Between football practise, after-school programs, and dance lessons, you might be wondering if you should add another activity to your child’s schedule. Violin or cello lessons, piano lessons or paying a guitar tutor for private lessons is definitely a commitment for your child, but before ruling them out, take note of the benefits of signing your child up for music training.
Even if your child won’t become the next musical prodigy, musical lessons can make your child well-rounded and can teach them valuable life skills. In fact, a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that the brain responses to speech are faster among older adults who took music lessons as a child, even if they haven’t played the instrument in decades. (1) There are other benefits as well.
Reason #1: It can develop academic skill.
When your child begins learning the basics of music such as scales, rhythms, and beats, they are naturally beginning to learn the basics of math. When children become familiar with these musical basics, math concepts such as dividing, fractions, and patterns will likely be easier for them. When kids start reciting songs, they will be practicing their memory skills, especially if those songs have a strong beat to them. Many times children put hard scientific or mathematical concepts to music, which can help them have an easier time remembering the concept.
When your child is learning an instrument, their body and mind will need to work together to be coordinated, especially when they’re using a specific instrument like drums or other percussion. Or, if they are learning stringed instruments like violin or cello, children are learning how to use right and left hands simultaneously, encouraging them to coordinate their movements with rhythm and timing. This is a great tool for other hobbies such as sports activities.
Reason #3: It promotes patience.
As with learning anything new in life, it takes patience and discipline. Learning an instrument is something takes time – it is not something that they can learn instantly. Instruments take hours of practice, with a lot of attention paid to not only actually learning how to use the instrument, but also reading music. The old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’ is very true when your child is in music lessons – the more time they spend practicing, the better they become. This teaches your child patience, determination, and shows them that it’s important to sit still, concentrate, and be attentive to the subject.
Reason #4: It teaches children to express themselves.
For children that may have a hard time expressing themselves, music can give these kids an avenue to express their feelings and emotions. Many kids have a hard time communicating their feelings in words and may end up acting out for negative attention. This is where music can be very valuable. Creative expression is key to helping a child develop as a person and the musical arts is a supportive environment that promotes acceptance of a child’s personality and gives them a safe and healthy way to express what they’re feeling.
- “Childhood Music Lessons Could Benefit your Brain Later On.” Huff Post Healthy Living. Published online November 7, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/music-lessons-brain-childhood-adult_n_4214288.html