One of the things that Zach was most excited about with starting school was the potential to play music. The picture on the cover of the school prospectus was of a child playing a musical instrument and it was this that sparked the interest, with him asking what the child was doing and then telling us that he wanted to play music when he started. I was never the most musical person myself, playing the Viola (badly) and trying out the Saxophone before deciding that it was quite simply to heavy to lug to and from school each week! My sister got all of the musical talent so maybe it will pass through the family that way!
At the same time as Zach started showing an interest in this, I was contacted about hosting a guest post around the topic of why it was great for kids to learn to play music, and so I thought it would be perfect to include on this blog.
Diego has had a passion for music since he was 12 years old. Enjoying jamming and teaching, he runs The Musician Lab a space to learn and get involved with music for musicians of all levels.
Music is one of the most enjoyable pleasures in our daily lives. Think about all of the key events from marriages to graduations to parties, that are made better by music. These events couldn’t happen without it! Music is a way for people to connect with each other and knowing how to play an instrument gives you an ability to build a unique relationship with people.
Even if your child doesn’t grow up to be a rock star or classical pianist, it teaches them vital skills that will help them for their entire lives. Being able to play music is essential for a child’s development. It has been proven to boost memory, improve test scores, reduce stress and increase sociability. Here are the top 5 reasons why your child needs to learn to play music.
1) Developing brains
When kids become actively involved in creating music, it opens up new neurological connections which help them to better distinguish sounds and build their brain capacity. What’s happening is that there is a very real connection between their physical actions and the sound that is produced. As a result, they are developing all kinds of new motor and coordination skills.
Not only this, but it helps their brains grow faster across the board. This means better learning, better test scores and a better ability to control their emotions.
2) Higher chance of going to college
Most parents want their children to attend college. There are exceptions, of course, but this is generally true. Everybody knows that music is good for kids, but did you know that there is a strong connection between kids who can play music and those end up going to college? 93% of kids who had been playing music for at least a few years went on to college.
There are numerous reasons why this is the case. First of all, the additional structure of music classes and band practices give students an added sense of solidarity and importance. Second of all, playing music opens their mind up to all kinds of opportunities and it helps them realise all of the different options that they have available to them.
3) A creative outlet
Everybody wants to be creative, but for children it is especially important. Creativity is what fuels our kids and helps them express themselves. Having musical instruments from kids drum sets to baby pianos gives them a place for them to explore sound as an outlet for their emotions.
Not only this, children who play music are more likely to get involved with other positive extracurricular activities and explore additional areas such as art and literature, opening their minds to lifelong learning.
4) Improved moods
Kids who learn to play music are less likely to suffer from anxiety and on the whole report being much happier than their peers who do not play. Also, this does not just apply to young children but teenagers as well.
Teenagers involved in playing music have lower levels of depression and stress while also being able to sleep better. We all know that the teenage years are stressful and the best way for teens to express themselves is to pick up an instrument. There is never too late a time for them to start!
5) A feeling of independence
The most important thing is to let children choose the instruments that they are interested in playing. It is important for them to take the time to explore. Even if that means they spend six months learning to play the violin and then they decide they are more fit to play the ukulele. Don’t worry, the nice thing about instruments is that they hold their value well should your child decide to switch direction.
But it is very important for you to allow them choose the instrument for themselves. It is a lot easier for them to know what works best for them. It just takes a little trial and error first! This along with the ability for them to make their own music is an essential process for their growth and development and will help them being more well-rounded individuals.
So Many Great Reasons
This is just the tip of the iceberg of why children need to learn to play music. It is the same reason why we have them play sports, act in plays or do anything. It is not about the expectation for them to become great virtuosos (although that would be great) but it is about helping them develop the skills they needed to become well-balanced and happy adults!