If you’ve got a budding little rock star, trying to bash on the drums, play the piano or even give the flute a try, you should encourage them. Here are the 10 reasons why your child should play a musical instrument.
Brain Power Boost
This is definitely backed up by science and more and more studies have shown that playing a musical instrument boosts their brain power and helps them academically. Children’s music specialist Meredith LeVande of MonkeyMonkeyMusic.com says that “Music simply stimulates parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development.”
How often in your household do you have to go on the hunt for missing items as they magically disappear? Well we’re sure it’s far too many. Kids will remember more, and learn more, with music. “Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can improve a child’s learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development,” says Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
Improves Social Skills
Experts agree that picking up an instrument can also help your child break out of their social shell too. “Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline,” says Marturet, who also oversees the MISO Young Artist program in South Florida.
Pretty much all areas of someone’s life are improved when they are confident in themselves. If you want your child to develop their confidence, learning to play a musical instrument can help.
“They find that they can develop a skill by themselves, that they can get better and better,” says Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, a music teacher and performer.
We live in a world of instant gratification, but real life means that you have to have patience, whether you like it or not. When you are playing in a band or orchestra (and most musicians do), you have to be willing to wait your turn to play otherwise the sound is a mess. That inadvertently teaches patience. “You need to work together in a group to make music,” says Dotson-Westphalen.
It can help your Kids Connect
It’s quite often that we feel disconnected from our lives, and the same goes for our kids. Music can be a much-needed connection for kids. “It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another,” says Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specialises in musicians.
Music is one of those things in life where you can never stop learning and you will never know all there is to know. “It is inexhaustible — there is always more to learn,” says Jolkovski.
Helps Kids to Express Themselves
People are always talking about expressing themselves, but how can kids really do that? One great way is through the arts – like music. “It gives pleasure and expresses nuances of emotional life for which there are no words,” says Jolkovski.
To improve in music, you have to not only do well in classes, but devote time to practicing outside of the lessons too. That requires discipline. “Exposing kids to musical instruments is the key. They are naturally curious and excited about them – and the discipline that parents AND kids learn by sticking with it is a lesson in itself,” says Mira Stulberg-Halpert of 3D Learner Inc., who works with children who have ADHD.
Above all, playing music, particularly as kids get to more advanced levels in it, is a creative pursuit. Creatively is good for the mind, body and soul.
The evidence is clear that music has many benefits for kids and why you should encourage your child to play a musical instrument. Does your child play a musical instrument? If so, have you noticed any differences?