From street musicians to concerts in the Carnegie Hall, we’re connected to music everywhere we go. It’s important to realize, as most parents who send their children to music lessons do, that playing an instrument has an impact not only on the listener, but on the musician as well. Whether you’re playing a more commonly learned instrument like the piano, or you choose a more exotic instrument like the harp, learning to play an instrument with edify you both physically and emotionally. Here are a few of the benefits of learning to play an instrument that will, hopefully, reaffirm your appreciation for music and for those who create it.
1. Improves coordination
A big part of playing an instrument is the ability to convert what you read to how you move your body. You must be able to convert the notes on the pages to patterns of either your breath, hand, or feet movements in specific rhythms or tempo. Children will be able to become more familiar with their bodies, which will enhance their motor skills.
2. Expands your horizon
As someone who has experience playing the piano at a young age, I can assure you that there is so much knowledge and experience to be gained through the learning of an instrument. While music is generally associated with the arts, it also acts as a medium for culture and history. As a musician, your children will be learning more about the origins of music and how it is expressed in different parts of the world. From the traditional Renaissance style to contemporary pop, your children will come to understand the cultural significance of each significant style.
3. Fosters social skills
Music brings people together. Joining a community of musicians will enable your child to meet new people who have similar interests. In addition to making friends, your child will be able to step out of his or her comfort zone and perform for an audience, thus overcoming stage fright and developing confidence and ease in front of a crowd. The social aspect of learning to play an instrument is very helpful, encouraging involvement and immersing young musicians into the world around them.
4. Benefits the brain
Playing an instrument, like exercising, actually gives your brain a workout! Neuroscientists have found that unlike merely listening to music, playing music actually engages almost every part of the brain, increasing memory capacity and developing cognitive skills. For more information, take a look at this video:
5. Teaches perseverance
As children, it can be hard to delve into a task for a long period of time, and playing an instrument requires just that. By teaching your children to take on the responsibility of playing an instrument, their hard work and dedication will result in great accomplishments. Seeing the fruits of their labors will inspire both pride and confidence in young musicians, who will truly see that practice does make perfect.
Your child might not be the best with words, but music is another form of creative expression. Like Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Learning to play an instrument encourages creative development and releases stress. Who knows, your child may just become the next Beethoven!
Playing an instrument can be productive and enjoyable. If you notice that your children have an inherent interest in music, or even if they’re simply curious about it, I highly recommend that you introduce them to the world of music. That said, despite the benefits that come with learning to play an instrument, if you see that your child is truly not enjoying it, then do not force him or her to continue. Encourage them to give music a chance, yes, but playing an instrument isn’t for everyone. More than anything, music should give your child a chance to find his or her niche.
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