One, two, three, four … With all of the counting and time signatures, it makes sense that learning a musical instrument can help strengthen a child’s ability to do mathematics and problem-solve. Years of research have borne that out. But what about socially? Emotionally? Physically? Personally? It turns out that music lessons can be an effective way to help children grow in all of these areas, too. Here are some ways that music lessons help your child learn in other areas of life.
Everybody loves music of one sort or other, some sing or play an instrument while others enjoy listening. Despite a universal love of music, it is almost always one of the first programs cut in schools. Not only do schools lose a class that kids enjoy, it also helps enrich student’s lives and their education.
Here’s a medley of the amazing benefits that can come when children take up an instrument.
14 Ways That Music Lessons Help Your Child Learn
1. Music improves memory
Whether your child is memorizing the alphabet, multiplication tables, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, they will need to be able to focus on the information and store it in a retrievable manner. Music reinforces memory in the sense that it requires the child to memorize notes along with hand/mouth movement, turning the information into a tune. Using this part of the brain often to store and recite information is important, and music lessons continue to put memorization skills into practice.
Even when students are playing while following sheet music, students are constantly using memory skills to perform. Memorization is a skill that will serve you for the rest of your life.
2. Stress Prevention or Relief
Art forms are a wonderful way for children to express themselves while relieving tension at the same time, and music is no exception. The hands-on experience, the practice of manipulating the instruments, and the sound of the music that is created can all help put children at ease–especially after a long day at school. My child’s music school even has a school outreach program where kids with special needs are given musical instruments to play as a form of therapy.
3. Better Focus
Traditional classroom learning typically involves long periods of sitting still and concentrating, which can be a challenge for children. Music lessons can help children improve their focus, as their concentration and attention to detail is important when learning a tune. Improved attention leads to mastery of the tune and progress on to the next one. The positive feelings that result from this accomplishment strengthen their desire and ability to focus on goals related to the classroom.
4. Enhanced Self-Esteem
When a child becomes familiar with playing a musical instrument, they can feel a great sense of pride in their accomplishment. As they realize that they can entertain others and even evoke emotions through their performances, their confidence may grow even more. Every child wants to feel like they are good at or successful at something, and music lessons give them the chance to do that … and then treat others with their talent. The resulting self-esteem follows that child throughout their school day and throughout their life.
Learning to master a new piece of music is a difficult but achievable goal. Even the smallest piece of music leaves a student proud of their accomplishments.
5. Increased coordination and Fine Motor Skill Development
Fine motor skills–for example, tasks that are done with the fingers–typically require hand and eye coordination. Learning to play a musical instrument can help strengthen a child’s fine motor skills, which can come in handy in the classroom when the child writes (in print or cursive), paints, cuts, measures, glues, and so on.
Music is like sports in that it can improve hand-eye coordination. Music and sports both help children develop their small motor skills while they are playing.
Music lessons are an intense 30 minutes in length, so it is important that the student is ready with their music sheets, notebook, and a sharpened pencil in hand when the lesson begins. They know that stopping to find any of these items during the lesson would take away from valuable class time. The “homework” assigned by music instructors can also help create accountability in kids. At home, kids learn to make decisions on how to allocate their time to prepare for the next lesson. Children who take music lessons can carry this skill of accountability over to their classroom life, where deadlines for homework and classwork need to be met.
Whether you decide to rent or own your child’s instrument, you will find it does not come cheap. Caring for the instrument properly is essential to protect your investment. Music lessons teach your child to be responsible for cleaning, caring for, and storing their instrument properly. The habits kids learn in music lessons can translate into increased responsibility for their school supplies, homework, and even their actions.
Learning music requires practice, it promotes craftsmanship. Students strive to create great work instead of mediocre work. This is a work ethic that can be used in every area of study.
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8. Music helps develop language and reasoning skills
The area of your brain that deals with language and reason also deals with music, actively using that part of the brain keeps your skills sharp. The left side of the brain is better developed with regular musical training when you are young.
9. Music students learn self-discipline
Kids who master a musical instrument learn valuable lessons in discipline. Every day time must be set aside for practice and learning or creating new music. Kids must exercise self-discipline to master their instrument.
10. Kids are engaged in their education
If kids like music and they are getting music classes in school they are engaged in their education. Students who like music are far more likely to stay in school, and they achieve success in other subjects.
11. Students have better SAT scores
Studies have shown that students who have a musical education score higher on the SATs. Some reports indicate the scores are as much as 63 points on the verbal portion and up to 44 points higher on the math portion.
12. Music builds teamwork
It is not just sports that teach children the value of teamwork, music does as well. Kids who perform in orchestras or bands need to work together for musical performances. They learn the value of working together and build camaraderie and friendships along the way.
13. Music develops creative thinking
Children with a background in the arts learn to think creatively. This is a life skill that can help in every aspect of your life, solving problems without visible solutions and the prospect of more than one answer.
14. Music develops a child’s imagination and intellectual curiosity
Teaching children music while they are young helps create a positive attitude towards learning. Children become curious about learning new music and this is adapted to learning other skills as well.
We hope these “14 ways that music lessons help your child learn” have been valuable to you and inspire you to seek creative ways of allowing your child to express themselves.
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