The Benefits of Music Lessons for Kids – Child Development
Are you considering adding music lessons to your child’s after-school activities? Perhaps you are on the fence about whether or not you can fit more commitments into your child’s already packed after-school-schedule? With the sometimes overwhelming choices in after school programs, it can be a hard decision choosing the best activities for your child. To help with this decision, I have compiled a list that highlights some of the benefits of incorporating music into your child’s life.
Over the last decade, a wealth of scientific research has attested to the fact that music education is a powerful tool that will aid your child in reaching their full intellectual, social, and creative potential. This research has also shown that their is a strong correlation between learning an instrument and academic success/cognitive growth. One thing we know for certain is that music lessons propel children further in many ways that one may not think are connected to music. Parents can be more confident than ever that an investment in music education will have lifelong benefits for their child. Benefits include, but are not limited to…
IQ, Memory, and Focus
Learning to read music is intertwined with memory as it requires students to recall vast amounts of information pertaining to where notes and chords are located on their instruments, where notes are located on the staff, or the timing in which to play a piece of music, etc. Recent studies have indicated that individuals who are musically trained show improved academic performance, a better working memory, and greater abilities to focus their attention. Music training is a form of mental training that expands children’s cognitive capacities, empowering them to achieve within other disciplines and perform better in many other aspects of their lives.
Language Development: Speech and Reading
As young students learn to speak, understand, and read, they develop a skill called phonological ability: the ability to identify where syllables and words begin and end. The same part of the brain that deals with this ability is also used to identify and break up sounds; an important skill we gain through experience. Music lessons can help propel this experience as studies have shown that musically trained children have more adept phonological skills which spurs faster development in areas such as reading and vocabulary. A strong vocabulary and reading skills are crucial in every discipline and will be critical to your child’s academic success.
Improved Mathematical Skills
The link between music and math is undeniable as the two are highly connected. When one learns to understand rhythm, beat, and scales they are also learning to recognize patterns, divide, and create fractions. From an early age, music lessons will incorporate more advanced mathematical skills, in the guise of music, that will be invaluable in future academia.
We are undoubtedly in an age of distraction, from smartphones, to tablets, video games, social media, and constant interconnectedness. Most children are already caught up in the mix and are more easily pulled into the desire for instant gratification. Fortunately for parents, music lessons can offer a solution because there is no shortcut to learning an instrument! Learning to play an instrument takes time, patience, and discipline which remain invaluable skills. As young players begin to become musically competent, they often learn these skills without even realizing it.
Music Lessons offer a safe-space where children can learn to accept constructive criticism. Lessons bring awareness to the fact that no one is perfect and there is always room for self-improvement. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence in children as they learn how to put their “best foot” forward in life. Music lessons will also often lead to some element of performance which in turn builds confidence with every successful performance. Presenting yourself in public or to an audience is an important skill as it can often transfer to other areas such as public speaking, leading discussions, and the strength to speak up even in uncomfortable situations.
Music instruction is beneficial to those of all ages; however, the benefits are most astounding when a child begins their music education at a young age while they are still developing cognitively. Music is one of the great gifts of life that all children would be very fortunate to learn as it, perhaps most importantly, gives children a means to express themselves creatively, and be inspired by their own endless capacity for personal growth.