USF researches to find out if piano lessons preserve brain power - WFLA News Channel 8

USF researches to find out if piano lessons preserve brain power

Posted: Updated:
Rodger Menke Rodger Menke
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Could piano lessons help stop the aging process? Researchers at the University of South Florida say learning to play the piano could be a key component to preserving brain power as we age.

"We are examining stress levels and cognitive performance," said Dr. Jennifer Bugos of USF's Music Education department. 

Bugos is working alongside USF's School of Communication Sciences to see how cortisol levels, brain activity, memory and musical aptitude can change after intense training.

Related story: 05/28/2013 USF offers free piano lessons as part of research

Researches grouped participants by age looking at young and old alike.

"I'm 80 years old and I said to myself, I better jump on this," said Rodger Menke who's participating in the study. 

Menke was excited about two weeks of free piano training and being part of a significant research study on aging. Participants had to have little to no previous piano training to be part of the study and be willing to take over three hours of piano lessons daily. Most participants quickly learned to play with both hands.

"What's exciting is ... bimanual coordination it has progressive difficulty which is important in cognitive training, and of course the novelty of it," Dr. Bugos said.  

She also pointed out that the participants learned to play in a group setting which is also an important aspect when it comes to socializing and the elderly.

While the results of this study have not been released, Bugos published a similar study in the "Aging and Public Health", which tracked participants over a six month period that took lessons only once a week. The findings showed piano training could play a key role in aging intervention.

For more information about future studies you can contact Dr. Bugos directly at bugosj@usf.edu.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:51 GMT
    A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life. A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • Gov. Scott begins campaign bus tour in Tampa Bay area

    Gov. Scott begins campaign bus tour in Tampa Bay area

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:55:10 GMT
    Gov. Rick Scott kicked off a statewide bus tour Monday, focusing on tax cuts and bashing his the record of his opponent - and predecessor."We've been cleaning up Charlie Crist's mess for three years," Scott said.Calling Crist a "slick politician and a smooth talker,"
    Gov. Rick Scott kicked off a statewide bus tour Monday, focusing on tax cuts and bashing his the record of his opponent - and predecessor."We've been cleaning up Charlie Crist's mess for three years," Scott said.Calling Crist a "slick politician and a smooth talker,"
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:58:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium plans to drop animal shows

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium plans to drop animal shows

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:09:15 GMT
    Aug. 3, 2011 file photo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium senior marine mammal trainer Abby Stone works with Winter the dolphin in Clearwater, Image APAug. 3, 2011 file photo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium senior marine mammal trainer Abby Stone works with Winter the dolphin in Clearwater, Image AP
    No animal performances will be held at a redesigned aquatic center planned by the Florida aquarium featured in the "Dolphin Tale" movies.
    No animal performances will be held at a redesigned aquatic center planned by the Florida aquarium featured in the "Dolphin Tale" movies.
  • Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:07 GMT
    File photo of Bubba the Love Sponge ClemFile photo of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.