Music is everywhere. It’s in our homes, streets, offices, technological devices, and much more all across the globe. For many of us, music is crucial–so it’s no surprise that parents are making great efforts to make music a part of their children’s lives. Parents enroll their children in programs ranging from mommy/daddy-and-me music classes to professional lessons, including classes that specialize in vocal performance and/or instrumental training. Although most parents know that music is both a crucial and beneficial art, a great deal are unaware of the many specific life-long benefits that learning an instrument can provide for a child. To list just a few, NYC Guitar School has chosen the TOP 10 benefits of music education for kids:
- Music Lessons Improve Math Skills: According to several different studies, it has been proven that math skills and instrumental/musical training are parallel. Shocking, right? In fact, the ideology behind this is quite simple: when a child learns music, they’re learning scales, rhythms, notes, beats, and much more. While learning this information, the seeds of basic, required math knowledge are planted. The basics of music allow a child to be able to recognize patterns, divide, add, create and work with fractions, and develop ratios. These findings have been discovered by Department of Music at the College of Higher Education of Coimbra, the University of Maryland, the National Association of Music Merchants, Christopher Johnson of the University of Kansas, et al.
- Music Lessons Improve Memory: The curtains rise, the lights turn on, and the child is ready to perform a piece or two– strictly from their own memory. Whether it be a vocal or instrumental performance, children must be fully prepared without the help of music and/or their teacher. Over time, this practice becomes second nature to a child and, more importantly, trains their brain for life. If provided with a musical background, children will be able to develop, hold, and put memories into use more efficiently as they grow older, ultimately training a child’s brain for a life-long workout.
- Music Lessons Improve Listening Skills: Not only does music train a child’s mind, but it also trains their ears. While both learning and playing music, a child hears a wide variety of sounds and instructions. They must first listen to their teacher’s instructions, follow their example, and then pay close attention to pitch, speed, tempo, and rhythm as they play. All of this takes a great deal of concentration and focus, setting the foundation for a child’s listening skills: a tool necessary for life.
- Music Lessons Build Confidence: Being able to play an instrument well doesn’t happen overnight. Polishing this ability involves a great deal of patience, time, passion, skill, discipline, and, most importantly, practice. Although the training process can be quite complex for any individual, the reward in the end is like no other. After completing a practiced piece and hearing the applause, children are filled with a sense of achievement and learn that even the most difficult tasks are possible. This prepares them for life by providing a sense of confidence that they will be able to tackle any and all difficult tasks head-first.
- Music Lessons Improve Reading and Comprehension Skills: One of the first steps of musical training is learning how to read music. This involves a great deal of reading and comprehension so that the child knows where to put their fingers, what notes to hit, how long to hold these notes, how loudly they should play/sing the note, etc. Overall, studies from the universities of Maryland and Kansas have shown that children who study music are more likely to perform better in classes and exams that involve reading and comprehension.
- Music Lessons Improve Social Skills: Whether a child performs alone or in a group, music brings children together through a common, powerful interest. Kids can meet others who are involved in music through community theatre, classes, lessons, performances, and much more. This allows children to interact with other children, make friends, create memories, and find potential bandmates. These interactions allow youngsters to properly and professionally be able to work in a variety of settings with diverse groups of people.
- Music Lessons Teach Responsibility: Practice makes perfect, and learning an instrument would be impossible without practice. If children truly have their hearts set on learning an instrument and achieving personal greatness, they will understand their duties in order to make their dreams come true. As a child begins to grow in their practice routines, they develop a sense of responsibility in several areas that help them for life. Children learn that they are responsible for their performance, taking care of their instrument so that it’s in top shape, and tuning it regularly so that it’s always performance-ready. All of these skills allow them to be responsible for their possessions, take pride in their work, and not take anything for granted.
- Music Increases Productivity: The scientific studies discussed above have also proven that children who work towards their goals at a young age, such as learning an instrument, are a lot more productive throughout their lives. Keeping children busy at young ages with skills that create a pathway for their future allows them to develop a strong work ethic. They’ll gain skillful traits such as punctuality, diligence, productivity, resourcefulness, and much more.
- Music Lessons Increase Resilience: Learning and ultimately perfecting an instrument can be a long, difficult task. However, if a child is able to stick to their practice routine and accept that great things come with time, learning an instrument will instill patience and resilience within them. This reinforces the child to put 110% of their efforts into everything that they do and to take their time with each task instead of rushing to get it over with.
- Music Teaches Positive Self-Expression: When selecting a musical piece to work with, most children use songs that speak to them and allow them to connect to their emotions. As they continue to grow more confident in their musical training, a great deal of kids go on to create their own music from scratch and tell their personal stories. Instead of turning to harmful, negative and useless outlets to express their feelings, young people with musical backgrounds are more likely to create music, which ultimately results in a more positive, useful, and helpful form of self-expression.
Works Cited: Montgomery, Erika. “10 Benefits of Children Learning a Musical Instrument.” Peterson Family Foundation. Peterson Family Foundation, 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 June 2017. Kwan, Angela. “6 Benefits of Music Lessons.” Parents. Parents, 27 Mar. 2017. Web. 24 June 2017. Connolly, Jake. “How Will Playing A Musical Instrument Benefit My Child?” Connolly Music Company. N.p., 2 July 2015. Web. 21 June 2017. Locker, Melissa. “Music Can Alter Your Child’s Brain.” Time. Time, 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 24 June 2017.