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How playing piano has helped my mental health

One of our Young Champions talks about how playing piano is a method of self-care for her. 

I struggled with my mental health for years and have always found it hard to express my feelings properly… until I discovered the art of musical instruments.

As a child I always found it very difficult to talk about my feelings which lead to it being very damaging to my mental wellbeing. I felt as if I was stuck in a bubble with all my negative emotions surrounding me.

When I was around nine-years-old, I was introduced to playing piano, and it honestly changed my life. Piano is an easy skill you can pick up, but it has had such an impact on my mental health. I started to gain an interest in piano and would play regularly (almost every day!)

Piano really helped me to start finding myself. When I played, I felt like I could pour all my feelings and emotions into the music and really connect with the piece. There were no limits or restrictions and I was able to express myself the way I wanted to. I found it hard to verbally express my feelings – so I would always keep them hidden inside of me. However, when I played piano, I felt like my trapped feelings were free, and I felt calm. I had realised that once I had started piano, I felt a lot happier within myself. As I started to gain an interest in it, I took lessons and did five grades, which I was really proud of myself for. I didn’t need the lessons to help me express myself, I could play piano freely no matter how bad I was! I eventually burst that isolated bubble and was able to feel free!

Piano isn’t the only self-care instrument. Music is an alternative way to release and express yourself in any way possible. What I love about music is that there are no rules or regulations, so you can literally be whoever you want to be through music. Even if you aren’t able to play an instrument, remember your voice is your own instrument and you can use it in any way that you want to!

Since being introduced to musical instruments I have definitely seen a change within myself. I feel more free, calm and happier within myself – so I recommend starting a new instrument.

On My Mind is a website that aims to empower young people to make informed choices about their mental health and wellbeing. The pages were co-produced by young people to help other young people. The website includes a self-care page that has 89 self-care strategies.