scale from middle c to the c above

Black and White Illustration of Treble Clef with Scale of 8 Notes on Stave
Dorling Kindersley

If you’re looking for fast results, here it is. Learning to play piano offers instant changes in brain function. If you need to exercise the front half of the right hemisphere of your brain, this is where your brain maps piano keys to pitches. You could see positive changes in your brain function in as little as twenty minutes!

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