The Benefits of Music LessonsRead Now
Between soccer and scouts, your school-age kid's schedule is loaded with fun activities. If you're on the fence about adding music classes to the list, take note of the benefits that come with signing your little one up for violin or piano lessons. Maybe she won't be the next Beethoven, but she may have an easier time learning math, practicing good manners (including patience!), and becoming a team player. Read on to learn more about the benefits of music education.
It improves academic skills.
Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. It seems that music wires a child's brain to help him better understand other areas of math, says Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, CA. As kids get older, they'll start reciting songs, calling on their short-term memory and eventually their long-term memory. Using a mnemonic device to do this is a method that can later be applied to other memory skills, says Mary Larew, Suzuki violin teacher at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut. Musical instrument classes also introduce young children to basic physics. For instance, plucking the strings on a guitar or violin teaches children about harmonic and sympathetic vibrations. Even non-string instruments, such as drums and the vibraphone, give big kids the opportunity to explore these scientific principles.
It develops physical skills.
Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. This type of instrument is great for high-energy kids, says Kristen Regester, Early Childhood Program Manager at Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago. String and keyboard instruments, like the violin and piano, demand different actions from your right and left hands simultaneously. "It's like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time," Regester says. Instruments not only help develop ambidexterity, but they can also encourage children to become comfortable in naturally uncomfortable positions. Enhancing coordination and perfecting timing can prepare children for other hobbies, like dance and sports.
It cultivates social skills.
Group classes require peer interaction and communication, which encourage teamwork, as children must collaborate to create a crescendo or an accelerando. If a child is playing his instrument too loudly or speeding up too quickly, he'll need to adjust. It's important for children to know and understand their individual part in a larger ensemble, Regester says. Music Rhapsody offers general music education classes, in which teachers split students into groups and assign each child a task. Whether a team is responsible for choosing instruments or creating a melody, students work toward a common goal. "These are the kinds of experiences we have in society," Kleiner says. "We need more group interaction and problem solving."
It refines discipline and patience.
Learning an instrument teaches children about delayed gratification. The violin, for example, has a steep learning curve. Before you can make a single sound, you must first learn how to hold the violin, how to hold the bow, and where to place your feet, Larew says. Playing an instrument teaches kids to persevere through hours, months, and sometimes years of practice before they reach specific goals, such as performing with a band or memorizing a solo piece. "Private lessons and practicing at home require a very focused kind of attention for even 10 minutes at a time," Larew says. Group lessons, in which students learn to play the same instruments in an ensemble, also improve patience, as children must wait their turn to play individually. And in waiting for their turns and listening to their classmates play, kids learn to show their peers respect, to sit still and be quiet for designated periods of time, and to be attentive.
It boosts self-esteem.
Lessons offer a forum where children can learn to accept and give constructive criticism. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence, Regester says. Group lessons, in particular, may help children understand that nobody, including themselves or their peers, is perfect, and that everyone has room for improvement. "Presenting yourself in public is an important skill whether you become a professional musician or not," Larew says. This skill is easily transferrable to public speaking, she adds. And, of course, once a child is advanced enough, she'll possess musical skills that will help her stand out.
It introduces children to other cultures.
By learning about and playing a variety of instruments, kids can discover how music plays a critical role in other cultures. For instance, bongos and timbales may introduce children to African and Cuban styles of music. Although the modern-day violin has roots in Italy, learning to play it exposes children to classical music popularized by German and Austrian musicians. Versatile instruments, such as the violin and piano, can accompany a wide repertoire of styles, including classical and jazz (which originated in the American South). It's important to familiarize children with other cultures at a young age because this fosters open-mindedness about worlds and traditions beyond the ones they know.
What to Consider When Selecting an Instrument
Ultimately, the instrument you and your child choose should depend on a number of factors. Here's a list of questions to consider before bringing home a new music maker:
1/11/2022 09:59:54 am
I want to make sure that my son exceeds in school. I didn't know that piano lessons could help with that kind of thing. I can see how learning something like that would help teach him how to learn.
3/1/2022 10:09:12 am
It's so cool that you elaborated on how a child's academic development could improve with music lessons! A few days ago, my wife and I noticed how our kid's interested in piano melodies. We're not sure if our daughter would like to learn how to play the piano, but it seems like a good way to get into music, so we'll be sure to look into it! We appreciate your advice on why kids should practice an instrument!
5/12/2022 12:09:13 am
I am glad that you talked about how taking music lessons could boost a child's self-esteem. My son is already 6 years old and I think it's about time for him to learn a skill that he could be proud of. I'm thinking of having him pick up the flute, so maybe I should let him watch some Irish tunes flute streaming videos first.
6/28/2022 02:49:27 am
You've written it so nicely, and you've come up with some great ideas. This is a fantastic post!
8/10/2022 01:38:34 pm
It's great to know that music lessons help get kids accustomed to constructive criticism. My daughter really wants to learn how to play the cello. I'll have to look for a local place where she can take cello lessons.
11/29/2022 07:48:35 pm
I love how you point out that music can help improve kids' academics. I have a younger cousin who's very into music and has been thinking about trying drumming out. My aunt and I have been trying to find a teacher that we think will fit well with his personality and learning type.
1/15/2023 05:01:51 am
It was most captivating when you shared that coordination and motor skills can be developed through musical instruments. My friend wants to hold a music competition for their organization. I should advise her to hire a musician with vast experience in music competition adjudication.
1/26/2023 03:27:42 pm
Giuseppe Verdi: “I adore art… when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.”
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