“Mom, I Want to Play a Musical Instrument”: Top Reasons it Might be Worth the Investment
I remember learning how to play the flute at the ripe old age of nine. I would sit in my room for hours huffing and puffing away at the instrument, hoping to make a sound. However, what came out in the beginning was a lot of squeaking and squawking…Over time, I got better at it, and I am to this day, grateful that my parents allowed me the opportunity. When your child is passionate about something such as a musical instrument (no matter how noisy it might be), it is often a wise decision to invest in their passions.
Sure, you’ll be met with loud noises, late night practices, and scattered performances, but in the end, it is certainly well worth it. Even if your child doesn’t end up becoming the next Mozart or Beethoven, the gift of music stems far beyond how beautiful it sounds. There are studies that suggest that playing and listening to music can have a huge impact on our brains and development. Here’s a few of those benefits for you to consider:
- Improved language abilities – to comprehend language, read, and begin to speak, it is necessary to understand how to identify syllables as well as the beginning and end of a word. This process is often referred to as a phonological ability. While it is possible to learn all of these things without the assistance of music, children who have had music training seem to possess this ability a lot easier than those who have never learned an instrument. Music assists them in learning words, reading, and developing a rich vocabulary a lot sooner than their peers.
- Improved memory – when you first learned the alphabet, or how to count by twos in math class, chances are you learned it best through song and rhymes. Recent studies support that children who have had musical training of some sort have a better ability to remember things.
- Improves the ability to focus – there are very few children that can pick up a musical instrument and have it down packed in an instant. It takes weeks and months of dedication, concentration, and focus. The more they focus on the instrument, the better musicians they become.
- Increased emotional intelligence – through creating collaborative music, children develop a sense of empathy or compassion. The better skilled they become at playing music, the easier it is for them to notice even the smallest hint of emotion. For example happy songs require a more upbeat tone, whereas a sad song would require slow deep tones.
- Togetherness or Teamwork – In order for a song to come together, it requires the collaboration and participation of several musical instruments (i.e. their peers). As such, children learn how to share the spotlight and work together with others to create a masterpiece.
Who would have thought that from learning a musical instrument, that a child would gain so many skills that are necessary throughout the duration of their educational experience – and life?
Tips for Getting Started
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of music lessons for your children, you’re both on the same page. So here are a few parental tips on how to get started:
- Locate a Good Teacher – Unless musical lessons are offered in your child’s school, you’re going to need to find the right music teacher for your child. Not only do you want to look for a professional that has years of knowledge playing and teaching the instrument your child is interested in, but you’ll also want to select someone who will mesh well with your child to keep them excited and motivated about acquiring a new skill. When looking for the right music teacher, you can often ask other parents in your community. If not, there’s also the option of checking out sites online. At LessonRating.com, for example, you can find reviews on teachers in your specific area.
- Ensure Your Child is Ready – We all want our children to become the best at what they do. Often we find ourselves living vicariously through our children, however, when it comes to playing a musical instrument, you’ll want to make sure your child is ready and that you’re not simply forcing your dreams onto them. Learning an instrument will require a great deal of concentration and practice. If your child doesn’t like to sit still, chances are playing an instrument is not for them. Ideally, the best age to try any form of musical instrument would be about four years of age, for more advanced instruments that require a great deal of motor skills, or hand strength such as the guitar, you may want to wait until they’re about seven years old.
- Rent Before Making a Purchase – You’re probably already aware of how often children change their minds. If you give them a choice between peanut butter or jelly, chances are they’re going to go back and forth a few times. With that being said, when it comes to playing a musical instrument, it might be worth it to rent it for the first few months to make sure that they’re really dedicated. Once you know that they’re really invested, then you can look for the opportunity to make a purchase.
Well, I hope I was able to shed some light on the benefits of music lessons in your child’s life. While you may have thought of it as another extracircular activity to add to your “mommy do list”, there are significant benefits that make learning a musical instrument worthwhile. Music lessons can help them to develop lifelong skills that will ultimately help them to be better people all around.