Too often, parents and school administrators view learning to play musical instruments much the way they do most arts education — as a supplemental or “optional” subject that helps to make students more well-rounded, but not as an essential component in school curricula.
However, studies show that studying music not only supports good intellectual development and mental health but enhances students’ skills in other “mainstream” subjects. Apart from academics, parents wish their children to develop skills in sports, creative genres, and other extracurricular activities.
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While every child cannot become a musician or singer, there are some clear advantages of children learning musical instruments. It can benefit them in personal and professional life in due time.
8 skills children can develop by learning musical instruments
Teaching children a new discipline can sometimes be a headache for teachers and parents. However, children who are taught ways to handle and play musical instruments learn discipline. They must follow specific patterns and tones correctly, naturally instilling a sense of discipline. Also, when children are taught to practice in a group setting, where syncing and collaboration are involved, natural peer pressure ensures that they will play in tune with others.
2. Emotional intelligence
Children who are taught the nuances of musical instruments develop emotional intelligence. Music evokes various emotions in the human mind, such as hope, love, pathos, assurance, and motivation. When the child plays a musical instrument, they feel such emotions early in life. When they practice regularly, their emotional intelligence continues to develop.
When children learn to play musical instruments, they are required to memorize many things. They must remember rhythms, pitch, tempos, and numerous ways to play to produce the best quality sound. When they perform or sing, they must recall all of these memories. When this becomes instilled in them, their memory is enhanced. This can be beneficial in their future life and career.
Strict coordination is required when people play musical instruments. The child learns to use their hands, eyes, ears, and brain in sync, which helps them learn precision. Coordination becomes paramount when a child is part of a marching band; when marching, music and the distraction of a crowd force upon them a heightened awareness of their role in the band.
5. Reading and comprehension skills
When children practice music, their reading and comprehension skills are boosted. They need to read musical notations and recall what they learned. They also fare well in other studies when their reading and comprehension skills improve.
Children suffer less from distractions by learning to play musical instruments. They have to concentrate on the nuances of the instrument while playing. Thus, they become better equipped to cope with distractions in later life.
7. Social skills
Children become more social and bond better with others when they are taught to use musical equipment. They realize they play a critical role in an orchestra, ensemble, or marching band. This requires coordination and bonding with others. As they perform in groups, children develop enhanced social skills.
In many cases, children who are taught music early in life become creative. They learn the methods and, through practice, devise newer ways to improve their skills. They create unique forms of rendering the songs they hear, and their creative understanding develops.
Summing it up
Contrary to what many may assume, music education provides far more than just the ability to play an instrument or appreciate the fine arts. There are so many benefits to encouraging your child to do so.