Robert Estrin - piano expert

Can Playing the Piano Ease Depression?

Discover how playing the piano can help to cure your depression

In this video, Robert shows you how playing the piano can help cure depression and many other psychological issues.

Released on January 15, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin. This is The question today is "Can playing the piano cure depression?" Now a disclaimer, I am not a doctor and the information I'm about to give you today is just an observation about me personally, and I'm interested in hearing from all of you. Now, we all face times in our lives with the ups and the downs and the challenges where you might not feel on top of yourself. Now of course, clinical depression is a far more serious thing than that, and I would not suggest just playing the piano if you have serious mental or emotional issues. However, I would say this, that I can't even imagine living in this world if I didn't have the piano to go to.

See, what's great about the piano in regards to state of mind and emotional health is that you get a chance to completely occupy your mind away from everything else in life, almost like a form of meditation. And so the question is, can meditation help with depression then? Because, it's something like that. But there's other benefits of the piano in regards to how it makes you feel, because if you're playing music that you love, like a gorgeous Chopin nocturne. Imagine playing a melody like this and feeling... I mean, how would this make you feel? If you're already depressed and just started playing the F-Sharp Major Nocturne Chopin, you might feel differently. [music]

I don't know about you, but when I hear that melody and play that melody, it fills me with just very beautiful, it's warm feelings. So you have the double benefit of taking your mind away from everything in the outer world, like meditation, and getting in the mind and the soul and the emotions of some of people who lived hundreds of years ago who had something special to say. So it fills you with the emotions that they were feeling at the moment.

Now, it can be cathartic to be able to play music that explores deeper emotions, like for example, I haven't played this in a while so I hope it comes out okay. But the beginning of the B minor Scherzo of Chopin has such anger and hostility, it might actually help you to release some of your pent up feelings. [music]

I would imagine going through that you'd get a lot of emotion out, so there's a cathartic quality to playing the piano. There's also something that can soothe your soul with music of great beauty, all the while, getting detached from the day-to-day issues and frustrations that life, we all face in life, right? I want to know how any of you feel, how all of you feel about playing music, and does it help you to keep emotionally stable? Does it help you to overcome sadness and even depression?

I'm wondering, I don't know if there are any studies, and there's studies about playing the piano and intelligence, but what about playing the piano and depression and mental health? I'm interested in any of you out there who knows more about this than I do. Put it in the comments. Let us know here at, your online piano store. I'd love to hear from you. See you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on January 16, 2020 @4:48 pm PST
My favorite piece to relax is playing the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. To chase away any short term anger for the curve balls that life throws at me, the third movement is my favorite. A "balanced" piece is also the piano transcription of Poet and Peasant of von Suppé. And then are military marches, love them all, they upbeat my mood.
Robert - host, on January 22, 2020 @7:30 pm PST
This is the wonderful thing about music. There is something for everyone and music to suit every mood!
Ken Cory * VSM MEMBER * on January 15, 2020 @12:49 pm PST
You may want to look for the book "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sacks. He explores a lot about the connection between music and the mind.
Richard Blocher on January 15, 2020 @7:18 am PST
I truly love Classical music, for all of the emotions,it can produce.Both sad, and exciting. Every so often, I will play ragtime, it makes me feel good, and sometimes giggly.
Daniel on January 15, 2020 @5:53 am PST
Thanks for the video. I have been a Therapist for over 40 Years. There are many studies about the positive effects of music on emotions. There are even Music Therpists. I often use music in the background when doing hypnotherapy. I have struggled personally with depression/anxiety and find that piano and guitar helps me regulate my mood and release tension.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on January 15, 2020 @6:41 am PST
Thank you Daniel for your posted comment, I am glad you liked this new video from Robert.

What you wrote is very interesting, and match our research illustrated in our article about the effects of music on the brain:

If you haven't read that article yet, I am sure you'll find it interesting.

Thanks again.
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