If you are a parent reading this, you are probably contemplating about enrolling your child in music lessons. You have also probably heard or read that learning a musical instrument helps a child cope well academically, which sounds really neat! However, if you still have qualms about investing in your child’s music lessons, here are a lot of other benefits of learning a musical instrument for children.
Studies have shown that musicians and non-musicians have different levels of grey matter in the brain, the area responsible for memory. In addition, the practice of learning music itself exercises memory creation, storage, and retrieval. Kids who learn musical instruments find that it is easier for them to retain information.
A lot of researches are intrigued by the relationship between learning music and academic performance. Studies show that on average, kids who study music get higher test results in standardized exams compared to peers who are not immersed in music lessons.
Learning musical instruments helps students learn and distinguish among different pitches. Consequently, this also helps them distinguish different speech sounds, thus helping improve language processing skills.
Music and mathematics are closely related. In learning music, kids see how mathematics apply to everyday life. They will see that mathematics is everywhere — in learning their notes, beats, and rhythm. Learning musical instruments helps students learn and process fractions and ratios. Moreover, it helps them recognize and create patterns.
Reading and comprehension
A lot of things go with learning a musical instrument. For example, in reading a sheet music, a learner does not just read but has to understand. Playing music involves knowing which note to play, how long to hold it, and how hard or how loud to play. Exposing toddlers to music also helps them become ready to learn how to read.
Aside from knowing which notes to play and how to play them, a musician also has to simultaneously convert that to physical motions that produce the music. Learning a musical instrument is actually one of the best ways to have both hemispheres of the brain working at the same time. Studies show that musicians have superior hand-eye coordination.
Fine motor skills
This also improves motor skills as most instruments require different body parts working together or working against each other. For example, playing the guitar requires one hand to hold the chords while the other strums. In playing the keyboard, both hands play different notes. This is also clearly observed in playing the drums as the arms and feet all do different things at the same time.
It is especially hard for children to focus on doing a single task for a prolonged period of time. Learning how to play a musical instrument then is a good way to develop a child’s attention span. Since practices require at least 20 minutes of undivided attention every day, your child tends to become better at focusing and ignoring distractions.
Music tells a lot about its origins. Learning a musical instrument helps a child appreciate the cultures from which certain kinds of music came from. This helps open their minds to diversity as well and develop a natural curiosity about different cultures. When introducing different kinds of music and musical instruments to a child, it also piques their interest in learning the history of how varioud music and instruments came to be.
Quite obviously, learning musical instruments helps kids become active listeners. Learning how to play musical instruments helps kids distinguish between pitches, rhythm, and speed. It helps them pay more close attention to the music they make and adjust accordingly.
Learning how to play a musical instrument does not happen overnight, as a child will soon understand. This fosters discipline as they see that the more strict they are about practicing, the faster they learn. This application of self-discipline will not only affect their music learning but also influence their decisions even when they reach adulthood.
Learning a musical instrument helps a child set goals and feel rewarded when they achieve them. There is no end to learning music and the more a child learns, the more he or she will be motivated to know more. Learning musical instruments is one of the best ways to teach children that there is a reward for hard work.
Self-confidence is also gained when learning how to play an instrument. Having to perform in front of peers also allows them to receive and give constructive criticism, thus helping them become comfortable with getting feedback. Moreover, performing in front of an audience helps a child learn how to face crowds. It goes without saying that being good at playing a musical instrument and getting to perform for an audience is very much gratifying.
Sense of achievement
In learning a musical instrument, your child will realize that all the time, effort, and patience that goes with it are all worth it. Nothing quite beats the feeling of gradually getting better at a skill. While it gets more complicated as they progress, so does it feel all the more rewarding.
Great outlet for stress
We all know how listening to music can affect our emotions and bodies, and playing instruments do the same and more. Making music is not only creative but also a productive, non-destructive way of releasing stress. It relieves anxiety and decreases the heart rate. Since it requires one’s full attention, it is a great way of diverting attention and clearing one’s thoughts.
As your child grows older and gains more control over different aspects of their life, they will have to learn how to manage their time such that they still balance playing music with other responsibilities. Getting involved in organizing rehearsals and gigs or concerts also teaches them valuable management and leadership skills.
Letting kids care for their musical instruments is a great way to teach kids responsibility. Maintenance varies among instruments. Some maintenance required are tuning, oiling, polishing, replacing strings, and cleaning. Improper handling of instruments will also help them learn them that irresponsibility comes with consequences.
Playing music with a group teaches kids the value of working together and caring for other members of the group. Moreover, this teaches them the importance of each individual sound in producing great music. They would have to be sensitive and adjust if they are too loud or too soft, or if they are playing in time with the rest of the group.
Learning how to play a musical instrument also allows a child to meet other people with similar experiences and interests. It teaches kids how to mingle with other people and build relationships. Lasting friendships can also be found in the shared experiences of making music together.
Making music helps a child explore how to express themselves creatively. In addition, it helps them understand and know themselves more. Self-expression emphasizes your child’s preference and individuality and reveals their emotions and character. This makes them more grounded and comfortable about interacting with the world.
Finally, learning music improves a child’s emotional health. Several studies show that children who learn how to play an instrument tend to be less anxious and restless. Playing an instrument requires full immersion and so helps relieve stress and avoid depression.
From the list above, we can conclude that encouraging a child to learn how to play a musical instrument actually helps promote their overall growth and development. Hopefully, these benefits have dispelled your hesitations about motivating your child to learn more about music!