In my family, learning a musical instrument is a non-negotiable. That is, everyone must learn to play the piano, as foundation, and then whatever other instrument they become interested in later on.
Schools recognize the importance of music in children’s lives. Musical instruments are often a mainstay in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. There are good reasons for this!
Here are 10 ways music is good for children:
1. Brain Development
The human brain grows and develops for years after a person is born. Exposing that developing brain to music – especially music “training” or lessons – actually enhances the development of the area of the brain responsible for language processing. Studies show preschool children who have keyboard lessons tend to do better in math.
2. Learning Enhancement
In the days before the printed word was so widely available, people learned through song and verse. That’s why we have so many nursery rhymes that come from the days before books – their rhymes and rhythms have “stuck” in our minds for generations. Setting key information to music is a very helpful way to remember it.
3. Cultural Awareness
Studying music opens children’s eyes to the culture around them and cultures of the past. It helps them appreciate the societies and people of various times and places. Few things reflect cultural reality like music does.
Did you ever think of music building confidence? This key character trait can be enhanced by learning music. Playing a musical instrument fosters a sense of accomplishment, and as they develop the skills involved, they gain confidence in their abilities.
5. Social Skills
Being able to play an instrument may give kids the opportunity to make music with others in a band or orchestra. Learning that your individual contribution enhances the group effort is a very important social skill.
6. Mental Pictures
The study of music helps children learn to visualize things, creating a strong sense of spatial relationships. This helps with problem-solving as well as practical skills, like properly loading up a backpack.
7. Emotional Outlet
Playing music may provide a much-needed emotional outlet and mode of self-expression for children. Perhaps this can stave off destructive or undesirable behaviors.
This crucial life skill is often lacking these days. Music study can help a great deal – if a child wants to be good at the instrument he or she plays, then he must practice…a lot. Children who practice and reap the rewards learn the value of hard work and patience.
9. Remedy for Boredom
Music will never get boring or grow irrelevant and stale! Music is always evolving and changing and growing, and your child will always have something new to discover, listen to, and play on his or her instrument.
10. Stepping Out
As music study and proficiency builds confidence, it may help kids step out and take some healthy risks, like performing in recitals or participating in competitions. It helps “stretch” a child’s idea of what he or she is capable of.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to introduce your children to music, and the earlier the better. If musical instrument lessons are too expensive, you can teach your child yourself, with the help of online resources, or printed books that are cheaper than lessons. I’ve listed some of them below this post (see Resources).
Also, check out music lessons in your local community center. These are often cheaper than private lessons in an independent music school.
Or offer to barter products or services in exchange for your child’s music lessons.
Be creative. You’ll find a way!
How important is music in your family? How do you instil the love, appreciation, and creation of music in your children? I’d love to hear all about it.
If you liked this post, submit your email address below to get new posts by email: