Music is fun, making it even more so! It’s easy to understand why parents want their kids to be able to enjoy this wonderful hobby. After all, learning to play a musical instrument has numerous advantages for the little ones – cognitive, motor, and mental skills, just to name a few. Here are 10 reasons why you should encourage your children to play music and to enter a world of discovery.
Kids who make music are better students
A study by Martin Guhn – a scientist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver – and his team is still quite fresh. The main question is: Are students who make music in a school band, orchestra or choir more efficient than their non-music-making classmates? The data were evaluated from over 110,000 Canadian students, 13% of whom were musically active. The result: the more often and intensively the child makes music, the better their grades. And what’s more, those who have been playing an instrument for years are on average one school year ahead of their non-musical classmates.
Active music making can promote intelligence & speech ability
More than ten years ago, brain researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences in Leipzig were already investigating the influence of musical training on speech and music processing in children. In their study, Sebastian Jentschke and Stefan Koelsch came to the conclusion that music and speech are processed in the same brain regions. This means that musically advanced children are also advanced in their language skills. And this is absolutely helpful at school and in the working world afterwards.
Making music strengthens self-confidence
If children learn to play an instrument, they will overcome small, and later larger, stumbling blocks with more ease. With each new learning progress they remove a hurdle from their path. Gradually they get better and better at problem solving and soon they can do something that not everyone can do. This strengthens their self-confidence and makes them strong, mentally, even in non-musical situations.
Ability to self-reflect – a positive quality for life
The fact remains that when kids are occupied with an instrument, by default they also deal with themselves, their body and mind. They will listen very carefully to themselves. To master an instrument ultimately means precise and intricate body control. This works in the interplay of the senses and the ability to self-reflect is a quality that will help the kids throughout their lives.
Increased social competence & cooperation
Musicians have to be considerate of each other and listen to one another. If everyone in a band or orchestra plays only for themselves, the song or composition would be a “soup of noise”. Everyone has his or her specific task for painting the “big picture” while simultaneously helping and supporting each other. This is a personal learning process in respecting others around you, which promotes social competence and is important to be learned at a young age.
Making music increases cognitive abilities & concentration
Movement and coordination, feeling and touching, hearing and seeing are super-connected when making music, not to mention the use of imagination and creativity. Cognitive abilities and mental agility are increased almost instantly. According to a study by neuroscientist Dr. Ines Jentsch from the University of St. Andrews, UK, “higher musical education through higher speed in solving tasks, without compromise in accuracy, leads to more efficient information processing and thus increased ability to concentrate“.
Learning an instrument trains patience & stamina
It may take some time before a child masters an instrument to some extent and plays their first small concerts. They practice diligently and joyfully, but sometimes discontentedly and perhaps want to give up. But if you – the parents, siblings or music teachers – encourage them carefully, they will stick to it and soon look back on their efforts as fruitful. That, undoubtedly, gives them a real feeling of happiness.
Creative to the bone
The instrument opens a door to completely new worlds for your kids. It lets them try things, experiment, simply do something unknown and unprecedented. Maybe they will play familiar tunes with their own individual touch. Maybe they improvise and put the perfect tone in the perfect context and at the right moment. If you allow your youngsters to learn their favourite instrument, you’ll give them something they can live their inner life with for the rest of their lives.
The instrument as a valuable friend
The very first instrument, especially, becomes the best friend, the confidante, who is faithful to the child in all situations. Whether it’s a violin, trumpet, flute, guitar, keyboard or accordion, the child will appreciate the instrument’s value because they have a very special, intimate relationship with it. And even the secretive or shy among them can express the feelings they wouldn’t want to or even know how to otherwise. An outlet of emotions.
Music Makers – a community of like-minded people
And finally: playing an instrument is much more than operating a machine. It’s a way of life and children share it with an unbelievable number of like-minded people. Most musicians have had the same or very similar experiences from playing the first note to playing complex pieces of music. An extraordinary community with a great sense of togetherness.