Raising intelligent, well-rounded kids is no picnic. Many parents anxiously wonder how many and which extracurricular activities to add into their kids’ already busy lives. But learning to play a musical instrument, such as the guitar, drums, violin, etc, is an activity that every parent should consider.
You may be hesitant to invest time and money in an activity that may only produce headaches and stress. Some parents consider their own musical inabilities and doubt that their children will be able to learn rhythm and recognize notes. These objections, while valid, pale in comparison to the many important reasons every child should learn an instrument.
1. To Develop the Brain
Learning music at an early age enhances spatial reasoning, processing speed, and even verbal comprehension. Children who practice their instruments have better reading scores than children who don’t. But participation is key! A music appreciation class isn’t sufficient; kids need to actively engage in musical training.
2. To Promote Discipline
Playing a musical instrument requires time and commitment. When children learn to spend 20-30 minutes a day practicing, they discover the value of focusing and exerting effort to do something well. Playing an instrument has also been shown to improve concentration.
3. To Control Behavior
Music impacts mood, so being in a musical environment can calm and improve the tempers of many kids. It can also provide an outlet for children who may not have any other way of expressing themselves.
4. To Improve Group Work
There are special benefits when people begin to play in groups. Playing in a band or orchestra improves rhythm of course, but it also teaches kids how to work with others toward a common goal. This can promote leadership and teamwork. In addition, joining a musical group will expand your child’s social life beyond the classroom and home.
5. To Develop Creativity
As children learn to fit notes together into intervals and chords, they experiment. This experimentation is a fundamental process in creativity, which will have many benefits later in life and will help them in other artistic endeavors.
6. To Learn about Culture and History
Music is a discipline that is hard to study without mentioning culture and history. It can be a fun way to introduce your kids to different historical periods (like studying classical music and Mozart) and cultures (like jazz and blues culture).
7. To Relieve Stress
Music therapy is becoming increasingly well-known. Both listening to and playing music can release endorphins, hormones that stimulate blood flow and ease tension. Troubled kids in particular may benefit from having an activity in which they can focus and express feelings safely.
8. To Have Fun
This quality is a result of alleviating stress. The feelings of joy and peace that derive from playing music makes this activity fun. You can even incorporate this into your home life if others in your family are musically inclined. Consider starting a family band or doing sing-alongs on Saturday nights!
9. To Create a Sense of Achievement
In the end, a kid that has dedicated time and energy to learning a musical instrument will have accomplished something to be proud of. After all the noisiness, the financial commitment, and the effort of getting to lessons, children will recognize that they can do an activity that they couldn’t do previously. And you, as a parent, will have the satisfaction of knowing that your child has achieved something special and benefited along the way.
So take steps to arrange a musical education for your children. Don’t forget to consider what instruments would best suit them, as some instruments (like a bassoon) are too big for a little kid. With some careful reflection, parents can create a musical education that benefit their child for life.