|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Those Piano Lessons Really Will Pay Off Someday
But then, years later, came that epic night that started with flirtatious banter with the hotel bartender and ended with us playing "We Are the World" from memory on the Steinway grand while the entire lobby sang along. Then there was the "LOST" viewing party where we impressed fellow fans by plinking out the show's "sad theme" on the host's keyboard.
Now science is providing yet another reason for us to appreciate our early education in the musical arts: it may help us fend off age-related hearing loss. An interesting NPR story yesterday explained that hearing difficulty as we get older is usually due to our inability to tune out background noise (listen to the story for more info about the physiological reasons behind this). Musicians, studies have found, are not only better at deciphering different notes and tones, but also at remembering sentences they heard earlier, making it easier for them to follow a line of conversation.
There's still no conclusive evidence that picking up an instrument for the first time later in life can stop hearing loss. However, it's not a bad idea for us lapsed pianists and marching band alumni to refresh our skills...and thank our parents for helping us to develop--and hopefully maintain--an ear for music and other sounds.
Do you play any musical instruments? What unexpected benefits has that brought to your life?
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.