There are many benefits to a child learning to play a musical instrument!
A) It Teaches Patience
Playing an instrument means having to persevere through hours, days and possibly years of practice. Children must have patience while learning to set goals.
FUN FACT! Violin is an instrument that can teach patience! It takes patience to learn how to hold the bow & get the strings to make a sound.
B) It Improves Reading Skills
Children will improve their comprehension by learning to play sheet music, which requires identifying a note on the page and associating it with the pitch on their instrument.
C) It Boosts Confidence
Learning an instrument requires your children to play in front of their teacher, or eventually at a recital. They will practice, gain feedback & make adjustments. As they improve, they build confidence & self-esteem!
FUN FACT! The piano makes a great example as an instrument to boost confidence. It is an instrument often used for putting on a performance!
D) It Creates Responsibility
Most instruments take maintenance to keep them looking & sounding like new. Kids also learn to follow a practice schedule, whether at home or attending lessons. This helps in giving kids something to be responsible for.
E) It Increases Emotional Perception
There are many “emotions” conveyed through music (e.g. Excitement is produced via louder & higher pitch whereas sadness is produced via softer & lower pitch). Therefore, those who were musically trained can detect emotions in a deeper perception.
F) It Enhances Coordination
Children have to concentrate on reading music and converting the notes into the physical motion of playing. Gradually, this will significantly improve their hand-eye coordination.
FUN FACT! The trombone makes a good example for hand-eye coordination. A trombone’s slide tube has to be moved to the right position at the right time to achieve the correct note.
Musical Training Affects the Cognitive Development of Your Child!
Children undergoing music training consistently show that they perform better in the areas closely associated with music:
Fine Motor Skill
A) Listening Skills
Musical training increases listening skills, including sound discrimination - an ability also involved in speech segmentation. It also allows more accurate processing of speech and voices.
B) Linguistics Skills
This benefit of musical training can be found in tasks requiring verbal abilities such as:
Second Language Acquisition
Therefore, demonstrating vast transferable effects of musical training
C) General IQ & Academic Achievement
For children, music lessons act as additional schooling—requiring focused attention, memorisation, and the progressive mastery of technical skills. It is said that these skillsets can transfer into executive function, self-control and sustained focused attention which helps children achieve better results in other subjects. This eventually lead to higher scores of general IQ!
FUN FACT! Children can’t just sit there and let the sound of music wash over them. They have to be actively engaged in the music and participate in the class!
Advice for Parents
How to better support your child when learning a new instrument?
Learning an instrument can be frustrating at the beginning, filled with seemingly impossible challenges and self-doubt!
Learning an instrument is the start of an adventure that can last a lifetime. It can be the source of incomparable joy, the doorway to lasting friendships, and an unbeatable means of personal satisfaction!
A) Be Encouraging & Patient!
You are their first and most important audience, so play nice, even when they don’t!
Use encouraging phrases like:
"I'm proud of the way you practised today!"
"That's quite an improvement!"
B) Create A Regular Practice Routine
Practice makes perfect! Start with short, regular bursts of practice. It’s best if you can make it a special time and part of their daily routine!
“Ten minutes of mindful practice is better than 30 minutes of mindless playing-through”
C) Get Them To Play With Others
Music is a social activity! When kids play with others, they’re communicating, socialising, and learning from the people around them.
TIP: Get them into a band/group/orchestra. Music is a fun social activity!
FUN FACT! Playing in a band is great for developing friendship, telepathy and keeping rhythm. Best part? It will teach them to LISTEN!
D) Make It Fun!
Devise a music routine that can help lift little one’s moods!
Play for their pets! Sometimes, they are a much more appreciative audience than those in the house.
Introduce playing popular children music than just sticking to classical pieces.
Take any durable household items that you can find at home and convert that into an instrument (e.g. a pot = drum, chopsticks = rhythm sticks). Play an interesting piece of music while you and your child rattle along with these household items!