• Chis Caton-Greasley

Parkinson's and the Piano

I almost scrolled past this video on Facebook. I follow BBC Wales as I love the country, but I don't often look at the articles. However this one caught my eye " Derick was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 12 years ago - he says learning to play the piano has helped to slow the effects of the disease." I am sure you can see why I stopped. A life changed by music, a disease slowed by music, and a soul encouraged and pushing forward even though everything says give up. Wow, I love people like this who make it happen, no matter what.

It is never too late to decide to learn how to make music.


We have all heard that music improves everything and that learning an instrument is good for your mental and physical well being. However I do wonder if the fact that we are always told makes us a little blind to it's benefits.


Working as a music teacher for the last 27 years it is very clear that, when the decision to learn music is taken and worked on every single day for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, music can and does changes lives for the better.


Of course, you can decide to learn music and book lessons, then not touch your instrument all week. Sorry to say but this will not make much difference for you other than frustration at not improving for the money invested. It is like deciding to exercise and looking at the exercise bike all week. All you do is improve in not doing it.


The difference is made when you continuously make the decision, day after day, to include some time to learn to be able to say "I can play this" rather than "I always get stuck on that bit" .


If you choose to make this daily change, to constantly learn a little bit a day, no matter what. Music will have a noticeable benefit in your life and it will improve things.


If you want to exercise your brain, learn and listen to music.


“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says Johns Hopkins; otolaryngologist. “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.”


Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.


If you want to know how else it can and will improve your life just go to your favourite search engine and type in "benefits of learning a musical instrument"


This chap appears to have known the benefits, decided, taken action and proved it.


Other Ways Learning an Instrument Strengthens Your Brain


  • Strengthens memory and reading skills.

  • Playing music makes you happy.

  • Musicians can process multiple things at once.

  • Music increases blood flow in your brain.

  • Music helps the brain recover.

  • Music reduces stress and depression.


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