Music has the ability to produce a kind of happiness and pleasure which, in life, we can’t truly do without. Being able to play a musical instrument has many benefits in the development of your child. Most parents who want to enroll their kids for music lessons often wonder at what age their child is ready to play a musical instrument. But whether your child is going to be the next Pop Idol, or just keeping their solos limited to the shower, music lessons can help them excel in many different areas. Take a look at why music lessons are more than just learning about music to your child.
Develops Physical Skills
Instruments have the ability to help children develop fine motor skills and coordination because most instruments require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. Even though some instruments only require the movement of the hands and arms, the advantage stays the same; challenging the development of the child’s physical skills.
Several different studies have confirmed that playing an instrument improves ambidexterity; guiding the child on how to use the left and right hand independently from each other.
When reading sheet music, the brain subconsciously converts the notes into the required motor patterns needed for the given instrument while maintaining the correct rhythm. These challenges in learning a new instrument will improve children’s coordination and timing, and can help them with other activities like sport and dance. Quite often, kids may not see the immediate benefits of going for piano lessons, for example, but there are still many ways you can get children to practice piano or any other instrument.
Improves Academic Skills
Music lessons are an ideal way of developing a child’s right brain. In other words, music education develops the child’s creativity, imagination, holistic thinking, non-verbal feelings, visualization, and intuition.
Developing both sides of the brain will improve the communication between the left and right – which allows the brain to function at its maximum capacity. Many studies have found that this development in the brain shows an increase in the child’s IQ.
The school’s curriculum places more focus on the development of the child’s left brain like logic, analysis, and facts, so, adding music lessons to their school activities will only aid the development of your child’s brain as a whole.
Increases The Capacity of Their Memory
As your child’s brain develops, the capacity of the memory also increases. Numerous studies have shown that the whole brain (not just the right side) is required to work in order to appreciate and understand a piece of music.
So, when a child both listens to music and plays an instrument, the left, and the right brain are simultaneously stimulated; increasing the capacity of a child's long-term memory.
Improves Verbal Competency
Verbal competency relies on listening, comprehension, expression, and reading. And all these factors can be influenced and shaped through music lessons.
When your child sees notes on a page, they learn how to recognize the note and translate it into a finger position on the instrument. At the same time, they also learn how to translate the rhythms and produce the correct pattern that is needed.
With this improvement of their reading and comprehension skills, they also boost their listening skills when they learn to hear when they are playing the wrong note or to carefully listen to the melody while playing in an ensemble.
The development of these different skills improves the way their brain’s process information in regards to language and verbal competency. Through this, the music teaches the child to communicate and express themselves better.
Refines Discipline and Patience
Playing an instrument comes with responsibilities because motivation and maintenance are important in keeping your technique and instrument in working condition. And as your child’s love of music grows, they learn that discipline and patience are the keys to them succeeding.
Other than learning responsibility through taking care of their instruments, they also learn about perseverance and that success doesn’t happen overnight.
Cultivates Social Abilities
Playing an instrument is a great way for your child to enhance his social skills because ensemble work gives children the opportunity to work as a team. They learn to trust and depend on each other.
In the beginning, the child may struggle and will only focus on his individual playing, but he will soon learn how to adjust through motivated interaction and communication from his peers and music teacher.
Music lessons are a great way for children to learn how to work as a team, and toward a common goal. It’s also a great opportunity to make new friends through these shared goals and interest in music.
Establishes a Sense of Achievement
Once your child has established patience and perseverance, they will stay motivated in overcoming the various musical challenges that come with learning a new instrument. Every time they master a technique or concept, they will experience a sense of pride and achievement.
In the beginning, every small achievement will be worth celebrating by bringing a big smile to your child’s face. And eventually they will have enough motivation to overcome bigger musical obstacles; giving them more reason to be proud of themself.
Let’s be honest: playing an instrument and making music is a lot of fun and just as exciting! There is no denying that music can make people happy. The benefits of teaching music to a child becomes clearer with every song they learn to play as music and happiness fill the air.
Music is a fantastic medium for any child to express themselves and channel their emotions and there is nothing that adds more to their development on a physical, academic, and an emotional level.
About the Author: Joseph Evans
My name is Joseph Evans and I am a guitar playing, freelance writing, online teaching music lover based in Seattle, WA. Growing up in a musical family naturally lead to obtaining my Bachelor of Music (BM) in Composition & Music Theory degree, after which I taught and traveled my way across Europe for 7 years before returning back home to settle in beautiful Seattle. On a typical day, you would find me playing my guitar, pottering around in the vegetable garden, going on long hikes, reading and/or writing.