It’s been said that music is the universal language, and that early exposure to music can have a lot of benefits for a young child. Sadly, many people see learning how to play a musical instrument as nothing more than just another extracurricular activity, not much different from playing on a sports team. The truth is that just as there are benefits to listening to classical music at a young age, there are also benefits to learning how to play an instrument. While the benefits of learning an instrument are available to adults as well, the most significant advantages are for children.
Boosting Brain Power
Many studies have shown that learning how to play a musical instrument can improve a person’s cognitive abilities. Even playing an instrument for just an hour a week can improve the areas of the brain that control memory, hearing and cognitive flexibility. These effects are long-lasting and will have an effect on a child’s ability to learn as he or she grows older. In fact, learning how to play and read music could raise a person’s IQ by as much as seven points.
Learning how to play an instrument can also help a child’s social development. Whether children take private music lessons or they learn as part of a music group, they will be interacting with others who share their interests. Children in music groups will also learn to work together, a skill they will need as they grow older.
In addition to improving cognitive ability, playing a musical instrument will also greatly improve a child’s hand-eye coordination. Playing any musical instrument involves a lot of hand-eye coordination, so even basic music lessons will improve your little one’s manual dexterity. Luckily, this also applies for older adults who may have lost some of their coordination as they have aged.
Playing a musical instrument with any amount of skill takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Nobody can expect to play an instrument perfectly overnight, and while that may put some kids off the idea of trying to learn, it can prove to be a worthwhile challenge and an object lesson in patience. It takes a lot of time and patience to become good at playing any instrument, but the rewards are well worth it, as are the lessons about perseverance paying off.
In many ways, learning how to play a musical instrument well is one of the most difficult things a person can do, but it’s also one of the most satisfying. Nobody will become an expert with any musical instrument overnight, but anybody who sticks with it can expect to have a major confidence boost when they find that they noticeably improve. That confidence boost will help a child build a healthy self confidence.
Improving Mathematical Ability
Mathematics is key in playing any kind of music. A good musician has to be able to keep rhythm, which isn’t always easy to do. However, what a music student learns while he or she is learning how to play can easily transfer into other areas of learning. Many young students who learn a musical instrument tend to do much better in math classes than those who do not. Even if they claim to have no real interest in learning about mathematics, music can teach them almost on a subconscious level some of the rudiments.
The benefits of learning to play a musical instrument are many, and the risks are few. If you’re interested in boosting your child’s mathematical skills, confidence, and social agility, consider signing him or her up for music lessons.