Leslie Mason, guest contributor
When searching for an extra-curricular activity for your child, it can sometimes be difficult to decide how you want your child spending their time. Music lessons, however, are an activity that will continue to pay off well into your child’s adult years. Here are just some of the benefits your child will gain from learning a musical instrument.
1. Music Enhances Fine Motor Skills
When young children learn to play a musical instrument—from the piano to the violin—it increases their fine motor skills. Those skills are important for accomplishing a variety of tasks, from tying their shoes to reading and writing.
As they grow older, those skills will continue developing, particularly if they keep playing the instrument, and those finely-tuned skills will benefit them into their adulthood, especially with activities that require very precise movements of the hand, like drawing.
2. Music Creates a Haven for Self-Expression
Healthy children need to be able to express themselves, and music gives them an outlet to do so. As they get better at playing their chosen instrument, they will be able to play the music they want, or create music of their own. That outlet of self-expression becomes even more important as children get older: children who have a place to express themselves have a higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life than children who do not.
3. Music Facilitates Academic Growth
Music facilitates academic growth by improving comprehension and grades. Learning to play a musical instrument and read and play sheet music teaches a child the same skills they need to do mathematics like division. By the time they need these mathematics skills in school, they will already be adept at using them, and can learn math easier than most other students.
Moreover, music improves memory. Learning and playing an instrument stimulates brain function, including the areas controlling memory. Therefore, the more children play an instrument, the better their memory and overall cognitive function.
4. Music Encourages Hard Work and Perseverance
Learning a musical instrument requires perseverance and patience. Most people don’t sit down at a piano and immediately play Beethoven or the Star Wars Main Theme. You have to start out easy and build up to the proficiency required to play more difficult and complex music. This kind of musical prowess requires long hours of practice and hard work. Discipline and focus are necessary to learn a musical instrument well and play the songs of your choosing. These traits—perseverance, patience, hard work, discipline, focus—are all traits children will acquire as they learn a musical instrument.
5. Music Introduces Children to Other Cultures
Music comes from all over the world, from all kinds of cultures. Different instruments have multiple styles of music associated with them, and each style has famed composers. Children learning to play instruments could play a variety of different songs, originating anywhere from Austria to Zimbabwe. Music will familiarize children with many cultures, and that will help them be more open-minded when dealing with people of different beliefs and behaviors.
Music is an important part of the world, and putting children into musical lessons can have a huge impact on the mental, physical, and emotional growth of those children. No matter what instrument your child learns to play, the benefits are immeasurable. You couldn’t ask for a better activity for your child.
Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert, always on the lookout for programs to help her children and grandchildren, like nutrition for athletic performance. Leslie also enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.