Learning to play an instrument is a common activity for children, and in some families it is even expected. There are many reasons why parents might want their kids to have music lessons; a child might express an interest in a particular instrument, or a parent may have fond memories of their own childhood music lessons. My daughter recently expressed interest in playing the guitar, and she started lessons a few weeks ago. I’ve been really happy with how she’s progressing, and I’m impressed with her fledgling ability to read music, as this is not something that I ever learned how to do.
You may not realize, as I didn’t, that music lessons have some real concrete benefits for your child beyond simply developing a talent, giving him something fun to do, or instilling an appreciation for music. Here are a few of the important reasons why you may want to consider music lessons for your child, if you haven’t already.
Music lessons help your child succeed in school.
Studies have shown that musical training helps train and strengthen different parts of the brain. Musical education helps develop the parts of the brain that are used for language and reasoning skills, and also the part responsible for spatial intelligence. One study even found an IQ increase of 2.5 points in six-year-olds after a year of music lessons. Students who learn how to read music and play instruments have been shown to do better on SAT tests and to make better grades overall. Clearly, music lessons can give your child an academic advantage.
Music lessons promote teamwork.
Most children who study a musical instrument eventually end up in a band, an orchestra, or group lessons. Learning to play an instrument along with a group is an important aspect of musical studies. The experience of having to be perfectly in harmony with an assortment of other people is a natural exercise in the importance of teamwork, as well as in the mechanics of being a good team player. Children who study music will find themselves well-prepared for a lifetime of working closely with other people.
Music lessons increase confidence and self-discipline.
Another important aspect of music lessons is that they teach children to perform – after all, what is the point of learning an instrument if not to play it for others? Performing, by necessity, requires confidence. A music student builds the necessary confidence to perform by diligently training and practicing the instrument until he becomes proficient enough to be able to perform with confidence. He learns that the discipline of hard work and diligence leads to not only competence, but also an earned sense of confidence in his abilities. Children who learn this lesson in music class can apply it to other parts of their lives; they will know that if they practice discipline, they will have the abilities they need to succeed, as well as the confidence to perform with those abilities.
As you can see, music lessons are a great idea for all kinds of reasons. The benefits of a musical education are significant, and they are benefits that will last a lifetime.
Does your child play a musical instrument? Which one?