Living Better: Playing The Piano To Slow The Aging Process (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Michael Klopfenstein

July 11, 2013 Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM EDT

TAMPA, Fla. (www.nbc33.com) – A new study is being conducted to find out if playing the piano can slow down the aging process.

Rodger Menke, 80, did not want to miss the opportunity for two weeks of free piano lessons. His plan is to learn how to play some of his favorite music of the 50’s and 60’s.

"We had great singers, bands, jazz…,” Menke says. “As an 80 year old, I said I gotta jump in now"

The University of South Florida is conducting the study on people with little to no piano experience. For two weeks, participants practice vigorously for 3 ½ hours a day while the USF School of Music and School of Communication Sciences will track their cortisol levels, brain activity, memory and musical aptitude.

Dr. Jennifer Bugos of the USF School of Music says she’s already seeing signs of change.

"If you ask any of them 'are you really using their brain'… I can see the progress," Dr. Bugos says.

The hope is that this drastic of a mental change can prove to make a difference in the lives of everyone.

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